The First 14,000 Foot Peak Is The Easiest?

I’ve been back in the States for eleven days after the culmination of the South American Adventure, and things are starting to calm down and form some kind of gestalt about the whole six months I spent in the Southern Hemisphere. So far, I’ve realized that I have an inordinate amount of clothing. And that I missed bookstores far more than I cared to admit.

Since I just can’t sit still for a day, I climbed a mountain yesterday. A 14,060-foot peak. Alone. I’ve found that sometimes it isn’t worth waiting around for someone else to be free to go with me, because suddenly it becomes three years later and I still haven’t climbed that damn mountain. Yes, this was the case with Mt. Bierstadt. No more waiting for me.

At the summit

Honestly, after climbing mountains with no trail and wandering over barbed wire fences for hours with my friends in Patagonia, this mountain was a synch! I was up and down in four hours, on this route. Clouds came and went. They scared off a few tourists from lower-lying states. A small stream had formed in the path and sounded just like a cheap garden fountain from Mcguckin’s.

The final part of the climb was a boulder field with no clearly marked trail. I scrambled over rocks the size of station wagons to the very top, and was immediately disappointed to see a miniature Shitzu managing the boulders just fine under his own power. A few minutes later I started down, with my hands turned an alarming shade of white by the wind and cold. One smallish boulder moved a tiny bit when I stepped on it, and I fell right on my butt next to this little patch of beauty–

Another first to add to the long list of new experiences in 2011!

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