i woke up at 2 am to summit Missouri Peak. I got rained on the entire way up, and saw only a glimmer of light from the summit. On the way down to elk head pass the rain stopped. I was exhausted, but the views made it all worth while. I then summited Belford, and then Oxford, as thunder began to rumble in the distance. I had to scurry down Oxford and try my best to get below tree line in the storm. I had wanted to get Harvard and Columbia in the same day, and I thought I was capable. But the storms beat me down, and when I saw it wasn’t going to happen that day, I decided to stop the Nolans 14 route, and bag only Yale, Princeton, and Antero, leaving out the groups of Harvard and Columbia, and Shavano and Tabaguache. It was a tough decision, but I wasn’t going to finish in the five days I had given myself with all these storms. Unlike the trail, Nolans 14 is almost entirely above tree line on the highest ridges, and obviously the highest peaks. When storms are around, you absolutely can’t be heading up. That meant a lot of just sitting and waiting. The storms were just too consistent. I hate waiting, and I hate sitting doing nothing even more. It was frustrating to say the least.
I learned a lot in those days though, as I look back at it. So it wasn’t all a waste. I pushed myself harder than I ever had, which was nice. Being above 9k feet, and mostly above 12k feet meant I got much more fatigued much quicker. My pace was significantly slowed with a full pack. I was pretty shocked at the difference just a few pounds in my pack would make. I also felt like I failed pretty hard on keeping my energy up. I didn’t eat consistently, and up high, expending energy faster than I ever had, I bonked many times, and had to sit for a bit and eat as much as I could. Again, stuff I need to learn how to improve. Either way, it was beautiful, and my girlfriend Grace got to join me on Antero, which was a real treat, and her first 14er.
Overall, it was a fun effort, and put me at twelve summits over 14k feet while in Colorado (that includes San Luis and Wetterhorn), which really was a lot of fun for me! I want to thank Dirtmonger again for the inspiration on this route, along with my sister, joe, and Grace for helping me and climbing with me along the way!