The start of another journey. This time it was a five day trip with my brother to climb Sunlight and Windom. We started out the trip with very little energy and in the heavy rain. This hampered our progress. We didn’t make it to the basin to set up as soon as we planned. We did however, manage to keep our tent and bags dry and we slept well after cooking dinner in a cave 50 feet from camp.
I woke up to soaking wet boots, more hiking before base camp, pouring rain, and a grumpy tent mate. We had breakfast and coffee broke camp and headed out. Nothing revitalizes the soul like chocolate and coffee. After a late start we reached our base camp at noon and decided to take a rest day because of the weather. The valley was shrouded in mist until 6:15 pm when the sky parted as if Zeus himself was smiling on us and we got a glimpse of the surrounding Mountains. Dinner was also a raucous affair when a herd of goats came into camp and would not leave until we yelled and threw rocks near them. It was sad really they were looking for salt. Please do not feed or allow these animals to become comfortable around you. It did not rain that night.
Summit! After a rough start to the day with wet everything, and concerning weather we made it to the top of Windom. This was Ben’s first 14 er and he was a little uncertain of the weather. However, after we decided to go for it he hiked heroically. After this we returned to camp and passed out with the intention of trying Sunlight the next day.
Summit number 2! The hike up sunlight turned out to be quite an adventure as neither of us knew the route and there were snowfields on most of the bottom half of the trail. At one point we tried to climb a sub peak and almost turned around thinking it was the summit. However, after much toil we found the route and the keyhole and made our way to the summit. I have a lot of pictures from the top as this was by far the highlight of the trip. In accordance with the adrenaline high we returned to base camp and hiked out of the basin that night to camp by the Animas river. Finally, a river bath for each of us helped the tent feel less like a skunk had been in there all day. After a fire and some chocolate I slept like a rock.
We woke before dawn and started hiking out watching the indescribable beauty of the sunrise over the Animas river. I wish the camera wasn’t dead. Anyway after 5 miles the truck popped up from what seemed like nowhere. I put on my sandals and we when to get a cold brew in Poncha Springs.