“I've learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the growth occurs while you're climbing it.” -Random quote, unsure who authored it-
"Take Pains with these things, be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all." 1 Timothy 4:15
There were several times on Mount Lady Washington, above 12,000', with winds howling, lungs burning, legs giving out...where I just wanted to stop and turn around. Several times I thought..."Man, this is not worth it. The views are good enough. Who cares if I summit or not. I'm cold. I'm hungry. I'm getting colder...I can't feel my toes...My fingers are numb. Again, who cares about this mountain?!?! This is no 14er...this is not one of the Colorado Centennials. For climbers...I'm sure this 13er is an afterthought...a mere footnote in most mountaineer's resume.
But, like anything else...I just kept telling myself, "Just one more step..., just one more step. Just keep moving." And sure enough, each step was more painful than the last. I told Scott that climbing these mountains hurt. There's not much physical pleasure you get out of them...they drain you, exhaust you, and leave you dehydrated, hungry, and bent over with headaches and sun/windburns.
Yet, I keep coming back...I still desire more. I can't get enough of the pain and misery one endures. In a sense, on these mountains, I am a glutton for punishment. Like Lu said, "It hurts now...but come (work)day, I am going to wish I was right here, right now." And that's the truth.
I like to think that my recreation mirrors my walk in the Lord. Yes, there are setbacks. Rainy days (sad and depressed)...hurting days (pain)...shutdown days (no motivation)...floods, avalanche, and rockfall days (emotional days)...whiteout days (blind, nearsighted and selfish)...gear malfunction days(nothing's working)...and on and on.
I know these days hurt...and I can turn back. But this is not where growth happens. Growth does not happen on beautiful blue-bird days. Yes, I want pretty days more often than not...but I want hard. I want to go to the wild emotional places of our lives. I want to cross the roaring rivers of anger, depression, and hurt at work. I want to scale the mountain of personal doubt. I want hard. I want to know that I can. I want to know, no matter what...with each step I take, that I am a conqueror. I don't want to turn back. I want to push past. I want to know that my faith in Jesus is real. I don't want to simply believe. I want my faith to be tested. I desire for my faith to be tested. And I want to know that my faith continues to stand the test of time...through the hard, ugly, and the most difficult. I want to know most, that when times get harder, I don't turn around...instead, I look up and offer more and more of myself.
Where: Rocky Mountain National Park and Golden, CO
Who: Scott McGrubbercutty, Lu/Aaron for about 2 minutes Lawler, Myself
Attempt to go up Flattop Mountain...or get up as high as we could. Scott and I flew in from DFW the night before, drove into Estes Park Friday night close to midnight and set up camp. Lu is not a Coloradan...just moved to Denver area so he's just fine. Our acclimatization plan was to simply get a decent night's rest and get going early Saturday morning.
Our Trip Profile:
Mileage RT: 6.2 miles
Elevation gain: 2532'
Start: Bear Lake TH: 9480'
Finished: Pt 12,012'
Start time: 8:00 a.m.
Finish: Unkown...forgot to keep note.
Click link to see full video on youtube. Turn it up!
It was a good first day. We Went up...experienced some thrilling winds, snowshoed back down...hiked a mile more to go see Alberta Falls and finished the day at Estes Park Brewery enjoying good brews and watching the Kentucky Derby.
Route: East Ridge, Class 3
TH: East Long's Peak TH 9400'
Elevation gain: 3881'
Mileage: 8 miles RT
TH start time: 5 a.m.
Return to car: 12:00 p.m.
Time: 7 hours
We capped off the great weekend at Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont. Still my favorite Oskar Blues Brew...Deviant Dale's IPA. Just yummy goodness. Good friends (minus Lu), good times, good memories.
Again, thank you Lu for having us...always a blast to see you. Scott...thanks for joining us and getting to experience the mountains. Hope to have you on more trips.