|Oh yeah, I climbed a mountain.
||[Aug. 4th, 2008|11:24 pm]
So, the Boy has these friends that are nutty mountaineers. I'm housesitting for them for the next 3 weeks because they've rolled out to Ecuador to climb the mountain that's farthest from the earth's center or some nonsense.|
Anyway, I was convinced to go climb a 14er (they were trying to bag a bunch for both the normal reasons, and as part of their training for this trip). Neither I nor the Boy has ever climbed a 14er (a mountain whose elevation is greater than 14,000 feet, for you non-Coloradoans), and it's just one of those things you really should do if you live here.
Sarah picked Mt. Huron for our first outing. She had it on good authority that it was a good mix of "easy" and "pretty." "Class 2 all the way!!" she said. (There is a rating system for hikes and such -- Class 1 is like a sidewalk, whereas the various degrees of roped technical climbing are in Class 5).
She was right about the pretty.
This is Sarah and I doing a controlled slide down a scree field on the descent:
Here we are (minus Boy, who is photographing) in front of the peak. If you look, you can see the thundery clouds that made us race down a mere 700 feet from victory!
Pink Columbine! There were tons of columbines in the middle bit of the climb.
These flowers look like elephants:
So yeah, we kind of lost the trail, and ended up doing some ridiculous scrambles to get up to the saddle, only to be chased down to another circuitous and ultimately incorrect route by lightning. All told, we were hiking for 9 hours, and I thought I might die from lack of oxygen and/or falling off of rocks. I have so far only lost 1 toenail, however!
It was really gorgeous, though, and I am excited to try again after a little more preparation. Also, next time, we're going to freaking camp. We left Boulder at 5 am and didn't get back until after 11 pm. If we'd started hiking at 6 instead of 9, we totally would have beat the storm. Ah, well. Learning experiences. And pretty pictures.