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Old 12-06-2003, 04:56 PM   #1
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Here they are ! Pics from my first mountain climbing trip !

Several weeks ago I mentioned my first mountain climbing trip ever ! I told you about some of the things I saw and I have been asked about the pictures from that trip, so here you all go ! I have been climbing once more after this, just last weekend, at a much lower elevation and will post the pics for that one as well. Enjoy !

This is the burned part of the forest that I told you about, the grass didn't turn out as green in the picture as it was in real life. Imagine a black, charred forest against neon green-colored grass. It was surreal ... and beautiful !



We are approaching the ledge to make the descent into the canyon with a road down below ... if you look hard, you will see a very tiny car on the road that looks like a speck. We are on the highest mountain in the range, at about 9000-foot elevation, looking down on all the boulder stacks below us ! Yes, I am completely terrified.



Same spot as above, looking across the mountain range, with another angle of the road below. My hands were completely trembling and I was shaking from head to toe.



The rest of our group on a different ledge... these guys are completely at ease, jumping from rock ledge to rock ledge, laughing and talking the entire time. We are still at 9000-foot elevation, looking straight down into nothingness.



This area of the basin is a canyon with rock walls 50-60 feet tall. Only a few people have ever been down this far, and you can only get to it by climbing into it. It was completely silent down there so that our voices echoed. The water is about 20-feet deep here, and is FREEZING ! No life in the water that I could see ... believe me, I was looking !



These are from my second trip, just last weekend. The elevation was much lower, at about 2800-feet. I was more relaxed this time, and still tethered to the instructor. What I love most about it is seeing things that are inaccessible any other way.

This is a small, flowing creek at the base of this canyon, taken late in the day. It was very beautiful and peaceful there, with the sounds of the waterfall off in the distance and the flowing creek !



This was the highlight ... a waterfall at the end of a creek that becomes a raging river in the springtime as the mountain snows melt. You can see how the rocks have been worn smooth over time ... some places here are very slippery and shiny like glass.



Looking up at the incline of the canyon wall, about 40-50 feet. Cactus and desert grass just grow right out from the rock of the mountain. This area was breath-taking !



I hope you all liked the pictures ... this is something I'll be doing much more of - it's an incredibly terrifying, but yet amazing, experience !
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Old 12-06-2003, 05:03 PM   #2
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That's awesome--and beautiful pics! My first trip up a mountain was Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. It really is a different world up there!
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Old 12-06-2003, 05:07 PM   #3
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What elevation is that, shawmutt ? Seems like it would be much higher than I climbed.

How did you handle the adrenaline ? I literally shook involuntarily for 2 days afterward !
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Old 12-06-2003, 05:12 PM   #4
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WOW...... nice pics.... did you use up ALL of your adrenaline on that climb?

My friend Ben and I went climbing around a few tims when he lived in Colorado but the mountains we were on were a lot more hospitable, it was pretty much just walking up a humongous hill with trees and rocks there.

You had a lot more sheer drops to contend with than we did. If we woulda fell down we would have just rolled until we hit a tree or something. You coulda been plumetting and went splat.

I would have been pretty shaky myself on those sheer drops in your pics!!

I salute you for having the guts to do it.
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Old 12-06-2003, 05:15 PM   #5
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Omg cindy; you REALLY have an eye for pictures. The reflection in the water one blows me away! Absolutely stunning.

*giggles* Bet it wasn't snowing when you took the pics tho
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Old 12-06-2003, 05:46 PM   #6
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It's not as high as you were, only 6,288 feet at the summit, but it has some of the worst weather on Earth. Today as of 4:19 it's 4 degrees Fahrenheit with sustained winds of 80 miles an hour and wind gusts of 90 miles an hour. It is only sunny at the summit 60 days out of the year. I climbed it twice, once in June of 1998 and once in August 1999. The first time I went alone. There was a huge storm above treeline, and not knowing any better I muscled my way to the top, getting injured and barely making it. Thankfully, because it is so touristy, they have an old train that goes down the mountain from the summit, so I took the train back down . The second time I went was one of the few times it was sunny, and the view was amazing. I brought someone along this time, and she was really tired by the time we reached the top, so I took the train down again. One of these times I'm going to actually climb up AND down the mountain.

As far as the rush...I thrive on that feeling!
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Old 12-06-2003, 05:48 PM   #7
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whoo.

I remember doing a little hicking in CO a while back. We was at 10,000+ elevation and you could really tell it.
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Old 12-06-2003, 06:25 PM   #8
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I never could understand it, but I totally get it now ... it's like a shot of pure adrenaline that you don't come down from for days after ! I'm a runner and get the rush of endorphins after a run, but this was in a completely different league. These guys meet at the ski lodge every Sunday morning for the climb, and I can't wait to go again ! You are SO lucky that you had a way to get some help after you got hurt... if the place you went was anything like these places, the only way in or out of there is by helicopter.

Alli : Thank you for the compliments on the pics. An unexpected benefit is that I have found that I'm really interested in photographing what I've seen, especially since these areas are completely unexplored and inaccessible. I'm going to buy myself a better camera for Christmas and get more into that end of it. A good photographer friend of mine told me once that anyone can be a great photographer when they have a subject that works with them !

Snap : Definitely, a solid drop-off. What really strikes me is that the people I go with are completely without fear. It will take me a LONG time to get to that point - but the second time was much easier than the first, and I can only imagine it will get easier the more I go.
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Old 12-06-2003, 06:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishfreek
whoo.

I remember doing a little hicking in CO a while back. We was at 10,000+ elevation and you could really tell it.
Oh yeah, Colorado's elevations are higher for sure ! A 10,000-foot elevation in Colorado is probably considered a foothill !
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Old 12-06-2003, 08:35 PM   #10
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nice pics! i would not be able to do that. LOL
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