One Last Mountain

 

 painting by John McNaughton

painting by John McNaughton

I only recent conquered one
Not so distant past
But each peak now seems harder than
Was climbing up the last

I’m walking so much older now
Much slower than before
It’s time to lay some burdens down
And shoulder them no more

Perhaps I’m almost finished
My climber says I’m not
My will is not diminished
My body not quite shot

But one can hardly ever tell
When one’s nice trail will end
What waits beyond horizon’s hill
Or ’round next river bend

And there will be that one higher
More fright’ning to attempt
Looming there one last hard climb
Where no one is exempt

Daunting doubts I reckon
Uncertain and unknown
Cold airless shadows beckon
To scale it all alone

You fool you will not be alone
The trail well-marked and lit
The crags will have beginner’s holds
You surely will not slip

Up toward my final peak
The one on which I’ll stay
I’ll wait until He finally speaks
Then lifts my soul away

Thus will it be that in the end
I’ll rest there where He Is
In the beauty of the Endless Land
With Him and all of His
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Image

One Last Mountain

One Last Mountain

 painting by John McNaughton

painting by John McNaughton

Re-posted for R. L.,  a dedicated reader who liked the way this format “walks” across the page.
It’s actually a quirky glitch in the WordPress transposition of the way I really wanted it displayed. 🙂

I only recent conquered one
Not so distant past
But each peak now seems harder than
Was climbing up the last

           Perhaps I’m almost finished
My climber says I’m not
My will is not diminished
My body not quite shot

                      But one can hardly ever tell
When one’s nice trail will end
What waits beyond horizon’s hill
Or ’round next river bend

                                 And there will be that one higher
More fright’ning to attempt
Looming there one last hard climb
Where no one is exempt

                                              Daunting doubts I reckon
Uncertain and unknown
Cold airless shadows beckon
To scale it all alone

                                                          You fool you will not be alone
The trail well-marked and lit
The crags will have beginner’s holds
You surely will not slip

                                                                       Up toward my final peak
The one on which I’ll stay
I’ll wait until He finally speaks
Then lifts my soul away

                                                                                   Thus will it be that in the end
I’ll rest there where He Is
In the beauty of the Endless Land
With Him and all of His

                                                                                                                                                                                           

One Last Mountain

One Last Mountain

 painting by John McNaughton

painting by John McNaughton

I only recent conquered one
Not so distant past
But each peak now seems harder than
Was climbing up the last

I’m walking so much older now
Much slower than before
It’s time to lay some burdens down
And shoulder them no more

 Perhaps I’m almost finished
My climber says I’m not
My will is not diminished
My body not quite shot

 But one can hardly ever tell
When one’s nice trail will end
What waits beyond horizon’s hill
Or ’round next river bend

And there will be that one higher
More fright’ning to attempt
Looming there one last hard climb
Where no one is exempt

Daunting doubts I reckon
Uncertain and unknown
Cold airless shadows beckon
To scale it all alone

You fool you will not be alone
The trail well-marked and lit
The crags will have beginner’s holds
You surely will not slip

Up toward my final peak
The one on which I’ll stay
I’ll wait until He finally speaks
Then lifts my soul away

Thus will it be that in the end
I’ll rest there where He Is
In the beauty of the Endless Land
With Him and all of His

                                                                        

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.

To Meet Him There – An Act of Worship

 

TO MEET YOU THERE

 

Your creations, oh Lord,

Capture me

Convince me

Confirm You.

Immense mountains

Majesty and mystery

Massive earthrock moving skyward

Magnificence like mercy’s power,  Your Prominence,

Your Eminence,

Away and up, I climb to meet You there.

Color – carved canyons

Complex, winding wide

Cut in solid stone, rim to rim

Connecting continuous flowing Truth exposed.

Down in, I climb, to meet You there.

Verdant valleys I find,

Filled full for every need

Verifying You –  Your care for me.

Daily, hourly, each moment, I see

Your good, Your kind, Creativity.

 

Oh, God !  You make me to walk in wonder.

Wonder like a child

Wonder with which I can worship You

Wonder I never want to lose.

And as wonder unwraps faith, my Lord,

Faith shows me farther,

Deeper into unseen wonders

Where Your wondrous glory shines,

Then, through that thin place I climb,

To meet You there.

 

 

About The Music Links Below

I don't own, and have no claim on, these music videos. The following are simply links inside my website pointing back to the original locations of the videos. The names of the creators of these videos are cited wherever possible, and only "embedding-enabled" selections are used.

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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