Oops!…I Did It Again

“You see my problem is this

I’m dreaming away”

Britney Spears

Another day, another 14er! The past week has been a pretty amazing one for hiking. Two epic backpacking trips in New Mexico, two 14ers, two state highpoints.

Today’s summit, Mt. Massive is my favorite of the 14ers I’ve completed so far. We set our alarms for 4:00 this morning and were on the trail by 4:40, well before sunrise. We set out with headlamps on and could see the glow of other hikers ahead and behind us as well. An early start is the best way to reach the summit before the inevitable afternoon storms roll in. Over the first two and a half miles we watched the sky change from stars to the faint glow of sunrise and finally daylight.

The trail moved through a series of distinct phases: pine forest, marshy valley, tundra, and finally rock. The first three phases were all beautiful in their own way. There were also stellar views over Leadville, better than from from Mt Elbert trail. The rock phase was by far the most fun though. There was nearly a half mile of craggy rock that was got to pick our way up for the last 400 feet of gain.

Of course, being at the summit was also amazing. While we were there some of the other hiker were talking about how they didn’t need to take many pictures because they can never do it justice and they are absolutely right. The panorama of lower mountain tops filling your vision just can’t be duplicated. The accomplishment certainly factors in as well. After the return trip we started the drive to Great Basin, site of our next adventure. Tonight we’re resting in central Utah, hopefully I get as good a night’s sleep as I did in the tent last night.

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