December 14 2020
A surprising amount of time has elapsed since Sophia, Diego, and I summited Longs Peak as part of my fiancee’s annual b-day 14er tradition, and this entry was posted. Soph and I have had our hands full prepping our recently acquired off-the-grid home for winter. More on that in a follow up memo.
Longs Peak certainly deserves its name. As one of the lengthier single summit 14ers, we knew we’d have our work cut out for us but figured we could rope in a friend to share in the sufferfest. Fortunately Diego, who’s been on a hunt to bag the centennial 13ers, was game for the challenge when we mentioned we planned on ascending the Loft Route which passes right by Mt. Meeker.
A few notable events from this outing:
- It was exceptionally cold for how little snow there was on the ground.
- We were the only party to ascend via the Loft Route that day
- There was a fun little snow/ice shelf over a cliff that required traction and an ice axe.
- We were blasted by nearly constant 60 mph winds for most of the day
- We descended via the iconic Keyhole Route
- Diego tagged Mt. Meeker then caught us in Keplinger’s Couloir
- I thought I was still in 50k shape even though I hadn’t trained since August. Spoiler, I wasn’t.
- We had the peak entirely to ourselves which was a surreal experience on such an oft-climbed mountain