I was an orphan again this year on Thanksgiving, so instead of moping around and trying to salvage a good holiday- I opted to climb a peak. A few years back, I climbed Quandary Peak on Thanksgiving, and it has become my go-to event when I’m orphaned for the holidays.
I decided to hike James Peak(13,301), via St. Mary’s Glacier.
I arrived at the trailhead around 8:30AM, and laced up my brand new mountaineering boots(Thanks Parentals!), and started up to the glacier.
The glacier had a lovely hard crust, so I had decided earlier to leave my snowshoes back at the truck (not a smart move on my part).
Once above the glacier, I began to make my way across the alpine flats towards James Peak…when all of a sudden…I began to post hole. I had expect a nice hard crust the entire way, which I now realize is silly. How could I expect uniform snow pack, and thickness all the way to the summit?!
After a long slog, post-holing up to my thighs, I made it to the base of the steeper shoulder of James Peak.
I climbed the steeper slope, which gentled as you climbed higher.
After not having a trail for most of the day, the cairns appeared out of the snow, and lead me to the summit.
After enjoying some hot tea, some dried cranberries, and a piece of pumpkin loaf(the only shred of Thanksgiving food i had brought), I descended down the gentler slope to the left.
I arrived back at the truck around 3PM, and drove home. Instead of turkey for my thanksgiving, I enjoyed homemade barley & lentil soup.