Independence Day 14er

This is my first TR with my new (to me) Canon 30D. I really like the pictures compared to my old P&S.

Independence Day this year was spent on a 14er (again) and fun (more so than last year). Lacking this time were skis. We brought everything based on some photos from a week ago showing substantial snow left, nearly top-to-bottom. Unfortunately, we drove up and immediately saw that our intended line had substantially melted out.

Our group was myself, Nate, Matt, Katrina, and Andrew. Friday morning we all woke up at 3am (except Andrew, who lives in Glenwood), got ready, and piled into my car around 4. We were heading up to Kite Lake to hike Mt. Democrat, then have some beer and BBQ burgers. We picked up Matt along the way, then headed for the hills.

As you can see, the car was pretty full.

The plan was to meet there at 6am then head out. Andrew’s always late so we weren’t too concerned when we got there a little before 6:45. He wasn’t there yet, so we started unpacking and got ready to head out.

The view from the parking lot, showing a distressing lack of snow:


Nate ready to go:

Since I was driving and had to be not drunk for the drive home, I got the party started with Silver Bullet #1 at 7am. We finally got sick of waiting for Andrew and left at 7:30. There’s no cell service so there was no way to try to reach him, so we just left, hoping he’d show since he had the grill.

And up we go:

Taking a quick break:

Nate’s very sweaty back:

The dogs were really enjoying themselves.

Matt and Nate pushed on to the summit while I hung back with Katrina. I arrived a minute or two behind them, where they were already celebrating.

We all grabbed a seat and had a couple beers, when a sudden, evil chill filled the air. Andrew had arrived:

He had overslept and started at the trailhead at 8:45. He summitted at 9:45. Andrew has picked up some speed in the past year for sure.

Even one of the dogs was taking part in the fun:

Just hanging out:

Before we left for the summit, it was time for a quick restroom break. Andrew of course had to find the most ridiculously scenic spot to go.

We booked it down, then fired up the grill and had a few beers, just joking around for a few hours. The drive home was uneventful (fortunately) despite my exhaustion. Everyone else in the car passed out. Made it home, smeared some aloe on our horrible sunburns, I hopped in the shower and passed out.

The burn on my shoulders has since blistered. My forehead is bright red, hopefully things will cool off a little before I have to bike to work tomorrow – I don’t think it’d feel too good otherwise.

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