Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mountain Climbin'

Got to the trailhead exactly at 7 a.m., just like I had thought. Took some rad photos on the climb up. It was mostly sloping at that point, which lots of rocks, but pretty fun. Got pretty sweaty. Finally ended up on a side trail heading up into Shadow Canyon. It was great. I paused every now and then to drink and chill out. Finally made it into the Canyon. I wonder what the thing looks like from above with no trees, because to me it was a giant rock field. Weird. So I scrambled up that pile forever. Passed the strange man in the orange glasses who said, "You know where this trail goes?" I said NO, and he said, "Neither do I. It's got to have an end."

I disagree with him metaphysically, but I hope his geography is correct.

So I climbed and climbed and found myself stopping more often. I had already swapped out the bandana for my redband, and I wore the bandana around my neck. Climb climb climb. It was nuts. I finally made it to the saddle between Bear and South Boulder. I still chose SB, so I climbed more. Found a screw pine. Kept going.

Finally reached the scree field at the summit. I climbed up and up and up and finally poked my head out over a rock and

That's about what I saw, but with a whole lot of other stuff. Like there had been lots of "noise" and now there was just "silence with substance," or barring that, just silence. It was pretty damn quiet. I could see forever. To the west, the basin and the Rockies proper. To the east, the plains. South Boulder Peak is 8500 some odd feet, higher than Bear and Green, so the view was unobstructed. I stood there for some time. And stood some more. It was really outstanding and breathtaking and I now know that I will certainly mountain again once I get some more glucosamine chondroitin in me. So I sat down on a cold rock away from the little rodents and read some Kahlil Gibran. I spent 50 minutes on the summit, calling Mom and Dad to say HELLO and taking bunches of pictures, then I headed back down, running down most of the mountain.

This was a mistake.

I met a snake along the way, a tiny little baby guy, too. Passed lots of other climbers. Kept running. Ran and ran and ran all the way to the trailhead. Got to the car and headed out.

Two hours exactly up, 50 minutes on the summit, then 80 minutes down. It was a damn fast climb for my first time. And I definitely should have taken it slowerly. Read the post before this and you will understand.