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OT Mountain Time 1 image OT

YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
edited August 2017 in Off Topic
Ernest Hemingway once stated that "Auto Racing, Bull Fighting and Mountain Climbing are the only true sports, everything else is just games."

That statement was made years ago, when the race cars were nothing but horsepower and wheels, without the safety features built in them today.

He said it after covering a bullfight as a journalist over seas, watching a very famous and respected matador, steeped in tradition and culture of ancient Spain, die in the process of his craft.

He said it, when all the peaks on the planet had yet to be conquered, and people lost their lives battling with mountains, trying to establish the route up.

These were all sports where doing just one thing wrong, or just one bit of bad luck, meant death, not losing.

I believe, of the three he mentioned, mountain climbing today, with all things considered, remains the only real, and true sport available, within the context of his original quote.

I am not saying our successful climb of a peak makes us winners in sports, it just means we live to try another. I thought this peak to be the fitting end, prior to this climb, for my constant quest for the next peak, due to my advancing age and the continued deterioration of my leg. 

I was wrong. As long as the ratio of successful summit is 1:1 with a successful descent I will do just one more.

There is no support teams in mountain climbing. Nobody is going to change your tire, or sharpen your sword. There are no crowds to cheer you on. It is you, and the mountain. If you do everything right, and leave nothing to chance, you survive, you never win.

While in Colorado, chasing a peak, (Grays Peak, Top 20 in the USA, highest in the Front Range of the Rockies, highest point on the Continental Divide, the highest mountain you can see heading west from the Great Plains) others tried to summit the 77 peaks Colorado has to offer, 12,000 ft ASL and higher.

In the week we were there, 3 people lost their lives in this sport. One person, a college student from Pennsylvania, lost his battle with the mountain due to altitude sickness. Thin air, causes your lungs to fill with fluid. You die.

The other two, very skilled climbers, fell over 300 feet from a ledge that succumbed to their weight, casting them down on the boulders below.

There was no chance for rescue. There is only recovery. Recovery conducted everyday, with the most care, dignity and professionalism always under duress in extreme conditions, by the SAR teams. 

When you see the helicopter flying out with its sad cargo dangling 50 feet beneath, on a cable, you know. Every head bows for the deceased, and selfishly sending a quiet "thank you" because it was not us, this time, to be going home in a bag and a basket.

My thoughts and sincere condolences go out to their families, friends and loved ones.

Anyone that thinks mountain climbing is just hiking up hill, needs to spend some time just walking around, in Leadville, Colorado, without carrying a 20-30 pound pack, on relatively level ground, just to understand the challenge of breathing in high altitude. For those native to the area, acclimated, not a big deal. But to the rest of us, it is. My Beautiful Wife and I are still recovering.

Hemingway also stated "quit spending your time chasing the wrong one. The right one never runs from you." For me it is my Beautiful Wife, for us it is the mountains.

And of course our BGE family. We love you all.

The above image is Long's Peak, the highest peak in the RMNP. Its summit was beneath our summit, we achieved, in altitude. This shot was taken to at 7800 ft ASL, from about 12 miles away. 
"Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

XL and MM
Louisville, Kentucky
«134

Comments

  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 4,712
    edited August 2017
    That was a nice read Ron. Glad you are home safe, hope see you and Suzy soon.
                                                                
    _________________________________________________
    Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story!
    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014, 36" Blackstone, Anova Sous Vide
    Green Man Group 
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    JRWhitee said:
    That was a nice read Ron. Glad you are home safe, hope see you and Suzy soon.
    Thank you. I really was prepared to accept not being able to complete it this time, due to the condition of my leg. Fortunately, we made it.

    We are still recovering from altitude sickness, sun and wind exposure. My face is fried, even with SPF 50, at 43F.

    There was a group from the Army, training on the mountain, we were climbing. A few of them never made it.

    It took us 6.5 hours to summit, going 4.25 miles, climbing up loose rock, snow, ice and scree 3500 feet to reach 14270 ft summit. It only took 3.5 hours to descend. 

    We left our cabin at 0245 for the 2 hour drive to the trail head 80 miles SW of where we stayed. Winding roads around the mountains did not allow for fast driving. Once there it was some stretching, gear inspection, eating, then hitting the trail to the top.

    The sun did not come up for an hour or so, we were using headlamps, initially, until it got light enough for us to see.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • epcotisbestepcotisbest Posts: 2,018
    edited August 2017
    Nice write up. Thanks for sharing. I can't imagine making that climb. This is about as close as we would get, but we really enjoyed the view. Of course there don't seem to be any bad views at RMNP. I admire you folks who actually see it from the top, instead of like us folks who see it from a distance and only wish we had that certain something to actually make it to the top.


