At the start of the trail
At this point we thought we were the shit
We had been practicing on smaller hikes for the last couple of weekends, and now it was time. There are 53 official 14ers in Colorado
, the place of our residence. The 4th of July seemed like perfect timing to try one of these babies out. If George Washington could drive out the English, we could certainly walk fourteen thousand feet into the air and wave our hands like the crazy Americans we are. That was at least the plan.
It all began swimmingly, literally. Having driven down to the collegiate peaks, we stopped at the Cottonwood Hotsprings. Nothing like sitting in one of 6 pool sized hot tubs till midnight enjoying some fine company. These hot springs are not fully natural so no smells of sulphur, but man does it feel good to be engulfed in warm water for three hours after a few beers. The stars sparkled in the sky as we sat discussing intensely educational topics such as whether you should make out with a girl even though your friend has asked you not too. The Princeton-ness flowed out of our veins. The Collegiate Peaks here we come!!
"We got off the mountain at 1030pm last night
carrying her body off the mountain. So just be aware of the dangers"
Those were the words that brought us down to earth in the harshest way possible. A 32 year old woman had scaled Mt Princeton the day before and had been caught in a storm. She and her climbing partner had tried to outrun the storm, falling victim to high winds and the rocky terrain. Having fallen to her death, our hostel attendant doubled as a member of the rescue team who carried a poor woman's body off the peak which we were about to ascend. Karma had swayed its weary head.
The sun broke through the shades of our camp-like communal room and we set off. Our bags packed and water bottles filled, we would fight the karma and climb this mountain.
"You guys are late. The weather can hit at any point"
A sporty-looking man called out our late ascent a few hours into the hike as he traversed the rocky path back to camp.
"You're a little early aren't you?" Ow how my sly remarks come out at the wrong moments and bite me in the end. Karma
Picking country for her ipod no doubt
the path ended, the rocks began. We are talking big rocks, small rocks and plenty of medium rocks, all on a cliff face. And these rocks weren't nice enough to just lay still, they really wanted to move. Especially when you stood on them. I began to understand. As we walked on, Lexi kept giving me the "why the hell are we still here look?" We plowed on.
"Did you reach the summit?" I asked a middle aged woman walking down
"You know, those clouds are looking too vertical for me. My friend had a premonition and I'm not going to mess with that. Number 23 will have to be another day"
"Premonitions...crazy Hippie Colorado people...bah" I mumbled
The hours came and went. We continued to 11 thousand, to 12, 13. Just an hour and a half left. The prize was within grasping distance. I could smell it.
If it not were for those pesky clouds. They swept in like the FBI. Seizing the sky and holding it captive within the span of 30 minutes. We looked up. We looked at each other. We looked up again and promptly showed our bums to
Our sweet campsite
Princeton. One thing that the fine University of New Hampshire did teach me, listen to karma.
Tot: 2.981s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 11; qc: 56; dbt: 0.0276s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb