The Night Before
We decided to leave denver about 6pm on Friday night.
The drive down was pretty uneventful until we were just a few miles past Kenosha pass when we noticed some ominous clouds lingering in the area of Fairplay and Sherman. We arived at the trailhead sometime near pm with the sun just over the horizon, dusk was settling in.
It was lightly snowing as we grabbed our packs, threw on the gaitors and snowshoes then began the trail.
We hiked in the dark to roughly 11800', the weather broke and the sky's cleared we knew it was going to be a cold night!
After a good warm dinner and some BS'ing between my friends Mike P (LilMantis) and Nick (Not on SP *Loser!*) we settled into our Bivy's with the stars out in full force.
Well, it's -15 outside! My sleeping bag I brought was grossly lacking enough feathers to keep me warm through the night before so I basically froze all night.
2 teams pass us by as we cooked up our breakfast, broke camp and enjoyed the beauty of the area. We started the trail around 9:30am with my friend Nick's feet giving him problems from the get go, we was very cold and did not have proper footwear for a "winter ascent" but he wanted to give it his all as he did.
Around 12,500' while nearing a small ridge Nick's feet just gave out on him and he was unable to continue even after we sat with him and gave him foot warmers to stuff into his boots. The sun was full bore and bright as hell any direction you looked, the snow was holding well (what snow there was being a slim snow season for Colorado. Mike and I continued up the trail and I was gaining ground on the 2 teams that had passed us 2 hours prior, I don't hike to "race" people but when I realized how long of a head start they had on me I started upping my pace to catch them.
At 13,000' I passed the first set of 2 people, they were a very nice older couple that were very humble and kind I spoke to them for a few minutes and continued on my way.
At the ridge at about 13,200' I could see the first team that had blown by us early in the morning it was 2 young ladies and a guy and they were chugging along. On the ridge it was wind blown and vacated of snow so I dropped my snowshoes and just slogged up the remained of the climb with my brand new and kick ass if I may say it Tiva Nepal EVO GTX boots.
I hit the summit about 11:45am to views that were just great, I had beat 2 of the 3 in they're team to be the second person on the summit that day. I chuckled!
After lunch and my buddy using the rest of my fuel for my stove (you still owe me dude!) we started our way back down to find Nick and get back to the truck. The sun and turned just about everything to mush by now and it was a post hole frenzy to the road. It took us just short of 2 hours and a bit of searching to find Nick (huddled up in his Bivy Sack off the trail)we all had a great day even nick to just explored the areas near the mine.
We were back in Denver about 6pm after a few brews and some laughs but we were glad to get the "winter 14'r" out of the way for 09.
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