Jump to content



Assault on Longs Peak....Part 1


  • This topic is locked
29 replies to this topic

#1 Lee421

 
Lee421

    RMNP Lover

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 138 posts
  • Location:St. Clair, Mo.
 

Posted 27 October 2004 - 03:35 PM

I was perusing Mike Amfahrs "Spirit of the Rockies" web site and reading some of his trip reports there and his recent thwarted attempt at Longs Peak sent back a flood of memories from twenty five or thirty years ago from my own attempt, also cancelled due to weather, etc. at this same peak.
It was the early seventies and Kevin, a friend of mine and fellow hippie party freak went on vacation together to Estes Park and RMNP. We took his converted Old Chevy van with the radiator bungied in and the front end wobble over 55mph because of its spacious interior and luxurious accomodations(haha). We planned to attempt Longs and trained tirelessly for the effort. We spent every evening into the wee hours of the morning drinking in our favorite Estes bar. We made sure to pass out for a few hours every morning in the bar parking lot before getting an early(10:30-12:00) start on our day. While in training our normal regimen was to smoke a couple of doobies, get some coffee, eat a couple of Oreos or equally nutritious breakfast then ride around RMNP in the van smoking more doobies and occasionally stop to enjoy the scenery and maybe walk one of the short trails near one of the pullovers. For our training table dinners we'd prepare a sumptuous can of spagetti(I was tagged "Chef Boy Ar Lee" by Kevin for my culinary masterpieces) or cook a couple of hot dogs over a camp fire somewhere then smoke a couple of doobies of course, then back to the bar for the evenings festivities. We followed this strict(maybe not) regimen for about three days to ensure that on the day of our assault on Longs we'd be in top condition. One particularly tough evening of conditioning led to one of the funniest moments on the trip. Kevin was for some reason climbing over the engine cover hump next to the drivers seat and somehow lost his balance. With his by now catlike(Garfield) reflexes he was unable to stop himself and fell out the unlatched drivers door of the van....upside down.....and got his belt hooked on the vans door handle. He's hanging upside down on the door of the van laughing like a stoned, drunken maniac and I was in the van laughing too hard to help him get down. Well, we finally collected our overtrained senses and managed to free Kevin from the van door.
To Be Continued...............
  • 0

#2 DeeCeeM

 
DeeCeeM

    Your Virtual Tour Guide

  • Legend
  • 9,503 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Jackson, MS
  • Favorite RMNP Hike: All of them
 

Posted 27 October 2004 - 05:13 PM

rofl45.gif
Can't wait for part 2! peaceout.gif
  • 0

#3 weatherbe

 
weatherbe

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,655 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lyons, Colorado
 

Posted 27 October 2004 - 05:59 PM

What a story, with a sequel to come. Maybe we should all have popcorn while we watch ... err ... read the next part ... wink2.gif jester.gif

Weather bee.gif
  • 0

#4 Marvman

 
Marvman

    Forum's Buffoon

  • Administrator
  • 6,190 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:state of confusion
  • Favorite RMNP Hike: GL Ice Cream!
 

Posted 28 October 2004 - 05:34 AM

I for one would like to congratulate you on being able to remember anything you did in the seventies! And I've done my share of travel in vehicles with questionable road-worthiness (even owned a few). Drop part two on us Lee, its like a ride on the way-back machine.

Marvman
  • 0

#5 Marvman

 
Marvman

    Forum's Buffoon

  • Administrator
  • 6,190 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:state of confusion
  • Favorite RMNP Hike: GL Ice Cream!
 

Posted 28 October 2004 - 05:42 AM

QUOTE (weatherbe @ Oct 27 2004, 06:59 PM)
Maybe we should all have popcorn while we watch ... err ... read the next part


Hey Man, I think WeeBee's got the munchies! popcorn35.gif

MarvMAN
(I'm serious Man, It's like...a side effect or something...)
  • 0

#6 workrelease

 
workrelease

    Phil

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,298 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dallas
  • Favorite RMNP Hike: Estes Cone?
 

Posted 28 October 2004 - 07:50 AM

Man, that was GREAT! You see, I too had a similar fitness program in the '70's. Your account of the dude falling out of the van is priceless cheers.gif

Can't wait for Part Deux!

-work
  • 0

#7 Lee421

 
Lee421

    RMNP Lover

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 138 posts
  • Location:St. Clair, Mo.
 

