Mountaineering – Mt. Meeker (Attempt)

Clare Experiencing a Mountain High
Wake Up Time: 3:50am
Meet Up Time: 5am
Start Hiking: 5:15am
Turn Around Time: 9:45am
Finish Time: 1pm
Total Distance: About 8 Miles (See Topo below!)
Mt Meeker Topo and Profile
CMC Group met at the Longs Peak Ranger Station. Leader crossed names off a list, and we waited for one gal who was about 10 minutes late. When she arrived, we took off hiking.

Not knowing about the team capabilities (except mine & Linda’s) prior to our hike made me a little nervous. I had to trust the leader Steve had a rough idea. This trip was completely the opposite of the prior CMC trip I had attended, which was executed with a militaristic degree of efficiency and planning. Steve’s leadership is a laid back and all-inclusive style.

Our group was a hodge podge assortment of personalities. Quotes from my fellow climbers later that day:
“I’ll make it to the top even if I have to crawl on all fours!”
“Oh, don’t mind him, he’s an engineer…I’ve been out with him before and he’s always like this.” (referring to above quote!).
“What am I going to tell the guys when they find out we didn’t summit?”
“I don’t understand why we have to start this early. When I did Quandary, we didn’t start hiking until 10am and we had a wonderful day!”
And, my favorite…
“I haven’t been running for a month. I threw my back out playing with my daughter.”

Pictures as follows:
Bridge on Long's Peak Trail
Bridge on the Long’s Peak Trail (6:21am at 10,500 ft)

Sunrise in Rocky Mountain National Park
Sunrise (6:25am at 10,800 ft)

Long's Peak Sign at 10,900 ft
Chasm Lake Sign (6:50am at 10,900 ft, a little under 2.5 miles into the hike)

Dan with Meeker & Longs Peak
Dan at the Trail Split-We headed toward Mt. Meeker, passing Chasm Lake (7:30am at 11,500 ft)

Dan Descending to Waterfall on Mt. Meeker Hike
Dan Descending on the Mt. Meeker Trail

Mt Meeker Hike, Looking Back at 11,900 ft
Looking Back at Mt. Meeker Approach (9:10am at 11,900 ft)

Mt. Meeker 3rd/4th Class Approach
The Approach Gully & Ledges to Ascend Meeker

Steve, Linda, and Dan At Crux of Mt. Meeker
Steve, Linda, and Dan nearing the Crux of Mt. Meeker Hike (3rd/4th class section)

Linda on Ledges Below Mt. Meeker
Linda on the Ledges Below Mt. Meeker

Clare Nearing 4th Class Approach to Mt. Meeker
Clare on the Ledges Below Mt. Meeker (13,100 ft at about 11am)

We decided to turn around due to dangerous winds. I for one, did not relish the thought of crawling on hands and knees the last mile to the summit. People have been blown off mountains before; I have no delusions of being treated differently. Nature doesn’t care and that’s the truth. Linda, Steve (trip leader), Dan, and I all wanted to turn around.

The other three in the party were not convinced, but I just let Steve deal with them! I’m glad that he convinced them to turn around, but for a moment things were tense.

We had a lovely hike back to the TH, stopping just below Chasm Lake for lunch. Other than the wind, it was a beautiful day. I really enjoyed hiking with Steve, Dan, and Linda.

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