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As I sit here and witness the Philly Eagles fight back into this game with the Broncos, my heart is saddened and melancholy thoughts take over. The only thought warming my heart, aside from the Cowboy victory, is my inner journey to that Tuesday morning where my good friend, Miles, and I made a wintry trek up to a classic RMNP summit.

Hallett Peak, as it sits on the crest of the great divide, stares down upon Estes Park as a guardian to wondrous lands beyond. It was my honor to make Hallett Peak my first official mountain summit over four years ago, and today Miles would get to share in that honor as we both made the five mile slug to its lofty reaches.

The day started early, at this time I cannot recall when the alarm woke us from our slumber, but I do know that we reached the trailhead just as it was light enough to see without the use of headlamps. We made great time on the first mile or so of the trail, taking a nice pace that would save energy for the higher sections of the mountain. But our progress was slowed considerably when the trail turned to slick, icy slabs that made every step a little unsure. We tried to walk to the side of the trail in the soft snow as much as possible, but progress was still slow.

We took our time, and before too long we were making our first strides into the lower fringes of the tundra as we left the trees far below. It was great to see the excitement of Miles' face as the summit of Hallett Peak came into view. We pushed it to the summit of Flattop Mountain and took a short break here to prepare for the final push to the summit of Hallett.

The wind was truly fierce and we were both a bit chilled, so to keep moving was key. We slogged through the snow, over rocks and through deep drifts as we passed Tyndall Glacier and began to head up the upper slopes of Hallett Peak. Just below the summit, I raced up the final vertical feet so I could take some video of Miles' first successful summit!

We were both so excited to be there! Miles especially, but I will never ever get tired of standing on top of this perfect mountain. It makes any amount of struggle worth every step. Congrats Miles, lets do it again soon!

  until next time...
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