So Much More than a View
September 4, 2015
Elevation gain from trailhead: 5,100 feet
Roundtrip distance: 14.5 miles
(Click on photos for larger image)
Summiting Long’s Peak was a thrilling whirl of physical and mental obstacles. Low winds and an unbroken, unforgettable bluebird sky were so worth the wait for our first Long’s summit!
For three hours up until sunrise, we moved under a star spangled sky and were guided over a wide, well-maintained trail through the forest, which eventually gave way to an excitingly broad boulder field. The city of Boulder was radiant from all those miles away, while the mountains ahead were giant shadows with no discernable edges; allure, intimidation, and inspiration.
Bobbing slowly up and down over a steep deposit of boulders, out of breath with the rising sun to my back, I finally popped my head up to look through “The Keyhole”… and an immediate slap of wind to the face and the crisp array that was Thatchtop, Mc Henry’s Peak, and the rest of Glacier Gorge left my mouth gaping open. This moment did not provide a sight to look toward; it was a wholly enveloping place in time, and I was utterly present without a single stray thought… a dizzying rush to my head. What a brilliant introduction to the day!
“The Homestretch” was an ultra-fun jungle gym! With rock just vertical enough to force upward stretched arms and a climbing instinct, I understood what it means to be “on top of the world.” It was the most legitimate scrambling I have ever done, and it left me wanting more, and more… and more.