Summer has advanced to August, but I feel like it has just started. Wasn’t it just a little more than a month ago when I trampled through snow in the mountains? And if last year is anything to judge by, the highest mountain tops are still open to climbers without winter equipment well into September.
So far, we’ve climbed two fourteeners in the Rocky Mountains: first Mount Bierstadt (14,065 ft / 4287m) in June, pushing through snow up to our thighs, and then a couple weeks ago to Mount Elbert (14,440 ft / 4401m) in beautiful sunshine and clear skies. We’ve also climbed our fair share of smaller mounts and trails and bushwhacked our way forward. I finally spotted some wild turkeys in Rocky Mountain National Park, and marmots whisking their tails away have cemented their place as our totem animals. I’ve sled down a mountain on my behind in a state of mild panic to escape a thunderstorm, and I might have developed a mild case of astraphobia, which is only a good thing, because I don’t want to end up a statistic. (On average, 11 Coloradans die each year of lightning strikes.) I’ve filled up my hard drive with photos several times over and munched on too many Clif Bars to count. Every couple of weeks, I’ve made the pilgrimage to REI to get some new topo maps, which should come to an end any moment now, because soon I have them all.
I’ve been meaning to write trips reports from several of the hikes and climbs, but meanwhile you may enjoy some Colorado mountain views that my Instagram followers have seen already throughout the summer. The advice is from a poem by Ilan Shamir.
Reach for new heights
Savor life’s peak experiences
There is beauty as far as the eye can see
Rise above it all
Build on solid foundation
Patience, patience, patience
Life has its ups and downs
Let your troubles vanish into thin air