Monday, August 13, 2007

The Beautiful Longs Peak

Longs Peak, August 12, 2007

Well, the summer is winding down and so are my hikes : ( School starts on Thursday and I'm hoping to continue hiking through the fall and winter, but as the Chicago Marathon is quickly approaching, I need to start concentrating on that training. Even though hiking is great cross-training (lol!)...
So two years ago I attempted Longs Peak during Cadre Training, but I only made it to the Keyhole, because I got super dizzy from the altitude and never made it any farther. Yesterday, however, I finally reached the summit of that amazing mountain! The ascent, however, was not easy...

I met Heather and a couple of new friends at the trailhead at 2am, yes, that is 2 o'clock in the morning, and let me tell you, there were at least 25 other cars in the parking lot and quite a bit of activity! I was amazed! Anyway, we packed up the last of our gear and hit the trail at about 2:20am.

Here are Heather and I an hour or so into the hike. You can't tell, but we're above timberline.

So one of the reasons we chose this hike on this particular weekend was because there was a meteor shower and it was fabulous! There was one shooting star that literally streaked across the sky and was so bright, it left an imprint, if you will, across the sky that lingered for a few seconds. It was radiant : )

As the sun began to rise, I saw the silouhette of Longs appear and the keyhole turned a beautiful red.

Around 5:30, as the sun began to rise, we hit the boulder field which was perfect, because crossing that in the dark would have been a little tricky!

We crossed the boulder field to the other side of the mountain and without the sun, it was a little chilly, but it felt nice. This is when the hike turned a little more technical and it becamea climb!

Up, up, up we go!

This peak had some of the most amazing rock formations, had to be careful not to look down though!

Follow close to the wrong step and it could be your last!

More spectacular rocks

On the summit!!

Coming back down the summit was rough, but once we made it back over the keyhole, the sun was shining bright and it was a beautiful day!

Just beyond the boulder field we stopped for a little snack and we captured this picture. That's Longs Peak behind us.

I think Longs will be added to my top three : )


Jennifer said...

Way cool, Mindy! I've loved reading your hiking adventures. SO awesome that you're doing this. Good luck with Chicago training! How's that going so far?

Tara said...

so cool! will there be any mts. you HAVEN'T hiked come sept. when i come visit? i have to call you soon to work out details :)