The Long Road Home

Down climbing the peak was much easier, in large part thanks to the the same snow that had made life so hard that morning having slushed up enough for us to be able to glissade down.  This is a French word that essentially means "slide on your ass".  I'll take an ice axe next time; the hard part is stopping, naturally.

This was a frozen lake we passed coming down.

I called this picture (by Adam) "The Look", which Kenn definitely has here.  If you've been to a 14k ft peak, you know the feeling.  

Dinner after the peak.  

Ditto.

Adam

Packing up the tent the next morning, readying ourselves to return to civilization.  But first...

...we had to descend.  Here is Adam with his wide load sleeping bag (the large gray thing that looks like a gas tank on an 18-wheeler).

Adam again proved that his heart is bigger than his ego this year (as he has many times past) by ferrying back and forth between groups of climbers to ensure that everyone was faring well.

We descended in two crews: the masochists (Kenn and I) who sort of jogged down, and the everyone else who took a much more sensible pace.  Here, they're about 30 minutes west of Lake Como; behind them, that peak is Little Bear, beneath which we camped.

Putting all that behind them... (and ready for a shower).  Here are Rich, Marc, and Ned de retour at the Trailhead.

There is no feeling of cleanliness like that first post-mountain shower.  Here are Kenn and I at his house in Alamosa.

Richard, the great yellow Buddha, chez Kenn.

Richard and Ned.

The post-mountain celebratory dinner was practically European in its pace and scope.  First, we went to this Italian/Asian place, where we talked the owner into allowing us to BYOB even though they didn't have their license yet.  Which was awesome because that way we got to be beer snobs (Marc, Rich, and Paulaner Pils).

We then went across the way to the best taqueria in the state of CO.  Notice the honey bears on the tables for the sapodillas.  Good god, that was tasty.  Afterwards, Kenn, Ned, and Adam went back into town; the rest of us were too full to budge from our air mattresses. 

My-t-Burger on the ubiquitous 287 trail.  Look familiar, Beats?

All home safely and serenely.  The man in the middle is already plotting his next escape.  Say, maybe Kit Carson Peak this Labor Day?  All interested parties write to him at this link.