Captain’s Blog

Mountains of Frostbite

From Mount Yale

Last weekend, a couple marines and I completed a winter ascent of Mt. Yale. We started Friday around noon, hiked three miles along the snowmobile path (which is a road in the summer) to the trail head and another mile and a half to base camp. A good meal by the campfire and a lousy night’s sleep later, we started hiking the steep stuff at around 6am. Two and a half miles with 3000 foot elevation gain should be no problem, right? Well, we shortened the distance by going straight up the mountain, and it took us seven hours to get to the summit. Then, a ginger hike back down over the rocks and snow with a stiff wind in our faces that carried with it stinging popcorn snow, and a fast descent to camp had me worn out. But we packed up camp and hiked back to the trail head before dark. And then there was still the three mile slog with headlamps back to the car. My feet were cold most of the second day, since my boots didn’t have enough insulation. On the drive back to Colorado Springs, I realized that something was not right. Turns out I got a touch of frostbite, and a week later, my big toe is still half numb. Well, it was still a great hike. Assuming my foot gets better quickly, it was well worth it.

March 3rd, 2008 Posted by | hiking, photos | 3 comments