Lost Creek Wilderness {November 2011}

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Eleven

I'm thinking that my fourteener approach may be slightly misguided. I'm actually surprised it took me this long to realize, especially after Capitol last August.

Already, I have eleven peaks on my list for this year.

Longs Peak
Pikes Peak

It's certainly not the most challenging combination I could have come up with. But, taking variables such as weather, terrain, and season into account, you could convincingly argue that no fourteener is a safe bet. I considered adding Capitol to my lineup, but I can't bring myself to face that mountain again ... not yet. My palms get sweaty just thinking about it. Last week, I read about Christy Mahon from Aspen, who became the first woman - and the seventh person - to hike up and ski down all 54 of Colorado's fourteeners. Her final peak? Capitol. Yikes! Below is a photo of Capitol's summit ridge {class 4} from my trip in late August of 2010.

I've always thought of these peaks as conquests, like a temporary assertion of my dominance over nature. Yea right! This year, the eleven cataloged above will be regarded as opportunities rather than goals to be achieved or items to be checked off a list (of course, they will still be checked off a list ....) Fortunately, I've only had to turn back from a summit attempt twice, on Elbert and Capitol. While this may feel like failure, the reality is that nature wins - always - and the mountain will still be there, daring you to return. Another opportunity awaits on every occasion.


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