First Time's Not the Charm
Living in Colorado and not being a native, you almost have to prove how much you belong, or as I like to call it, how "Coloradical" you are. Climbing mountains is one of my summer/fall past times in Colorado, but you only get "street cred" if you climb a 14er. What's a 14er you ask? A mountain that has a summit elevation of 14,000 feet or higher. To put that in perspective of how high that might be, trees stop growing at 10,000 feet and planes cruise at 33,000. So climbing a 14er is somewhere in the middle.
Gray's Peak was the mountain a couple of friends and I chose for our first climb. Let's just say we were a little under prepared. We arrived at the trail head two hours behind schedule, we ran out of water on the way, and just as we summited after four hours of climbing, summer thunderstorms started to roll in. Just imagine being the tallest object on top of a 14,000 foot mountain during a lightening storm...the odds were not in our favor.
We took a couple pictures at the top of the mountain and then booked it down. Descending quickly down a mountain that tall is also not advised...three out of the four of us vomited. It was not our finest moment, but we survived!! It was an experience I'll never forget.