So i set out to climb ellingwood and blanca the other day from Denver. Its a long haul. I picked up my buddy in Colorado City just south of Pueblo, and headed out. Made it to the trail head a couple hours later. We arrived around 2 oclock. I was driving my 01 xterra, i have driven this road before and have made it up pretty far, as most of you know the road is pretty hagard. I was able to drive up the road 2400 feet, right before a really steep pitch loaded with chair sized boulders. I tried but my tires couldnt grab going up the steep pitch with boulders and loose sand. So we set out from there 10400 ft, we hiked the 2.7 miles to lake como, it was a beautiful afternoon, about half way to como the clouds rolled in and about 1 mile to go, the heavens decided to spit at us. Right as we reached como, we found a couple tents laid out, so we decided to contunue to the other side of the lake to where we made camp for the night. We set up camp around 430, and minutes after, we had a downpour. luckily camp was already set up, my friend matt was in his two man tent, and i was in my camping hammock. Once the weather cleared around 6 we set out to the cliffs to waste some time climbing. I was sticking to the class 4 cliffs with a couple 5th class moves. All was fun and as the sun was heading down, we returned to camp, made a mountain house meal, and went to bed.
As i lay there for 20 minutes, i decided i better go relieve myself. If any of you sleep in hammocks in a sleeping bag, you know the pain of getting in and out of a sleeping bag in a hammock when its dark, when you have to pee. So i got out, sun was down by know, it was dark and i walked about 20 feet to a nice location. I looked out across the lake and a saw a chilling pair of eyes moving in my direction, in the time I took to go to the restroom, they shiny pair moved roughly 50 feet towards me. Then stopped and, dissapeared behind a rock. The eyes were at least three feet off the ground, when they were closest to me, probably 200 feet away. I sountered back to my hammock, and already exposed in the hammock, i felt like a dangling salami betwee nthe two trees, just ready for the picking. Minutes later, wind picked up, and i could no longer hear matt, who was sleeping 10 feet from me because of the wind. So now i wouldnt even be able to hear the creature approach me if i was attacked, i got my bear spray ready and braced for anything.
Hours went by and I was so spooked that i couldnt sleep. I tried and tried by nothing. Finally after roughly three hours, i passed out, but no more than five seconds. I destictly remember the dream i had. As my mind left, I found myself driving along La Veta Pass, and as i came around a bend, I found 4 elk run across the highway no more than 50 feet from me. As i slammed my brakes, they looked at me, not with elk eyes though, with the face of a human. It was something out of the book of revalation. It startled me awake. I knew no more than 5 to 10 seconds went by.
If i was having a struggle to fall asleep before, I was now having a battle. With the presence of a mountain creature in the immediate vacinity, and the nightmare that i couldnt explain, it made for the worst night I have ever had. Not one more wink of sleep came over me. This is going to be a fun climb....
Report coming, Matt has not given me the pictures yet. Ill post when i get them.
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