Torrey's Peak Via Kelso's ridge

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El Torrito
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Torrey's Peak Via Kelso's ridge

Postby El Torrito » Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:08 pm

Does it take a man to admit failure? If it does then I am- If not then... I guess I'm open for target practice :-).

I attempted Torrey via Kelso's ridge on Friday June 30th and got my ass kicked. It was my first class 3 and I did it solo and on only a few hours of sleep (I drove up from Denver after a class that got out at 10:30pm) and slept in my van before hitting the trail at 5:30am. I made it as far as what I think was the knife edge, but didn't have the strength to climb down to it (I approximated 200ft from the top?). I ended up suffering from high altitiude sickness- my lips puffed up, my hands were swollen and I had a splitting headache- and a few hours after I made it home I was dry heaving. I don't think I paced myself very well ( I tend to pace too fast when I am solo), so I used up a lot of energy on the initial climb.

I think I made the right decision in turning back when I did- I didn't make the headlines- which in this case was probably a good thing. I did however vow to not hike another 14er until I make peak on Torrey's and Grey's.

Just not my day I guess-
I cannot see my soul but know 'tis there
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Postby Marty369 » Sun Jul 02, 2006 10:02 pm

You had the common sense to quit before you got yourself in trouble. Good job! Live to fight another day, I bet it will still be there :D
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Postby zacob » Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:03 am

sounds like you learned something, It has long been my experience that you learn more from the defeats than the victories. So don't think your trip so much a failure as a foundation building trip for climbs in the future. as stated many times on this forum and already on this thread. The mountain will be there, and if it's not climbing is the least of our worries
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Postby drhatz » Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:42 am

El Torrito,

Your decision to turn around is Highly Admirable.
I am sure we all have had to bow the the Mountain God's more than once.

Just go on with your climbing, and return to the Ridge when YOU are ready.
I noticed that you want to do Bierstadt/Evans. The Sawtooth is a short easy ridge, and may help you regain your confidence. Put Kelso on your "Grudge List" and prepare for the re-match. You will do fine. You know your limits.

"Never argue with an idiot; they'll drag you down to their
level and beat you with experience."
- anonymous
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Postby gdthomas » Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:09 am

I'm no doctor but it sounds like you may have been the victim of more than altittude sickness. Headaches are one of several symptoms of altitude sickness but I don't recall swollen lips being one; and my hands swell up every time I hike a 14er - the result of a prolonged, increased heart rate and decreased air pressure. The dry heaving (vomiting) urge normally subsides when you descend to lower elevations. Perhaps you had a "bug" of some kind.
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Postby paully » Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:16 am

Bummer that you didn't make it, but way to keep the ego in check and do the right thing. It sounds like you were at the knife edge. That had to be a tough call because while turning back may always seem like the easy way out, in this case you're faced with down-climbing the entire ridge. Had you made it to the top you would have been able to descend the standard route. But only you know what decision feels like the right decision, and it sounds like you made the right one because you're back down and able to talk about the experience.

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