Climbing Long’s Peak – the Short Version

Look up!  It is the mountain that presides over this site.  At 14,259 feet, it is the only “fourteener” in RMNP, the northernmost fourteener in Colorado, and the most prominent landmark for the vast surrounding area.


I climbed Long’s Peak :

Because it is there.  (Well, OF COURSE it is there!  Sheesh)

Because I can, was my thinking before I knew what it would take.  (Well, maybe I can.  It’s within the realm of possibility.)

Because it kept looking at me.

Because it is visible to me, day or night, wherever I go.  ( O^O )

Because I am getting older fast and wanted to do it while my legs, etc, still work.

Because I wanted to see the top before the beaver-rat eats it. (It is sniffing at it right now. See it on the left slope, near the summit?)

Because it transmits a siren-song in my frequency.  (It calls to me)

Because it somehow MADE me do it.


Things the attempt required :

Hours of research to determine what I was getting into and what to do once I did.

Good planning.  Mental conditioning.  Ummm, people die up there …

Good fortune (luck), or blessings.  Only 3 out of every 10 climbers who attempt the summit actually make it.

The proper equipment and clothing.  Adequate amounts of food and water.

Knowledge of alpine weather.  (It is  predictably extremely unpredictable. )

Physical conditioning.

Me to hike 6 miles in the dark while gaining nearly 3,500 feet in altitude then climbing a difficult, sometimes highly exposed, 1.5 mile, nearly 1,500 vertical-foot  route to the summit. (“exposed” means a mistake results in serious death or injury)

Good timing to be off the summit by noon to avoid lightning, rain or snow-slickened granite.

Me to avoid injury, especially ankle or leg injury.

Me to avoid “summit fever” and be ready to turn back at any point due to adverse weather changes or altitude sickness.  (At 14,000 feet only 60% of sea level oxygen is available in each breath)

Climbing wearily and carefully down and somehow hiking back to ‘basecamp’.  This is statistically the most dangerous part due to fatigue, exhaustion, weather concerns, and hypoxia.


Success involved this :

19 1/2 grueling, joyful hours “on the mountain”,  over 4,891 vertical feet of ascent and later descent in a cold rain, and covering over 15 miles of trails and climbing routes.

I MADE IT UP AND BACK !   However, I was never alone.  I can’t take most of the credit.  So many things could have gone wrong, but hardly anything did.  What unforeseen things happened?    The complete account is forthcoming.


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The Basic Christian Library

"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis. This is fundamentally what Christianity is all about.

"The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. Another converted atheist presents His compelling case for believing in Jesus.

"Left To Tell" by Imaculee Ilibagiza. This profound work is her own extraordinary story of endurance, discovery of the Holy Spirit, grace, healing, and an astonishingly compelling account of the necessity for forgiveness.

Compelling Christian Fiction Reads

"The Circle" 4-book series by Ted Dekker.
A man is the bridge between two very different worlds. Sound familiar? Can he save both? This T.D. work is brilliant in my book.

"This Present Darkness" and "Piercing the Darkness" by Frank E. Peretti. Tales of spiritual warfare from a unique perspective. Stirred a small controversy, but sold millions. What are we Christians afraid of? Hey, it's fiction!

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