So here it is:
But first I have to start the day before we ascended Longs Peak. Most of my family and (now) my brother in law went on a white water rafting trip on wednesday August 15, it was a 10 hour trip along the Colorado River. We got up around 5-5:30 am that day. We arrived at the parking lot around 6:30 am then drove about 2 and a half hours to the Colorado River where we had a great time. We arrived back at the cabins around 6:30 PM or so.
My brother in law and I decided we were going to do a hike the next day but we werent sure which hike to do at this time. Either Bluebird Lake or Longs Peak. We only had 3 days left as we were heading back home on Saturday and my brother in law really wanted to climb Longs Peak. So we decided to try our hand (& legs) at climbing Longs. We initially thought of sleeping a few hours and getting up around 1 am and then head to the trailhead, but my idea was to not sleep and leave around 11:30 PM that night and take our time. So this is what we did. We arrived at the trailhead around 12:15 am and started ascending Longs on thursday the 16th of august. The early going was good, we stoped a couple of times before we hit the 2 and a half mile marker. We went a little further and noticed the lights from one of the cities (not sure which city) so I attempted some night photography for about a half hour. This was a bad Idea but I tried and thats what counts. I wont post any city lights of this cause they are bad. I will say I tried a 6 minute exposure and it wasnt long enough, of course. It was getting cold too, so we decided to go ahead. Btw a couple of young ladies in there ealry 20s (pretty gals) passed us when we got to the 2 and a half mile marker. They were kicking our butts (and I am in good shape maybe cause they were used to the altitude). As we started along we noticed more climbers with their headlamps on, a very cool scene to see in the dark as they were moving along. A few other people in great shape passed us as we came upon the boulderfield. The time was about 4:30 am. The sun wasnt up yet so we tried to get some sleep in the boulderfield (which was my plan from the begginning this really wasnt going to happen, too cold and no good place to sleep). So the sun started to come up around 5:30 am and I was able to get some decent shots of longs and the boulderfield. We had plenty of time so we relaxed for sometime (I had to use the privy up there thank god for that, but I didnt take a picture of that for you John, sorry the privvy that is). Not really sure what time we started to the keyhole, maybe around 7 am. We finally made it through the keyhole, wow that had taken along time to get through. We stopped for awhile and I took a couple of shots of green lake where I had done another hike earlier in my trip.
We then came to the trough, where the 2 gals that passed us and a gentlemen were passing us again on their descent. They said we had only about a hour left to the summit ( very nice people to encourage us to the summit, without us having any sleep the night before). At this time it must have been around 8- 8:30am. So up the trough we went, no holds bar, until we were out of breath after 20 ft. This section really kicked our butts. Down came more people that passed us going up. Oh, here comes a dog and his keeper passing us up the trough and then a couple of 11 year olds, good for them, btw that dog was kicking every human beings butt up that mountain. We finally made it up and over the rediculous trough of boulders. But the views along the ledges was great ( "Hi how you doing" as others passed us descending the mountain.) We finally made it to the narrows, OMG (im thinking to myself) as others are descending the trough. This is about straight up and this is not the place you want to fall. This is just just about a rock slab and a few boulders here.
Everyone was very cautious and very curtious around this area. 2 men and a woman were passing me, the men in front and the woman in the rear, she slipped just a little as she was going by me and my instant reaction i grabbed her with my left hand. She was ok and would not have fallen even had i grabbed her ( i dont think) she said shhhh to me not to tell the other two men in her party so I didnt.
My brother in law was just ahead of me the whole trip, he finally made the last push up over the narrows and atop longs, I followed behind him a couple of minutes later. A successful attempt at the summit on our first attempt.
At this time it was 11:00 am. We stayed atop the summit and I took a few pictures as my brother in law took some video. We were only up there for about 20 minutes as the dark clouds started to come closer to the summitt of longs, so we decided to make our way down the summitt before it was too late and it started to poor. We made it down the rock slab, and then came upon the trough. We made it down the trough and hooked up with a couple for awhile. Dont recall what time we made it back to the boulderfield. The weather had held off for us so we decided to relax at the boulderfield and try and get some sleep as we hadnt had any sleep for about 36 hours i guess and a couple of long days. Cant remember what time we started up again, but it seemed like along time to get through the boulderfield.
As we were making our way down, my brother in law called his fiancee (my sister) to tell her that we made it and were coming down. He couldnt get a signal though, so he tried my moms cell and he got through.
After the boulderfield we were exhausted, kinda taking our time down. But then when we came upon the 2 and a half mile marker (just before the marker I thought it was going to say 3 miles left) and when I seen it said only 2 and a half miles left instead of 3 I turned on the after burners as this inpired me (cause i was thinking it had been 3 miles left when in fact it was only 2 and a half). My brother in law followed my pace for about a mile and a half or so then he passed me and said what got into you? I said "seeing that sign say only 2 and a ahalf miles left instead of 3 inspired me" :-).
We made it passed goblins forest and only a mile or so left. We finally arrived at the parking lot around 7 pm on the 16th.
It had been along two days. We told each other that this was going to be the only attempt at longs and we accomplished this. ( I am not a "peak grabber" so to speak).
We were exhausted when we got back to the cabins at about 7:30 pm on Thursday.
The next day we tried to do spirit lake, but were only able to do about a mile and a half. We did see the moose though. We really werent into hiking this day.
I have some pics of longs on this day and I will post some.
BTW: I think I would like to try and do longs again, or another 14er. So much for not being a "peak grabber".
Edited by harpyeagle44, 30 October 2007 - 08:10 PM.