Saturday, September 1, 2012

This news is quite old by now, but nonetheless I wanted to say a big congratulations to Jonathan Siegrist for getting the second ascent of The Honeymoon is Over! He sent several weeks ago after a huge combined effort between him and his dad Bob, who both spent numerous days preparing for the event by hiking heavy loads up to Longs Peak, acclimatizing, sussing beta, and generally suffering in the alpine.

Jonathan, a tiny speck, working the route. I took this photo from Chasm View.
Chasm View.
As Jonathan wrote on his blog, "When I clipped the 3 bolt anchor I let out a cry of relief and excitement - repeating this route had been a dream of mine for 5 years. It was an emotional finish for me and it was a day that I will remember forever. So much effort, thought, planning, stress and excitement went into this route -- which made the send that much more satisfying."

It was incredibly inspiring for me to witness how much energy, effort, and emotion it took from both Jonathan and Bob in order for this route to be repeated. Witnessing such dedication and determination always lights a fire in me to apply the same try-hard mentality to my own life and goals. But in the meantime, I found that Jonathan working on the Honeymoon was a great excuse for me to get to spend some time up in the alpine, and I ended up hiking for hours upon hours in the thin, mountain air. 

Just breaching tree line, Longs in the distance.

Brave little alpine chipmunk. 
I also did my first ascent of the Cables Route, an easy free solo that leads to the summit of Longs Peak. 

The Cables Route claimed some flesh.
In many ways, the alpine reminds me of the desert. Stark, beautiful, merciless, and rugged, the alpine can go from being a perfectly safe, lovely, and sunny place to a dangerous and dark one, full of threats from thunderstorms, dehydration, altitude sickness, and a multitude of other harms. The weather changes in a flash, and even the most experienced alpinists sometimes find themselves in frightening positions. It commands such a deep respect from anyone who is at all observant, and it's power for destruction combines with its delicate beauty to create an awe inspiring energy and environment. 

Sunny one moment...
...lightning and thunder the next.
Only the toughest, hardiest little creatures survive up here. In this picture, one of my favorites- the ptarmigan- shows how effective its camouflage is.
After finishing up the Honeymoon, Jonathan drove west to Idaho, where I joined him for one last climbing trip before my summer of climbing and traveling came to an end. Photos coming soon...


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