Posted 28 October 2004 - 12:33 PM

Assault on Longs Peak....Part 2

Preparation: Anyone that hikes and climbs knows that proper preparation is the key to a successful and enjoyable hiking or climbing experience. Well, Kevin and I decided on the afternoon prior to our planned walk up Longs to get ourselves organized(hahahaha). We smoked a couple of doobies and split a bottle of Ripple or some other equally fine wine and began inventorying our gear. Sleeping bags, yep we each got one. Canteen for water, we finally found it wedged in behind the spare tire. The cap was broken and somehow the strap to carry it had been cut off by a sharp metal edge behind the spare tire. Put one on our shopping list. Backpacks, Nope, we don't need no steenkin' backpacks we got rope and sleeping bags to wrap our stuff in. Cook stove, Nope, we can get by with a couple of cans of sterno that we scrounged up from my work and a small grill we had. Food, we've got some beef jerky, a couple of cans of ravioli and half a bag of by now smashed oreo cookies. Hey, we're set on food. Hats, gloves, coats, Well we both had old army issue field jackets with wool liners. At least there was a fair chance that we wouldn't freeze to death overnight. I had an old stocking cap and a pair of gloves with only small holes in them. We put a hat and gloves for Kevin on our shopping list. By now we were getting bored with this preparation stuff and took a beer and doobie break. Big mistake....our beer and doobie break lasted most of the rest of the afternoon. Realizing that we were nearing time to head to the bar and hook up with the sweet young thangs from Tennessee we hurriedly packed our gear in our sleeping bags and tied them tight with the rope we had. We were ready !! On the way into Estes we realized that we'd dawdled too long and there was nothing open to get the things we'd put on our list. It also occurred to us that the sleeping bags we'd packed all of our "gear" in would be needed for that night. Well, we smoked a fatty and laughed about it on the way to the bar. Our plan was to have a few quiet beers with our new friends from Tennessee and get back out to the campground for a good nights sleep before our quest. Well, the bar was hoppin' and so were our friends from Tennessee. The sweet young thangs I'd mentioned told us they were headed for home in the morning and wanted their last night to be one to remember. yup.gif wacko.gif Yikes !! My buddy Kevin offered them a smoke so we all piled into the van and proceeded to get wasted. We even pulled out the last of a chunk of hash that we'd been saving for a special occasion. We finally wandered back into the bar and got a fresh pitcher of beer. By now the girls were pretty happy and decided they should buy us all some shots of schnapps. Then they decided a shot of tequila would be good.
I don't have a clue what happened after that other than we drank and danced and got thrown out of the bar sometime after closing time.
To be continued........
  • 0

#8 SandyP

 
SandyP

    I love my forum friends :)

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,580 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:San Antonio, Texas
  • Favorite RMNP Hike: Meadow Mountain
 

Posted 28 October 2004 - 12:46 PM

Tee Hee :D . . . so that's how you train for those long, steep mountainous hikes. No wonder I've been having so much trouble getting up those mountains!! I was trying to get ready by running & eating veggies & stuff :) That'll teach me.
  • 0

#9 Lee421

 
Lee421

    RMNP Lover

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 138 posts
  • Location:St. Clair, Mo.
 

Posted 28 October 2004 - 01:10 PM

Thirty some odd years ago Sandy. I was in my early twenties. The trip I'm talking about would kill me today. Heck, one day and night of that trip would kill me today !! peace.gif
  • 0

#10 workrelease

 
workrelease

    Phil

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,298 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Dallas
  • Favorite RMNP Hike: Estes Cone?
 

Posted 28 October 2004 - 01:35 PM

QUOTE (Lee421 @ Oct 28 2004, 12:33 PM)
We even pulled out the last of a chunk of hash that we'd been saving for a special occasion.


Now there's a true gentleman! :D
  • 0

#11 Lee421

 
Lee421

    RMNP Lover

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 138 posts
  • Location:St. Clair, Mo.
 

