Kimberly, my wife; Kessler, my 15 month old son; and my self started out for a climb of James Peak on August 16th. We started at Riflesight Notch in mid-morning and took the leisurely walk to Rodgers Pass where we ate lunch. Kessler enjoyed playing in a nearby snowbank. It was rather windy and clouds were gathering, so we decided to let Kim and Kessler stay at the pass, while I took a run for the summit.
Storm clouds gathered very quickly and I ran as fast as I could up the mountain. Thunder was heard way out in the distance, but as long as I could get to the summit before it got there, I knew I would be OK. At about 12,400 it began to hail hard with heavy rain mixed in. I knew Kimberly would return with Kessler, and since there wasn't any thunder nearby, I could still make a run for it. By the time I reached the summit snow and snow pellets were falling and thunder sounded closer (but still aways away), so I touched the summit and ran down without pausing for even a second to enjoy the view. Down to safety! The slopes were very slippery with slush and the skies really opened up with loud thunder and snow. Hard hail was falling too. I picked up my pack at Rodgers Pass and proceded to hike as fast as I could through the hard rain (the snow and hail had turned to rain). I caught up to Kimberly and Kessler to find that Kessler was sleeping snug in his backpack. He had just slept in his backpack through most of the storm.
An early start is always best in the high mountains, but it takes a while to prepare for a hike with a baby (not to mentioin getting the baby dressed and fed), and it's often hard to wake the baby out of bed. Next climb we woke him up anyway.
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