  • epcotisbestepcotisbest Posts: 2,018
    edited August 2017
    Did spend a lot of time watching these guys one day. Was fascinated at their majesty. Oddly enough, this was at a place called Sheep Lakes. Things like this don't wander by the house, but sometimes a squirrel will run across the deck. Hope you have more photos headed our way.



  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,874
    You should be a writer Ron. You paint a beautiful picture that accompanies your photos. Congrats on the prize. You and Suzy deserve the reward. Be safe on your return.
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.”
  • theyolksonyoutheyolksonyou Posts: 16,739
    Ron, you are truly one of my favorite people. Great post. 
    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. My wings either. 
  • JohnInCarolinaJohnInCarolina Posts: 12,354
    Awesome post Ron.  You truly do represent some of the best things about this forum.  I'm happy to know you.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." - NdGT

    "The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand." - DT


  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 2,753
    I believe Hemingway would agree with your sentiments and I'm not sure he would have anything more to add. Well said and glad you had a successful climb- recovery quickly. 
    Greensboro, NC
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 27,873
    Well said Ron.  You da man!
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    edited August 2017
    Did spend a lot of time watching these guys one day. Was fascinated at their majesty. Oddly enough, this was at a place called Sheep Lakes. Things like this don't wander by the house, but sometimes a squirrel will run across the deck. Hope you have more photos headed our way.



    Beautiful images. A very magical place for sure. We will be moving further West in our trails and peak selection going forward. This area is a must see in the fall, the leaves are just now beginning to turn.
    Peace.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 17,013
    Great trip and pics Ron!  Oh, and Hemingway is my favorite.  Good quote.  Look forward to seeing you and Suzie soon in  clean well lighted place.
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    edited August 2017
    You should be a writer Ron. You paint a beautiful picture that accompanies your photos. Congrats on the prize. You and Suzy deserve the reward. Be safe on your return.
    Very kind words, my friend. Got back late last night, and I am feeling my age. Thank you. To the regular climbers in Colorado, the climb we did, was no biggie, if you are, fit, healthy, and acclimated. They typically can do the up and back in around 6 hours. Old, fat, beat up from the feet up folks like me take longer. It was worth it.
    Peace
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    Ron, you are truly one of my favorite people. Great post. 
    That was a very kind thing to say. I hope I never let you down, brother. Thank you, it means a lot.
    Peace.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    edited August 2017
    Awesome post Ron.  You truly do represent some of the best things about this forum.  I'm happy to know you.
    I think, we are all contributors of the great experiences, thoughts, ideas in this forum. It takes a lot of courage to share what you believe, and how you feel. I have a lot of respect for that. You bring this to the forefront. I am glad to be part of this forum. 
    Thank you for the kind words.
    Peace
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    Wolfpack said:
    I believe Hemingway would agree with your sentiments and I'm not sure he would have anything more to add. Well said and glad you had a successful climb- recovery quickly. 
    Thank you for the well wishes. It is amazing how fast you burn at elevation, even in cold temperatures. I was an idiot, I knew I should have applied more sunscreen and did not. Nobody to blame but me. I also wanted to thank you for the kind words, from a very kind person of whom I respect so much in the forum.
    Peace
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    Well said Ron.  You da man!
    I will do until one comes along. That would be you. Thank you, it means very much to me.
    Peace
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • epcotisbestepcotisbest Posts: 2,018
    You know, sometimes I get frustrated with the weird, yes sometimes stupid, juvenile or just plain offensive posts on here, then along comes a thread like this. Inspirational, uplifting and off topic in the best possible way. I am grateful to have read this. Thank you for sharing.
  • We lice at 3900' ASL.  Heading to Breckinridge the end of October. Leadville is on my list. Also thinking about doing Quandry Peak.

    Ernie McClain

    Scottsbluff, Nebraska

    (in the extreme western panhandle of NE)

  • We live not we lice.

    Ernie McClain

    Scottsbluff, Nebraska

    (in the extreme western panhandle of NE)

