Sunday, March 18, 2007

A trip to the mountains

I spent last week in Colorado visiting my college climbing partner and friend, Trent. Trent and I have enjoyed a lot of adventures together over the years since meeting at the University of Northern Iowa and always find a way to have fun. This was not our most ambitious or extreme trip over the years, but a day in the mountains with friends is always memorable.

We spent a day climbing into Loch Vale and Taylor Peak in beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park. Our objective was to summit Taylor Peak, but that didn't quite happen. We had trouble finding our route, the snow was super wet and warm and I just plain got tired. We enjoyed a beautiful winter trip into Sky Pond (picutured below in the photo) and climbed about 1000 feet or so of steep snow. In the photo that trent took, I am the speck sitting in the snow on the slope. The slope was steep and our footing was crappy causing for me to elect to go down after climbing to about 12,000 feet above sea level.

Ironically, when we got back to the car and the map after 8 hours of hiking and climbing, we were not on the route we thought and likely would not have been able to climb out of the gulley we were climbing. I guess you live and learn and in then end come back safe, smiling and tired.

We enjoyed a number of non-celebratory beers and chicken wings while reminiscing and planning "the next big adventure." The great thing about climbing is that it is only as enjoyable and the people you do it with. Good times!

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