Today I almost climbed Long's Peak, which would have
been 6 14'ers in 6 days after coming from sea level.
Long's is not on the Nolans course, but I'm staying a
friend's house in Golden and his two teenage sons
wanted to go and it was conveniently close. I know
the mountain, having climbed both the Keyhole route
and the north face.
Anyway we turned back 100 feet from the summit. It's
not that I minded climbing the Homestretch (200 ft. of
40 deg. rock face) in a snowstorm, it was the
lightning striking the summit at 2 minute intervals.
One bolt was close enough that I felt a static
discharge through the top of my hat at the instant of
When we climbed the Trough (several hundred vertical
feet of class 3 scramble), much of the rock was coated
with a thin sheet of ice. When we descended, the ice
had melted, but there was 2 inches of fresh powder.
This provided better traction than I thought it would
on the narrow exposed ledges on the Keyhole route,
even wearing just running shoes. We had clear skies
up to the Keyhole (13,000 ft), but you know how the
weather is in the mountains.
I heard a rumor from another hiker that a climber had
died on this mountain yesterday from a 1000 foot fall.
Anyone hear about this?
-- Matt Mahoney, matmahoney@...
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