Buying Gear?  Click Here
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  North Table Mountain - 6,575 feet
Lady Washington, Mt  -  13,281 feet
Colorado Mines Peak - 12,497 feet
 Post Date:  02/18/2013
 Date Climbed:   02/18/2013
 Posted By:  zephyr_pelicante
 3 day weekend? 3 peaks   


2/16/2013: North Table Mountain


Lets be entirely honest, I threw this in here so I could say I did 3 peaks in 3 days.


2/17/2013: Mount Lady Washington 13,281'


Start Time: 5:25 AM
MLW Summit: 9:04 AM
Return to car 11:28 AM
Total Time: 6 hours
Distance: 9 Miles
Elevation Gain: 3881'

In a dream I was driving up highway 7 and couldn't find the Longs Peak turnoff. I knew my memory was hazy since I hadn't been up to Longs Peak in several decades. I was, in fact, in my mid 50's and hadn't climbed it since I was in college. Highway 7 then turned into a dirt road, and I turned a corner to see an enormous excavation site, where Longs and Meeker once stood.

I woke up in a cold sweat, remembered that Longs Peak still stood, and that I was still in my 20's. Still, throughout the week I was haunted by an anxious paranoia and felt like I had to go verify this for myself.

I rounded up the culmination of too many impulse "steep and cheap" buys and joined 2 other cars in the parking lot at 5:25 AM.

The next 6 hours were beyond words.

"Sometimes there is so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in."

The Longs area is one of dreams and fairy tales. During Winter it is an entirely different but equally magnificent experience.

The sunrise.

Image
The most beautiful color, heart melting


The red glow of the sunrise on the face of Longs Peak is one of the most soul-fulfilling sights that one can take in. It was very cold and very windy (35mph sustained / 60mph gusts) but I stood at the Chasm junction to watch the sunrise and just stood there in awe. I didn't care about anything but just to look and watch the snow shoot off the peak and form tornadoes. I stood there for a song, then 2, then 3, then an entire symphony.

My original plan was to go up to Chasm Lake, but I looked up at Mt. Lady Washington and knew that was the right plan for me. This bad boy was climbed in about an hour, straight up from the Chasm junction.

A moment of my life I will never forget is climbing that final boulder, and being simultaneously blasted by the wind and the life-defining view of Longs from Mount Lady Washington's top.

Image
Longs Peak

Image
Mummy range

Image
Twin sisters

Image
Mount Meeker


Next was the decent and the return to the car. The first people of day appeared near treeline. They had their sights set on Chasm as I had, and were possibly swayed by my description of MLW's views. Driving home I was ecstatic from the notion that I didn't have to restrict myself to the summer for climbing mountains. This filled my heart with joy.


2/18/2013: Colorado Mines Peak 12,497'


Start Time: 8:35 AM
Summit: 9:59 AM
Return to car 11:05 AM
Total Time: 2.7 hours
Distance: 3.5 Miles

After the previous day's success, I felt the need to keep the momentum going. My friend Craig told me I needed snowshoes, so after some quick research on Google images / Wikipedia page for snowshoes, and a quick trip down to Big 5 to buy a pair I was ready to go.

I originally intended to get Mount Flora to bolster my 13er count, but the conditions got the best of me.

It was snowing and the wind was blowing heavily as I drove up the pass. I got a really bad feeling about my prospects for the day.

Image
Skiing portion


Thanks to some preparation the night before, I managed to throw on my snowshoes without taking off my gloves, and started out following a trail which quickly disappeared after the first switchback.

Image
Knee to waist deep snow


I trudged through some pretty deep snow until I got above treeline, where the wind thankfully had blown all the snow from the road, but not-so-thankfully started blowing a bunch right in my face.

Getting to the summit was by far the most difficult 1000' I have ever climbed. Above treeline the tornadoes of snow familiar to me now were running rampant and tossing me around.

Image
Radio tower at summit

Image
Neat structure at summit

Image
Good picture of my tracks after the wind subsided


The single digit temperatures, quickly freezing water bottles and piercing winds were enough to make me surrender my goal of Mount Flora, but it was another incredible journey of solitude.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life."



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):


  • Comments or Questions
Jay521


Nice!     2013-02-19 08:37:54
The views from MLW ARE stunning, aren't they?

Love the pic of the ”neat structure” at the summit of CMP. Really shows what it can be like up there.



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.