I wrote earlier this week about getting ready for Longs Peak. For the second time in two weeks, we had to scrap our planned ascent due to stormy weather. The Colorado Monsoon normally only lasts until mid to third week of August, but we are fast approaching September, and there is no end in sight to this stormy pattern we are in. The storms of this week have been very cold — it definitely feels like fall at our house — and the aspen and fern leaves are already showing the first tinges of yellow. But up on top of the high peaks, Mt. Evans and Longs, this cold weather has already brought several inches of new snow. It even snowed at Alpine Visitor Center yesterday, which is at 11,700 feet. This doesn’t bode well for trying to successfully summit Longs in the next few days, as now significant snow and ice have built up on the ledges you must traverse, not to mention the Home Stretch, which is the final slick, granite climb to the summit. Many accidents have occurred on the Home Stretch from climbers who were on it during either rainy or icy conditions.
I’m a little disappointed as I had sort of psyched myself up for another go at Longs Peak. It also makes me realize how incredibly lucky Bryon and I were the first time we summited four years ago, when we had a picture-perfect, clear, warm day in September. On the other hand, it has been one of the quietest fire seasons we’ve ever had in Colorado, for which I am extremely grateful. It also makes me excited for the cold weather, knowing the first snow is not too far off, and ski season will be upon us soon — yay!