Posted 03 November 2004 - 03:02 PM

Assault on Longs Peak......Part 3

As you may have guessed by now my buddy Kevin and I were somewhat less than chipper the morning that we were to take on Longs. I awoke at first light trembling with excitement......nope, it must have been alcohol poisoning. I scrambled out of the van and proceeded to purge the remnants of the previous nights revelry from my body. Having cleansed my temple of a body I located some water and aspirins in an attempt to stop the jackhammers between my ears. I promptly laid back on the picnic table and passed back out. A while later I heard the van door open and Kevin fell out on the ground cursing something about his head and f'ing legs that won't work. He managed to find something about every feature of the van and our campsite to curse as well as a few comments about finding someone with some sense to go on vacation with. When his tirade had subsided and he'd leaned back in the passenger seat of the van with a groan I said something brilliant like "So let's pack up and climb a mountain !". I believe his response was somewhat less than enthusiastic and included derogatory comments regarding my mothers family history. We began the nearly over ambitious task of collecting our gear and getting our sleeping bags rolled around it for the climb. We finally rolled out for Longs Peak. (betcha didn't think I'd ever get to this didja) Part way to the trailhead the van developed a strange wobble and Kevin pulled off the road as the left front wheel continued on without us and the van dropped to the ground. Luckily the section of road was only about thirty feet above a streambed and the wheel dropped into the shallow water and stayed there. I retrieved the wheel and the attached hub while Kevin surveyed the spindle and other front end parts that we'd need to continue. We rolled our first doobie of the day and assessed the damage. It also occurred to us that this minor setback could have been a serious accident under different circumstances......so Kevin rollled another while I checked out the hub and bearings on the wheel and to my delight found all of the necessary parts useable. The cotter pin that holds the spindle nut had fallen out and the nut had come loose. We managed to get the van jacked up and reinstalled the hub and wheel. We found an old nail in the back of the van to replace the cotter pin and were by now happily on our way. Man it's amazing what a couple of doobies could do back then. We arrived at the trailhead without further incident.
Despite our shaky beginning we managed to get a decent start and actually weren't more than a couple of hours behind when we'd planned to head up. Well, Kevin was having a tough time with the altitude regardless of our rigorous training the few days before and he wasn't feeling very well. Not very far into the trail he announced that he was going back. Now this would have been OK except that he was carrying half of what we needed to camp at the boulder field. We unpacked and repacked gear and I continued on with a much heavier load to haul. Kevin said he'd stay at the trailhead and get some sleep. If I decided to turn back at least I'd not be stranded. I trudged on with many breaks but a resolve to at least give it a good try. As the altitude increased so did the frequency of breaks and the feeling that I was fighting a losing battle. After a few hours of struggling up the trail I noticed quite a few people headed back down. One couple stopped where I was sitting and warned me that the weather was supposed to turn bad before evening. Not wanting to give in I continued on for a while. I met a small group that were obviously in a hurry coming down the trail. By now I was well above timber line and walking between boulders and rubble and hoping to reach the boulder field soon. I asked what their hurry was and they pointed to the west. The sky was black and ominous looking with a tinge of green in it. I asked how far it was to the boulder field and they indicated that is wasn't far over the next rise. Well I looked at the sky, looked at my meager gear, felt the rubbery looseness in my legs and headed back down not far behind the group I'd talked to. Wow it was a lot easier heading down than going up even with as dog tired as I was becoming. I continued back down the trail dreading the uphill inclines that occasionally marked what had been wonderful downhill inclines on my way up. I eventually made timberline and looked back at the sky. I wasn't real far ahead of the incoming storms so I tried to keep moving and pick up my pace. I was sweating profusely and my legs had gotten increasingly rubbery as time went on. I finally dropped myself on a handy boulder and was taking a drink of water when a wiry young man around my age came bouncing up the trail followed by an older couple(mid 30s) and their son that I'd guess to be around ten or twelve. The wiry young guy with the long hair stopped and said "you look like you need a doobie break !". Not being one to turn down a strangers act of kindness I agreed wholeheartedly. The couple and their son walked a little further up the trail and stopped to wait for their guide I found out. The wiry guy was a guide from the "Fantasy Ridge School of Mountaineering" in Estes he told me and he was taking the family up to climb and spend the night hanging from a rock face in hammocks made for that sort of thing. He wasn't the least bit worried about the storm coming in and the family kept stealing glances at the two of us sitting there smoking a huge doobie that he'd produced from his pack. He graciously left me the huge roach and off they went to hang from a rock for the night. YIKES !! I decided I better move on about the same time that I noticed the boulder I'd been sitting on undulating and the trees making loud surreal swishing noises with the wind. The trail was now moving in waves which nearly threw me a few times and boulders I passed were undulating as I went by. A noisy squirrel nearly broke my now tender eardrums and I was having trouble following the trail. I decided another drink of water was necessary. Finally I settled down from the super doobie and seemed to normalize somewhat. PHEW !! I walked on for what seemed like an eternity just thoroughly amazed at the beauty of the forest and the birds and animals there. All of a sudden I unexpectedly walked into the parking lot of the trailhead. There was Kevin sitting next to the van as huge raindrops started to fall accompanied by a loud clash of thunder and a bolt of lightning. I started laughing uncontrollably and dropped my sleeping bag loaded with gear on the ground. Kevin was convinced that I'd gone totally mad up there by myself and approached cautiously. I finally regained my composure and told him I was OK, really, and Kevin collected my gear and loaded it in the van. It stormed all night and into the next morning. I wondered often about the wiry guy and his charges up on the mountain. I'll bet that family was glad to get back from their adventure. I explained my laughing fit to Kevin and told him all about the great time he'd missed taking a nice walk up in the mountains. Never did admit that I was so happy to see that old van and him that I nearly cried.
Later, Lee
  • 0

