| Mt Sunflower - Mountaineers Route ;)
Mt Sunflower - Highest point in Kansas
Sherpa: Darrin (kansas)
Mileage: 0.4 (mostly wandering)
Elevation Gain: 5' (my GPS said 51')
Day 1: Boulder - Where are you from? Where are you going?
With 21 ranked peaks over 10K this year, and the past month including the Crestones, Capitol, Maroon Bells and Pyramid (and even Montezuma's Tower), my body was screaming for a break. In fact, it demanded it. I caught my second cold/flu of the summer, no high summits for me this weekend
So when my Aussie friend invited me to one of his crazy costume parties to celebrate his departure to Vancouver to get his PhD in something that will surely save the planet (or at least that is the plan...), I knew I had to go and relax a bit. The party was themed such that we had to dress like where we were from, and where we were going. Being a German-New Yorker, that part was easy. Yeah, those are authentic red lederhosen I'm wearin', with an iPhone in the waste-band (I live in Boulder ) Where I am going? I chose to be literal, I'm going climbing. At least, that's what I'm always doing, just about every weekend.
Lots of Aussies, Canadians, Swiss, Mexicans, Hawaiians, Hungarians, Indians, French and even New Yorkers (the other NYker has devil's horns on! )...
Day 2: Kansas? - Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Colorado any more!
I went to bed in Boulder after a crazy party, and the next thing I know, I'm no longer in Colorado, dreaming about 14ers. I wake up in Kansas, lost, no high mountains to orient me. The Wizard of 14ers appears in the sky and tells me that in order to get home, I have to go on a quest to find the summit of Mt Sunflower. Everywhere I look, flat rolling hills, and an omnipresent cloud of cow poo. Every direction looks the same, and smells worse. West no longer has a mountainous skyline.
I wander around in circles, like most lost people do.
Me lost in the flatlands, looking at my GPS in dismay:
Not knowing how to get home, let alone find the summit of anything, I get prepared to push the big scary help button on my SPOT device. I don't have ruby slippers, only red lederhosen. I don't think they work the same.
POOF!!!!! Just at that moment, a magic sherpa shows up to save the day! Seeing my dismay at being so lost, we rope up for safety.
Good thing for my appropriate party costume, the wicked wind of the east shows up to make things difficult. We have ice axes to hold on before being blown away. Don't want to end up farther away from home!
Nearing the summit, the wind starts letting up enough, that we can get back up on our feet.
Hurray! We made the summit, despite cows, wind and no visual clues to the terrain!
My sherpa decides that he needs to be higher than the highest point. The highest Kansan on this day..
Wow, I didn't know that sherpa's/"native guides" are common in this area! And that they come to your rescue too!
Kansas climbing addendum:
Despite being scientifically proven that Kansas is flatter than a pancake, we found a few places to scramble and climb. Monument Rocks is lots of fun! Though care should be taken to not wear dark clothing, unless you like chalky hand prints on your arse
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):