Hard-headed and stubborn, I returned to Mount Evans this week — we left last week with unfinished business.  Already knew the road was closed (no surprise this go-around), so we started out earlier and hit the trail hard (fast pace) — 14 miles to Mount Evans!

This year’s hike challenge was UNIQUE, DIFFERENT hikes, so today’s journey didn’t technically ‘count’ until after mile marker 5. Less ice on Echo Lake this Saturday but the wind was still there — almost 4 miles of headwind.

Started to mentally tire from snow bank climbs, constant wind, and lack of human interaction (totally ALONE on this hike, no humans). Took pics of mile markers 7, 8 and 9 — the snow deepening with each mile upward.  Beautiful vistas, quiet serene landscape, so very peaceful — but were we actually getting any closer?

Soon after mile 9 we started to descend into a plateau and I saw it — Summit Lake!  Ok, we now have a goal — my spirit renewed. Another 15 minutes, we settle upon Summit Lake — take pics, quick potty break (behind restroom closed for season 🙁 ) & then lunch.

I try to protein-up with beans (sometimes fish) but find I get a quicker lift on high altitude climbs with meat.  Sorry veggie friends — I’m ‘almost’ there…I agree with the health benefits (literature) but need the ‘meat’ boost after longer distance (and almonds only go so far). Honestly, BEST tasting plain roast beef sandwich — great bread makes ALL the difference (Northern winter wheat) 🙂

Layered up, packed up, time to re-hit the trail and climb UP.  Went west of Summit Lake past Chicago Lakes scenic overlook — and BAM, snow…FEET of SNOW!  999 feet to go (to reach 14k feet) and fooled again — argh!   Stubborn or not, I know our limitations. With an ice axe, totally do-able (sunny day here) but not so much fun for Ro — and honestly, would have never hiked this far & this often without my bestie.  Stayed true to Ro, reflected on the beauty of the climb, and our massive 9 mile one-way hike.

Ro helped shake my ‘dog love fest’ moment when he sped away off-leash after a ptarmigan (snow chicken).  A 20 minute chase later, re-leashed, we headed home.

Waiting ’til June before another 14er attempt – it’s gonna happen, just a matter of time..

 

Highest Lakes in USA (Summit Lake #13)

 

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