Monday, July 2, 2007

Moonlight Hike Up Mt. Belford

So, those of you that know me, know I love 14ers.com and about a month ago, one of the members wanted to do a midnight hike the evening of June 30 because it was going to be a full moon, and having wanted to do one of these since last summer, I jumped on board immediately. After asking around for someone from town that wanted to go with me, I had pretty much settled on driving up by myself and making some new friends. However, around 5pm, Leah Crystal and Derek called me and apparently, Derek had convinced the girls to come. Woohoo! They had four hours to get ready, and we were off!

We ended up getting to the trailhead a little after the big group, so we started up around 12:40am, July 1st.

Here I am to the right, waiting for Leah, Crystal and Derek...check out my sexy headlamp! Haha!

Temps must have been in the upper 50's, but as you can see below, I've already shed my long sleeve shirt. It was starting out to be a nice night. Once we got above treeline, we turned off our headlamps and were able to hike just from the light of the moon. It was gorgeous to see the surrounding mountains and the shadows the moon cast on them. I'd never seen anything so magnificent. I wish I could have taken pictures! Mt. Belford, the peak we were after, was only a dark and ominous silhouette, but it wouldn't be long until we'd reach the top. Not until we passed over two or three false summits, however. Oh, how I hate those false summits-especially when you're climbing at 4 o'clock in the morning and all you really want is to be home in bed! The last hour or so of our hike, and probably the most dangerous, I was fighting to keep my eyes open! One wrong step, and I could have slipped down the steep and jagged incline we were climbing up-yikes! Must stay awake!!

At 4:30am, we finally made it to the summit of Mt. Belford, and it was great! The crest in on the left, proof we'd made it to the summit! Unfortunately, we still had at least a half hour until the sun would rise, so we found a cozy spot and huddled together to try to stay warm! It was easily below freezing at the top and we didn't bring quite enough layers, so we did what we could to stay warm. Luckily, however, there was no breeze, so it could have been worse! To the right, is me, Leah and Crystal, and below, Derek joined the picture : )


The first half hour, we snacked a little bit, but mostly laughed because we were all snuggling together, and shivering at the same time. Not to mention, we had been up all night hiking and were starting to get a little loopy! Everything was funny and every time Leah would laugh, she sounded like an old man...oh, good times!
After a lot of laughing, the sky was just barely beginning to lighten and we got up, to get some pictures. And then...the first light peaking over the mountains. We were still freezing, losing feeling in our hands and toes, but we didn't care.





This made the whole night worth it!!






Admiring the sunrise.






Here is Crystal, Leah and me, back at the trailhead. You can't see it, but there's a beautiful river under the bridge we're standing on! Anyway, we'd made it!! It was 8:45am and we were ready for bed! Such an amazing experience and I can't wait to do it again!

1 comment:

Tara said...

Wow. How cool. You must have felt kind of like I feel after a night on call... loopy :). I really want to come do some fourteener-climbing with you! Is weather in late September crappy? I have vacation then. Want a visitor? :)