Climbing Long's Peak (14,255 ft)
Shortly after I met Shari Post back in 2002, she'd talked me into climbing Long's Peak. She'd climbed it once, was injured on it once, and, for reasons that I don't understand, wanted to do it again. Of course, it was mostly her and her husband Brad that got me hooked on 14ers anyway, so it seemed appropriate to climb with them. Lonny, Lisa, and I hiked the Keyhole route (which is the standard approach), while Brad, Shari, Alan, and his son Joe went up the Loft route - a shorter but more challenging route. We met at the summit and descended together. This is, by far, the most challenging 14er that I've done to date!
Before setting off on the trail Trekking towards camp at Jims Grove (Battle Mountain) Lisa on trail Alan and Joe arriving at camp Brad, Shari, and Lonny filtering stream water Lonny and Brian, both looking particularly gay Lisa, Lonny, and Brian setting off for the Keyhole route at 3:55 AM The front range city lights before dawn Sunrise over Mount Lady Washington (in the Boulder Field of Longs) Alpenglow on the Diamond face of Longs and the Boulder Field Lonny and Brian at sunrise The Privies in the Boulder field! Meanwhile: Alan, Joe, Shari, and Brad head up towards the Loft The Keyhole Lisa, and the Keyhole Brian and Lisa picking through the boulder field Lonny climbing towards the Keyhole Lonny, looking down 2,000 feet into Glacier Gorge Hikers heading along the trail towards the Trough Brian and Lisa resting in the Keyhole Looking back on the Keyhole from the trail Loft: Brad, somewhere along the Loft Route Keyhole: Lonny, taking in Glacier Gorge Loft: Alan, resting along the Loft ascent Loft: Alan, Shari, and Joe, ascending towards the Loft Keyhole: Back on the Keyhole route, Lonny and Lisa begin their ascent of the Trough Loft: Joe, Alan, Shari, and Brad atop the Loft Keyhole: Lonny and Brian in the Trough (who knows what Lonny is doing) Loft: Downclimbing towards Clarks Arrow Loft: Downclimbing towards Clarks Arrow Loft: Downclimbing towards Clarks Arrow Loft: Downclimbing from the Loft Keyhole: Lisa and Lonny atop the Trough, just before passing onto the Narrows Loft: Alan with Clark's Arrow! Loft: Brad with Clark's Arrow Loft: The elusive and famed "Clarks Arrow" Keyhole: Lonny along the Narrows (it really does drop about 1700 feet immediately to the left of him!) Loft: Heading towards the Homestretch (the Narrows visible just barely above) Keyhole: Lisa climbing the Homestretch Loft: Another glance back at the Clarks Arrow location The Loft and Mt. Meeker from the summit of Longs The large expanse of the Longs summit The Loft party ascends the Homestretch (note how busy it is!) Lonny points to our camp site at Battle Mountain Everyone atop the summit Lisa and Brian Alan and Joe Starting our descent of the Homestretch (in the rain) Photo-op over, now it's time to descend Father and daughter of "Disaster Family", plus Eric, Brad, and Brian The Narrows behind the Disaster Family Shari, on the Narrows Brian, on the Trough chokestone downclimb (in the rain) Descending the Trough in little visibility Looking down the Trough as the clouds broke just a little Glancing upwards into the cloudy Trough The "nifty v slot" as Roach's book describes it... Brian, going through the V-slot Taking a rest now that we're all through the Keyhole and the worst of the boulder field Time for some Advil! Longs Peak - enveloped in clouds Lonny, Lisa, and Brian returning camp Lonny, with his Buttery Herb Pasta The group at the Battle Mountain trail split Brad, pointing to the Loft The car accident on the way home from Estes Park Tire tracks, showing how close we came to hitting the "Bing Cherry Cider" stand. The two blue cars (foreground and distance) that forced our maneuvers. Brad, pointing to the post he popped his tire on