  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 17,013
    You know, sometimes I get frustrated with the weird, yes sometimes stupid, juvenile or just plain offensive posts on here, then along comes a thread like this. Inspirational, uplifting and off topic in the best possible way. I am grateful to have read this. Thank you for sharing.
    Does not compare to the weird, stupid or juvenile threads, but ya gotta take the good with the bad I suppose.
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • epcotisbestepcotisbest Posts: 2,018
    bgebrent said:
    You know, sometimes I get frustrated with the weird, yes sometimes stupid, juvenile or just plain offensive posts on here, then along comes a thread like this. Inspirational, uplifting and off topic in the best possible way. I am grateful to have read this. Thank you for sharing.
    Does not compare to the weird, stupid or juvenile threads, but ya gotta take the good with the bad I suppose.
    Yes, you are right. Sometimes I click on a thread I know is gonna agitate me, then read more of it than I wanted to. Morbid curiosity I guess, and completely my own fault for even clicking.
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    bgebrent said:
    Great trip and pics Ron!  Oh, and Hemingway is my favorite.  Good quote.  Look forward to seeing you and Suzie soon in  clean well lighted place.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    We lice at 3900' ASL.  Heading to Breckinridge the end of October. Leadville is on my list. Also thinking about doing Quandry Peak.
    Do you plan on snow hiking/climbing?
    October is likely snow/ice above 8000 ft. Breckenridge is one of my favorite places to hang during snow season.
    Quandary may look simple, and may well indeed be, but if you have a bad knee, ankle, foot, hip, etc., it will be downright brutal to endure.
    There are no easy 14ers. Getting your body acclimated is the first thing you have to worry about. Altitude sickness, HAPE and occasionally HACE are nothing to mess with, and the only thing that can help, is lower altitude. Mountains like Quandary are some of the worst for these, given the relatively long slow descents, when you need to get down in a hurry. Many folks make mistakes trying to descend rapidly and make a bad decision.
    Forgive me if you have done 14ers before, I am no expert, but, I kind of know what to look out for.
    If you want to talk about it, let me know. I would like to help if you think I can.
    Leadville is ski bum row. Fun and great places to visit. Great starting point for many of the peaks in the Sawatch Range, of which, Mount Huron is my favorite. Very beautiful views almost from every elevation.
    Let me know if I can help in any way.
    Have fun.
    Peace.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    You know, sometimes I get frustrated with the weird, yes sometimes stupid, juvenile or just plain offensive posts on here, then along comes a thread like this. Inspirational, uplifting and off topic in the best possible way. I am grateful to have read this. Thank you for sharing.
    Really loved your images. Long's Peak is the most climbed 14er in North America, therefore, the peak that has taken more lives than any other 14er in Colorado.
    I was at the area you saw the big horns. Only I saw a dozen or so of Elk. One thing we saw in Estes, as My Beautiful Wife was driving by the lake, we watched a bald eagle, swoop down upon the lake, snag something (fish?) And fly away. Impressive, is an understatement. We can argue we saw more wildlife in Estes Park, this trip, than we saw in RMNP.
    Peace.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • DredgerDredger Posts: 1,453
    @YukonRon, thank you for sharing your experience of your climb and giving us a small glimpse of what it's like to be so passionate about it. I'm sure everyone appreciates the breathtaking views you share with us. Gorgeous picture. Glad you and Suzy are home safe. Get some rest and recuperate. There's another peak somewhere that needs your attention.
    Large BGE
    Greenville, SC
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    This is the summit of Gray's Peak. I am that dot on top. If you zoom on this image, you can see how close we are to the clouds. In the distance you can see the tree line and also see a storm, coming our way. The last place you want to be is on a peak with thunder storms rolling in. We had some jerky, boiled eggs, cheese, and water after about a 20 minute rest, we loaded up, and headed back down. The storm caught us around 11,000 ft ASL, with ice. All the rocks on Gray's are igneous. A lot of shiny mica and huge veins of quartz, very white and in huge boulders laying around. Biotite and feldspar is everywhere. There were also a coule of old abandoned gold mines along the climb, closer to the trail head.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • epcotisbestepcotisbest Posts: 2,018
    Amazing. I bet it is awe inspiring up there.
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    Amazing. I bet it is awe inspiring up there.
    It was a very emotionally for me. I have been on peaks before, however, after the last injury, I doubted I would ever make another summit. It was the most painful and exhausting climb I had ever done. I basically had to compensate for my left leg, the entire climb, putting tremendous strain on everything else, which made it difficult on scrambles and brutal coming down.
    Before we climbed, we carboed up the night before with pasta. We began hydrating and stayed away from alcohol completely.
    I would also suggest in the morning of the climb you hydrate as much as you can, and Carbo again. It takes all the energy you got, and then some, to make it.
    You will need to take 2 liters of water at the very minimum, and be very disciplined to drink it. It adds oxygen to your depleted system. Make sure there is more waiting at the trailhead, and replinish.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • da87da87 Posts: 638
    Awesome photos Ron, and even better descriptions. If this egg thing doesn't work out you have a great future in outdoor writing!  Seriously - amazing post in all ways. As was said previously, posts like yours keep the forum a great place to visit and escape for a while. Thank you!
    Doug
    Wayne, PA
    LBGE, Weber Kettle (gifted to my sister), Weber Gasser

    "Two things are infinite:  the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe"   Albert Einstein
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,954
    When you see the "flat bottom" clouds, you do not have much time before the weather goes bad on you. These things appeared about an hour before we made the summit, snow rain and ice followed 2-3 hours later, which for us, caught up to us about an hour prior to getting back.
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
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