Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hiking Mount Evans 8.24.14

My friend, Heather, and I have another 14er to add to our growing list. We climbed Mount Evans on Sunday and it was a great hike. Mount Evans is the 14th highest peak in Colorado and it was my fifth 14er. 

We left at 5AM on Sunday morning and arrived at the trailhead at 7AM. After getting our gear on we hit the trail around 7:15AM. I am NOT a fan of wind but it was blowing pretty steadily with some serious gusts when we got there. Ugh. We set out anyway, thankful that we had lots of layers plus coats, hats, and gloves. The temp when we left the trailead was 34 degrees; I'm guessing the windchill was in the teens/20s.

It was windy for most of the hike but it got much worse as we gained elevation. As we were climbing up, we passed many hikers on their way down. We counted twenty and of that group, only THREE had made it to the summit. The other seventeen turned around because of the wind. 
Gotta be honest--all of the climbers that were heading back down freaked me out. I was even more freaked out by the wind that was moving me around. It was crazy-strong wind--probably 35-40mph sustained winds--and we were on an exposed ridgeline and I was scared. My friend was brave and fiercely determined though, and she hoped that once we got past the "wind tunnel" that it would slow down a bit. I'm so glad she didn't give up and that she didn't let me give up either because once we got past the worst part, the wind shifted and it made a huge difference. The point where people were turning around was really close to the summit, but you can't actually see it so you didn't know. I was so I was grateful we kept going. I would have been so disappointed to later realize we were so close and didn't push for it.
 It was a gorgeous climb! We could see Mount Bierstadt, the 14er we did last summer, and also Grays and Torrey's Peaks. We were also rewarded with a summit marker at the top. I guess John is going to have to order another pin for my collection. 

Stuff I want to remember:
It took us 4 hours round trip. We hit the Summit Lake trail at 7:15AM, summited right before 10AM and were back to the car by 11:15. We took the shorter route down (Northeast Face--super steep but much easier) and I was so glad. We left our neighborhood at 5AM and were back home by 2PM.

Exactly one year ago to the day (8.24.13), Heather and I hiked Pikes Peak together. Hmmmm. Wonder what she's doing on 8.24.15? It's a date, friend!