Well, today I found the will to get out and work my.. body. The thought was that I would go summit Mount Superior and Monte Cristo, but it didn't quite turn out that way.
After work I went home and grabbed my effects, and drove myself up the canyon while listening to Glenn Beck. There's not nearly as much traffic up there in the summer, and it feels good. In the winter I feel like the canyon I love is being over-run by pot heads and ski-bums. It is no kindness to me. I go up to do a winter climb and I feel like the skiers want me out (esp. backcountry skiers). But once that snow melts, it's mine again. The road is clear of most traffic and the trails are only for those who walk (or run?).
Looking at the scenery along the way to Cardiff Pass
Things started off well. I got a good brisk pace going and headed up the road from the parking area. After not too long the road turned to dirt. My brisk pace got me off the blocks, but soon I was slowing due to the steep nature of the trail. I had almost forgotten. My mind always turns on me during the first hour or so of a climb. The "wow.. this sucks. You like being lazy, remember? Just give up and go to Taco Bell" thoughts started creeping in. But I had fresh encouragement in my system from listening to the Bob Lonsberry show earlier today. Basically he was speaking against self-doubt and self inhibiting behavior. So, I continued onward and upward. Then I realized something. The wind was blowing, it was significantly cooler in the mountains than in the valley and I was not dressed properly.
Looking down to whence I came, from Cardiff Pass.
I don't know what I was thinking. I should know that on top of an 11,000 foot peak the weather will be.. chilly. But I dressed in shorts and a short sleeve shirt and neglected to bring a jacket. Well, doubts started in, but I still had a goal in sight. I was going to make it to the pass or bust. Come wind and chill, I was going to get to the pass. So I continued on. Through a mini forest I went on. The evergreen trees were sparse and short, but it was a welcome change from the rock and prairie along the trail. In the trees the grade has become less steep, but it was not to stay. After, it got steeper than before and switchbacks ran up the final slope to the pass. I didn't look too far ahead at this point, and I didn't realize how close to the pass I was until only a minute or so before I got to it. Just as I thought, the wind was howling on top. No way I would be able to continue on to Superior, or Monte Cristo. The sun would continue lowering in the sky, and the temperatures would only drop. So I sat down on the leeward side of the pass to stay clear of the wind and had a little bit of a snack. Another hiker came up and sat a ways down the pass. I left before him and started my way back down the trail.
I generally prefer to run down trails. Why fight gravity going up AND down? So, I did, though I took it easy. I didn't want any sprained ankles. The descent was uneventful, and before I knew it I was staring my Jeep in the face once again. I didn't get any summits, but my main purpose was archived. I woke myself up. Every now and then I fall into a sleep-walk state of life. I'm always tired, but can't sleep. I have plenty of energy, but am too lazy to do anything about it. Nothing ever works quite as well as it could. But after smacking myself on the hillside, I am awake. My lungs are clear, and I feel like they are working better. My mind is more alert and awake. Best of all, I think I'll be able to sleep a lot easier tonight. So, today was a pretty good day, even if I did "watch" the first half of the Jazz game. Okay, I was in the same room as a TV which had the game on and I was doing my best to ignore it. But it looks like maybe we can all move on with our lives tomorrow. I'm such a killjoy, aren't I? Good.
Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Elevation Gain: 1,370 ft
Avg. Elevation gain per mile: 979 ft
Highest point: 10,020 ft