Well, I finally summitted Missouri on my second attempt. The first ill-fated attempt was cut short by Maddy having a run in with a porcupine, Thank you again Laura Hein for making that attempt and helping me with Maddy.
In spite of a very long, bumpy, muddy 4WD track in to the Rockdale trailhead we had a great time camping out on Saturday night. There were periodic rain showers that had us hiding in the truck but they were short lived and Dave’s campfire held out for some delicious campfire pies. There were predictions of wind and poor weather for Sunday morning but we all made a good start at 7AM and enjoyed the beautiful lake and even saw a moose grazing as we started out. The trail was steep and rugged but easy to follow and we made good time to the upper basin and just above tree line. As we progressed up towards the ridge the wind picked up and we met a group that had turned back because of the weather. I was really getting concerned but there was no way Dave was letting me turn back so with some encouragement at 12,800 I forged on while Dave headed back towards treeline with William to get out of the wind.
The wind and clouds continued to convince me that fall was in full swing with winter soon to come (yes there were a few snowflakes in the air), however we’ve survived worse so I pushed on. Just about the time I was getting worried about how long the hike was taking I hit the junction with the standard route and could see the last half mile out the ridge. The hard part was done and I quickly scampered out to the summit. With the cold wind and my support crew waiting I only hung out on the summit for ten minutes but it was long enough for a quick snack and a sense of satisfaction. The weather was cold and windy but the storms never built giving the whole day a wild feel.
Maddy did NOT like leaving David and William behind for the hike but she refused to miss out on the summit experience, though I think she was extra eager to head down. I think she is finally warming up to William since he is now going on good hikes with her.
I hustled back down the ridge and towards tree line at a steady jog and made it back to David and William in about an hour. There were several groups that had turned back or were taking a break to watch the weather as I headed down that I chatted with.
I am very glad to have completed all the Collegiates and the whole Sawatch Range but mostly am just happy to be out enjoying the 14er challenge and camping.