#29 and 30. It is done.

I have one day left,two peaks to  summit and tomorrow is my 30th birthday.

I spent last night drinking beer, and volunteering for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s Benefit Bash in Breckenridge. I thought it’d be smart to sleep at the trailhead, which was partially right- the wind was so bad it shook my poor little car all around, however I was able to get SOME sleep. Much better than the week before when I slept at the Park n’ Ride.

Sylwia arrived at about 6:30 the next morning with a cup of hot coffee for me, it was still horribly windy when we started hiking next to the Blue Lakes Dam.

It was a clear, cold morning, as we hiked up the basin towards what we thought was Fletcher Mtn….only to realize we missed a turn and it was in fact Wheeler Mtn. We followed the Monte Crisco Creek drainage, to the saddle between Drift and Point 13,515. I wish I had checked my GPS sooner, but at least we were back on track.

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Wandering up the Monte Crisco Creek drainage, towards "Drift"

Wandering up the Monte Crisco Creek drainage, towards “Drift”

We made our way up to the high plateau between Fletcher, Drift, and Quandary’s West Ridge- and to the consistently windy ridge between Fletcher and Drift.

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Miss Sylwia hiking up the plateau!

# 29 Fletcher Mtn 13,951, one more to go!

# 29 Fletcher Mtn 13,951, one more to go!

Summit of Fletcher Mtn! Courtesy of Sylwia Hendrickson

Summit of Fletcher Mtn! Courtesy of Sylwia Hendrickson

After taking a brief break from the wind to get a snack, and some water- we continued back down the ridgeline, battling daylight.

Climbing the snowfield towards the bulk of "Drift", and the infamous Notch.

Climbing the snowfield towards the bulk of “Drift”, and the infamous down climb. Courtesy of Sylwia Hendrickson.

Looking across to the summit of "Drift"

Looking across to the summit of “Drift” from the top of the snowfield. 

Looking back towards Fletcher.

Looking back towards Fletcher.

We scrambled our way on some lovely snow covered class 3 terrain, a bit slick, so caution of movement was absolutely necessary.

Sylwia captured this awesome picture of me scrambling up to the summit of "Drift."

Sylwia captured this awesome picture of me scrambling up to the summit of “Drift.”

I had finally finished my 30th peak, the last thing on my list. I had met my goal….now I had to get down to the car.

#30 "Drift" Peak 13,900!

#30 “Drift” Peak 13,900, one day before my birthday!

The route out of here, was not nearly as simple as our route in, we lost the trail, and ended up having to carefully scale icy rock cliffs, which took way longer than we had intended! FINALLY we found the trail, and it was a quick hike back to the car from there, what was supposed to be an easy descent, ended up confusing!

Top of the basin heading down towards the cars.

Top of the basin heading down towards the cars.

Looking back towards Wheeler Peak-- and up the Blue Lakes Basin.

Looking back towards Wheeler Peak– and up the Blue Lakes Basin.

The sun was setting as we made it back to the cars, making for a really great end of the day.

Sun setting on my 30by30.

Sun setting on my 30by30.

Two cute Subaru's!

Two cute Subaru’s!

I had made it back to the car alive. I had finished 30 Centennial Peaks with one day to spare. It is over.

We had a fantastic dinner, and a glass of wine down in Breckenridge- toasting the success. It was an amazing day, and I was happy to have climbed these last two peaks with Sylwia.

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6 pitches of Full Moon!

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6 Pitches, that was all that was left of my 30 Pitches, and with 5 days to go I am down to the wire. My friend Robert met me at Chatauqua Park in Boulder to climb the 2nd flatiron- which … Continue reading

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Traver, Mcnamee, Clinton #27-28

Four more peaks to go, and ten days left.

Halloween is a holiday for parties, costumes, and getting very very drunk. I usually do not subscribe to the social festivities- and this year was no different! My friend Sandy from undergraduate was performing with the Colorado Symphony, and I went to see her perform. We grabbed at beer at Jagged Mtn Brewing after the concert, her friends were supposed to pick her up for a party, but they ended up being very late- so we walked back to my house…I packed up all my gear, and drove her to where she was staying. Needless to say, I got about 2 hours of sleep in the back of my car at the Park N Ride. I woke up when Sylwia drove up next to me.

I’ve never tried to climb anything on so little sleep- and this was quite interesting- how I managed to stay upright was truly a miracle. I ran off of sheer determination to finish these peaks, more as a vendetta from August.

We arrived at the trailhead around 6:30, and began the hike up the 4WD road.

We arrived at the trailhead around 6:30, and began the hike up the 4WD road.

Looking across toward Democrat from the base of the plateau that leads to today's route!

Looking across toward Democrat from the base of the plateau that leads to today’s route!

We made our way up to Wheeler Lake, and then began up the steep icy, snow-pockety- slope towards the high plateau between the peaks.

This doesn't look all that intimidating- but it was sheer ice, and deep snow pockets. Slow moving.

This doesn’t look all that intimidating- but it was sheer ice, and deep snow pockets. Slow moving.

Hiking up the shoulder of Traver.

Hiking up the shoulder of Traver.

#26 Traver Peak 13, 852, and barely functioning- but still determined!

#27 Traver Peak 13, 852, and barely functioning- but still determined!

By the time I had summited Traver, my body was propelled forward by determination, I was a zombie. We continued down the slope towards McNamee, and on towards Clinton. As the day went on, it got more windy, and overcast but not fully awful.

From the summit of Traver, Looking at Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and a small corner of Bross.

From the summit of Traver, Looking at Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and a small corner of Bross.

Mcnamee, and Clinton in the distance.... One down...two to go.

Mcnamee, and Clinton in the distance…. One down…two to go.

Standing on Mcnamee, looking down at the Climax Mine.

Standing on Mcnamee, looking down at the Climax Mine.

Pole dancing on the summit of Clinton Peak 13,857' and #28.

Pole dancing on the summit of Clinton Peak 13,857′ and #28.

I managed to make it all the way to the summit of Clinton, but then I had to hike out, which was the hard part. At this time we saw to other people standing on the summit of Traver, and I wondered to myself….do we know these folk?

We continued our decent of Clinton and made our way back to Wheeler Lake- making a stop in the sun to have a snack.

SUCCESS!

SUCCESS!

We relaxed soaking up the rays, and the two people behind us walk by….and one of them says “Sylwia?”- it was two of Sylwia’s friends from the CMC!

John, Deb, and Sylwia

John, Deb, and Sylwia at Wheeler Lake.

Sylwia scared up some Ptarmigans!

Sylwia scared up some Ptarmigans!

The hike out was excruciating, I was so exhausted- I thought I would lay down and fall asleep right on the side of the trail. There is a point when you’re simply propelled forward by the desire to sleep, I had hit that point hours before.

We made it the 3 Miles back to the car, and were greeted by an AMAZING sunset…as beautiful as the sunrise!

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I somehow managed to stay awake until 10PM, which is when I walked into my house and collapsed into bed.

I’ve learned so much this year, and now I know how I perform on 2 hours of sleep.

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