Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gray October

Dad and I decided to drive up to Boulder to try on new boots at Neptune Mountaineering. So that's exactly what we did. After spending a few hours trying on boots, we called it a day once our fingers were bleeding from pulling tight the laces of many different boots. We ate dinner at Half Fast Subs (the best Philly cheesesteak in the world, including in Philly). We drove into the mountains on I-70 and spent the night at a hotel in Georgetown just a few miles from the road to Grays peak.

We woke early the next morning and headed up the snow covered road. Once we got to the trailhead, the wind was blowing quite hard and the temperature was still lacking the warmth of the sun. Nevertheless, we packed our gear and started walking. Only a few minutes later we took a break to whip out the crampons.

The wind really started blowing, and the temperature stayed constantly freezing. Visibility was also quite low. I even had to place my water bottle in my jacket to keep it from freezing in my pack. We battled the cold wind and fought on through some pretty deep snow drifts. We climbed and climbed. After many hours of climbing we realized that we wouldn't have enough time to reach the summit, descend to the car, and make the long 9hr drive home before 12'oclock. Even though we were at about 13,800ft the deep snow and gale force (probably 70mph gusts) were making progress quite slow. So we called it a good trip and turned around.

On the way down we met many groups of climbers and several of them turned around shortly after we did. Though we were not able to make it to the summit we had a great time fighting the wind and exploring a beautiful piece of God's earth which was made even more beautiful by the presence of snow.

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