Peak(s):  Torreys Peak  -  14,267 feet
Date Posted:  09/23/2006
Date Climbed:   07/17/2001
Author:  mark chase

 First Anniversary Climb  

Exactly 1 year ago to the day I fell 300 ft. while climbing in Dead Dog Couloir and became Colorado's second-highest altitude rescue. The fall almost killed me. During my recovery I set a goal to go back and attempt the climb again. This time we took the safer route part way up Grays Peak, over the saddle and up Torreys Peak. We stayed out of Dead Dog Couloir where I fell while dong a technical climb in 2000. Just after dawn I was standing at the base of the mountain looking my impossible goal in the face. It was a painful climb. I still had deep tissue damage bruises all down my right side and my left ankle was pretty stiff. Just below summit my son was directly above me. He down climbed to me. I had tears in my eyes from the pain. He knew I was having problems. He put his arm around my shoulder and said, "come on, dad, you can do it". At about 12:30PM, with 12 days to spare, I stepped onto the tiny summit of the mountain where I almost died the year before. My impossible goal was a done deal! My son, Sean, and I hugged, cried like real men do at times like that and then we revelled in the victory. It was a truly fantastic day! I have a saying for you: "when you begin to dream about the possibility of the impossible you empower a new beginnning." That saying came to me while I was coming back down from summit. Climb safe. Dream BIG and I'll see you on my way to my ultimate goal of climbing all of Colorado 14ers. Read more about my rescue & survival in a 2001 issue of Backpacker Magazine.

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