So I got another great e-mail from a reader who saw last Sunday’s story about the snow climb up Colorado’s Mount Shavano. (link here: http://newsok.com/pair-scales-new-heights-in-colorado/article/3387961?custom_click=lead_story_title ) Again, we had some back-and forth, and he sent e-mails on what looked to be an unforgettable day in the Rockies. Have a read, check out the photos and join me in giving out a hearty congrats for a heck of an accomplishment. Here’s his narrative:
I enjoyed your article from Sunday, July 26th on Mt. Shavano. In a moment of exceptional coincidence, my brother in law and I summited Mt. Shavano the same day your article came out. I was talking with my mother, who subscribes to The Oklahoman, following our hike Sunday and she said that an article had been written on “some mountain in Colorado.” She read the article to me over the phone and I informed her excitedly that Jeff (brother in law) and I had just come off the same mountain.
Our summiting experience was not as dramatic as we did not have to contend with snow. The trail was clear for us all the way to the top, although rain drenched us a good chunk of the day. There were only a handful of people on the mountain that day. The weather turned several groups back so I can tell you with almost certainty that Jeff and I were the only two Oklahomans on the summit Sunday adding to the irony for us. On Monday we summited Mt. Antero, our eighth Colorado “fourteener.” We are trying to summit as many as we can before calling it a life. Thanks for the article! It made the day even more special.
I later e-mailed him back, and he gave me this response concerning the weather conditions he and his brother-in-law faced:
We stayed on the mountain way too long. Another guy that was with us took the saddleback/sawtooth to Tabeguache and we waited for him to make it back up Shavano. The clouds really started to build near Monarch Ski Resort, so we knew they were coming, but did not want to leave a man behind. We all left the summit after noon and hauled butt back to treeline. Jeff and I hiked the last hour in a pouring rain with lightning flashing and thunder splitting our ear drums.
Been there in conditions like that. The general rule is to summit before noon and leave shortly thereafter. But as you can see in Kevin’s account, sometimes the weather has a mind of its own. So glad everyone got down OK, and had a great story to tell when it was over! Also, major props for waiting on their buddy who had gone on to summit Tabeguache Peak. Always good to stay with, or at least in touch, with your group.
I love hearing these stories, so keep ‘em coming. Doesn’t matter if you’re out hiking in Oklahoma County or if you’re climbing Denali. We’re all a little richer hearing folks’ tales from the outdoors.