Monday, April 11, 2011

Longs Peak via Keyhole

Location: Long's Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Date: July 2001
Elevation: 14,259 ft.

Longs Peak was the greatest adventure I had ever experienced by the age of 15. I had backpacked over 200 miles in the southern Appalachians by that age, but this was a much different experience. Hiking in the Rockies provides endless vistas and much more wildlife than the appalachians. Soaring glaciated peaks, huge boulder fields, swift, relentless snow melt streams, ice fields, crystal clear, cold alpine lakes, cirques, elk, bear, and deer around every corner initiated my fascination with American west wilderness areas.

Our group of eight 15, 16 and 17-year-olds and 2 adult leaders made a 50-mile loop through the National Park and finished our trip by climbing Longs Peak. My group took the keyhole route and we all successfully summited on a perfect summer day. This was the most thrilling experience of my life and helped initiate my love for alpine adventures.