MT. LINDSEY – 14,042'

I started my day at 330a and began my 22-mile trek on just 2 hours of sleep. As you can imagine, it was tough to drag myself out of bed. But as the season is drawing to a close, I reminded myself that I didn’t make the 6-hour drive for nothing. It was another freezing morning, which was absolutely unforgiving above treeline. I may have pushed it too far these last couple climbs. I’m concerned that I’ve suffered from a non-freezing cold injury in my fingers. I’ve noticed recently that they become completely numb and mostly rigid with little provocation. Oops, I guess I’m not invincible. Who knew?

There was an epic landslide here about a month ago, which has made this 8.5-mile climb a 22-mile climb. The road walk is mellow, and absolutely gorgeous, so I wasn’t complaining. The landslide is truly impressive and totally worth the extra effort. The power of nature is humbling, and I feel grateful to have borne witness.

The climb itself was cold, and windy enough to knock me right off my feet. I skipped the class III ridge in favor of the standard route on the way up. Though the gully was shielded from the wind, it held its own challenges. It was steep and loose, quite unpleasant, all told. To be honest, it sucked. I opted for the wind and exposure of the ridge on the way down. And though it was sketchy, I’m glad I did it. I chose a class IV line on the down climb and dropped in. It was totally scary, totally fun.

I wished so desperately that Megan could’ve been there to share that experience. It was gorgeous up there.

Once I finally landed back on terra firma, I cruised along the trail and then the road. It was a long, hot, lovely road walk back to the car. The aspens are changing, so I couldn’t complain. I felt grateful, actually. The yellows and oranges were stunning. I arrived back at the car 11 hours after I’d left it. Quality work, considering the route. I almost skipped this one, but I’m really glad I didn’t. Another 14er conquered; another notch in the ol’ belt.

San Luis tomorrow, possibly my last of the season. Planning to get a bit of a later start, something more like 7a. I’m car camping with my dear friend tonight, and I’m stoked to share the climb with her.  Should be pretty straightforward. And cold. That’s just the name of the game for fall climbs in the high country.