#12 Aaron

 
Aaron

    forums founder

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18,582 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
 

Posted 03 November 2004 - 05:03 PM

It's amazing you can remember all that through the fog of all those "doobies" and that "super doobie".

--Aaron jockey.gif
  • 0

#13 weatherbe

 
weatherbe

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,655 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lyons, Colorado
 

Posted 03 November 2004 - 06:45 PM

Whew, that's one long story!!! jester.gif But, I enjoyed it ... :D

Weather bee.gif
  • 0

#14 CDeb

 
CDeb

    RMNP Lover

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 319 posts
  • Location:College Station, Texas (+296' AMSL)
  • Favorite RMNP Hike: Long's Peak
 

Posted 03 November 2004 - 07:13 PM

Lucky for you the weather turned you around. I cannot imagine attempting to negotiate past the Keyhole while stoned and living to tell about it. It was difficult enough cold sober.

Edited by CDeb, 03 November 2004 - 07:14 PM.

  • 0

#15 Lee421

 
Lee421

    RMNP Lover

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 138 posts
  • Location:St. Clair, Mo.
 

Posted 05 November 2004 - 08:46 AM

QUOTE (Aaron @ Nov 3 2004, 05:03 PM)
It's amazing you can remember all that through the fog of all those "doobies" and that "super doobie".

--Aaron jockey.gif



To tell you the truth I didn't know I remembered that much until I started typing. I think I had synapses fire that had been dormant for thirty years.
  • 0

#16 Lee421

 
Lee421

    RMNP Lover

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 138 posts
  • Location:St. Clair, Mo.
 

Posted 05 November 2004 - 09:00 AM

QUOTE (CDeb @ Nov 3 2004, 07:13 PM)
Lucky for you the weather turned you around.  I cannot imagine attempting to negotiate past the Keyhole while stoned and living to tell about it.  It was difficult enough cold sober.



You may be right CDeb. Back then my friend Kevin and I had a lot more courage than sense. It amazes me that we survived some of the foolhardy stunts we pulled. They say that the Lord looks after fools and little children. I know which of those categories we fit. jester.gif jester.gif whistling.gif

We once scaled a rock face with no equipment using a crevice and working off of both sides of it. When we came out on top of the bluff and jumped to a tree overhanging the opposite side of the crevice to pull ourselves out we startled a climber that was rigging his equipment to rappel down the bluff. He couldn't believe that we'd come up the bluff from the bottom. We pointed out our car parked at the bottom and he just shook his head. We didn't use much good judgement at times. Blind Dumb Luck was apparently on our side. blink.gif blink.gif
  • 0

#17 GLENNinPA

 
GLENNinPA

    Will hike for beer.

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,536 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Favorite RMNP Hike: Ed.
 

Posted 05 November 2004 - 09:20 AM

Very entertaining Lee. Thanks for a great story.
Glenn peace.gif
  • 0

#18 BeachAV8R

 
BeachAV8R

    New Participant

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 12 posts
 

Posted 11 November 2004 - 10:30 PM

Lol..hilarious story..now see..THAT would have made a good trip to make a movie about!! :D Thanks for sharing it..I was grinning the whole time...lol..

BeachAV8R
  • 0

#19 Veik

 
Veik

    Rhymes with Hike.

  • Moderator
  • 3,506 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nebraska
 

Posted 12 November 2004 - 06:50 AM

Yes, I'll second that! Come on Lee, make a DVD for us!
  • 0

#20 Marvman

 
Marvman

    Forum's Buffoon

  • Administrator
  • 6,190 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:state of confusion
  • Favorite RMNP Hike: GL Ice Cream!
 

Posted 12 November 2004 - 07:28 AM

I believe it was available on video for a short time, till it was banned by the DEA.

Marvman
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users