MISSOURI MTN. – 14,074'

It’s tougher than it looks. As I passed the split during my Belford-Oxford trek, I thought to myself “I wish I had more time, because I would totally tackle this guy.” Big words for a lil’ guy. That’s a serious hike, as they all are. And I must’ve been delirious, because I drastically underestimated the ridgline towering above me.

Jess and I decided that since we worked late Wednesday sherpa-ing up tools for next week, we could spend a few hours scouting the Missouri switchbacks this morning. It was supposed to be a short day anyways. We agreed that being so close to the summit meant we had to tag it. It was her first fourteener, and only my fourth. I’m so glad we could do it together. Just awesome.

There is definitely some work that could be done higher on the switchbacks. The last few hundred yards to the summit are sketchy, maybe not by 14er standards, but certainly by Ethan standards. Getting up was the easy part; getting down was mentally exhausting. It’s narrow, steep, windy, and without great foot and hand holds. It felt like the wind might’ve peeled me off the mountain at any moment. Still- I’m not discouraged. Quite the opposite; I’m invigorated.