June 7, 2003
Click on the pictures!

The Longs Peak trailhead on our way to Mount Lady Washington.

Justin & Travis standing above Alpine Brook.

On a bridge over the creek.

Love is in the air. And it smells like poo..

Some tundra flowers. Mt Lady Washington is on the right, with Longs Peak on the left.

Hey look!! I'm being nippled!!

A little shelter from the frigid wind.

Justin is taking a little break among the large boulders on the slopes of Lady Washington.

Getting near the summit.

The final push to the top.

In the cold, biting wind, standing on the summit.

The wind chill was about 5. Give him a break.

Doing a little joop on the summit.

Justin & Travis: Nippled

June 7 - June 13, 2003

Justin and Travis, two great friends, more like brothers, came up for a mountain binge. I will just write briefly about 'our' experiences. They can tell you about their own adventures.

Our first outing together was up a beautiful Elephant of a mountain, Mount Lady Washington. This mountain stands at 13,281 feet. While this may seem high, it is in the dominate shadow of its neighbor, Longs Peak (14,259 ft). We started early to avoid the typical lightning storms that overcome the high alpine Tundra in the early afternoon, leaving hikers/climbers in a scary situation.

It was a beautiful sunrise, and a good drive to the trailhead. We hiked up past Alpine Brook, crossed it a couple of times, managed the switchbacks, and made it to the Heaven of the Mountains, the Alpine Tundra. There were already some large areas covered with this summers crop of wildflowers. We pushed on past Jims Grove, to the Chasm Lake trail junction. From there we ate a quick snack and hit the east slope of Lady Washington, and began the ascent.

To this point, the only troubling factor was the wind. It was at least 35 or 40 mph. Not only was it a biting, cold wind, it was strong enough to knock you over, or at least get you pretty off balance while hopping between boulders.

It was a fairly uneventful scramble to the top. Besides a few unstable rocks, a few snow fields and a few breaks to catch our breath, it was nothing more than a boulder leaping stint up the broad slope to the summit. The views from the top made the shortness of breath, and the burning thighs, immediately worth the trouble. The views of the Diamond (East Face of Longs) are unmatched.

We signed the register, took some pictures, did some jumps, ran some laps, ate some snacks, did some jooping, and made some entertaining short films, before we began the knee eating task of heading back down the boulder-ridden slope.

The hike back was pretty boring as far as the hiking goes. We met a Brazilian, dreamed of eating soft batch cookies, and talked about the pleasures, or non-pleasures, of intestinal gas, but that was about it. Well, we did corner a Marmot. That was funny.

All in all, it was a great hike. My first successful summit of Lady Washington, and Justin and Travis' first thirteener. We had planned to do Hallett Peak the next day, but Justin and Travis had found a roundabout way to the top of Flattop the day before, so we opted for some different scenery.

We headed into Glacier Gorge and Loch Vale that next morning. We followed Glacier Creek to Alberta Falls, then followed the creek through the dense forest, criss crossing over impossible leaps, which would take you to the bowels of death if you failed, and up the steep snow slopes along the small canyon on the way the The Loch.

This might have been more fun than the Lady Washington hike, simply because of the extroverted explorer in each of us, that doesn't like to sit idly by.

Finally taking the plunge into the frigid river water is a very liberating experience. It opens you up to so many possibilities, such as playing frogger on fallen timber across a lake. I'd have to say that Travis is the winner here. Simply amazing. I was awarded no points, and they are both now dumber from watching my attempt.

At about this time, while Justin and Travis were standing on an exposed outcropping about 20 feet off of the ground (the snow dive platform), lightning began to strike not too far away. The Hail began to fall and the sprint to the finish was on. Of course, I was left in the dust, or I guess I should say mud. We ran the last two miles or so to the trail head, trying to stay out of the lightning's way. At this, I WAS successful. I didn't get struck. Which is a good thing, if you don't like lightning. The truck was a welcome sight, and welcome shelter from the storm.

A few games of Poker, a couple of beers, and an abundance of good times later, the trip had to come to an end. They went on a few other hikes while I was working, and spent a good day in town before they left.

Needless to say, we all had a great time, and were sorry to see the 'vacation' come to an end.