Monday, June 12, 2006

Survival Is Mandatory; Summitting Is Optional

San Luis Peak from about 12,500 ft., June 9, 2006

You'll perhaps note that the picture above is not taken from the top of San Luis Peak in Colorado, but from well below its 14,000 and small change ft. summit. Okay, we didn't make it to the top....but I think an unsuccessful day hiking in the Colorado San Juans beats the workday most of us are having this fine Monday.

We made it to 13,000 (or so...) slowly making it to the summit of a puny little unnamed point along an extended ridge that eventually turns into one of San Luis' shoulders. Here's a view from that point:

You might notice the cloudiness, already building up a bit at only 10:30 in the morning. You don't see the wind, but it was blowing 30+, enough for a decent case of windburn and a bit of discomfort. Just enough pain and suffering to make one feel they were doing something a wee bit challenging. And it was those clouds that made us decide to turn back to camp, and not "do" San Luis. That, and us being kinda out-of-shape middle aged guys.

Despite our "failure", I'm already planning the next trip. Yes, I know that me mentioning this stuff is irritating to those who do not still have two months of vacation this summer. Yes, I can't help myself. No, I'm not really sorry.

P.S.: By the way, the "headline" for this post is a paraphrase of a quote by famed mountaineer Ed Viesturs: "Getting to the top is optional, but getting down is mandatory." Hey, if Ed Viesturs can say it, I don't feel nearly so wimpy.

1 comment:

mike said...

Sure glad we tried, eh? It was a blast (of wind and so much more). Let me know when you want to try it - or something like it - again. PS Send me some interesting pics when you get the chance...