My girlfriend and I needed to get a 14er climbed before we left for home so we settled on Bierstadt because of its easy access. We were climbing on a weekend and I really wanted to get started early. Well my gf likes to sleep in and we did not make the trail head very early. In fact while we were starting up lots of people were getting back to the parking lot. Also we were looking at some pretty dark clouds. :(
Well we get started and try to keep a steady pace. As we were heading up I kept an eye on the weather worried that this could be a bad time to be on the top of a 14er. Kathy and I discussed the weather several times early on and she pretty much dismissed my concerns. More than a few hikers made faces as they saw us hearding up so late with dark rain clouds all around. We then heard a thunderclap and we stopped. I did not say were were turning around but I wanted to make sure that if I decided to turn back she would agree. Well that thunderclap was the start of one of our worst fights ever. She was pretty much determined to summit no matter what and I wanted to have the ability to make the call to turn around if I didn't think it was safe.
I was really mad and turned around only because she was not listening to me at all and she continued up. I couldn't let her head up there alone so I turned around and trailed her up. If she had climbed more peaks and I knew she had more outdoor/mountain skills I might not have trailed her up.
A few more thunderclaps but the only lightning to be see was well south as we headed up in silence.
Somewhere before the summit ridge a truce was called and we decided to summit. We picked our way up and just as we got to the top the clouds broke for a minute or two. It took us about and 1 hour and 50 minuets to get up. We were the only ones up there as we had been passed by most everyone as they went down.
I figured there was very little chance that anyone else would be summitting that day but I was wrong. Two other guys each climbing solo passed us on their way up, one in jeans and tennis shoes. Go figure.
On the way down the truce turned into a thaw and we actually talked and laughed.
"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."