It was an uneventful hike to the summit. There was some jumping over Talus for the last 700ft and two quick, class two moves to get on the summit block. A guy had passed Dom and I on the way up and we met him, as well as another hiker who had started earlier, on the summit. One of the guys told us that he did the Needle to Peak traverse the previous weekend (nutty), and that three folks cliffed out on the Needle and SAR was called in. It made me think that these peaks (Crestones) mean business.
Dom pulled out a two pound bag of trail mix and started chomping down…what an animal! We didn’t stay on the summit long as there had been clouds building in the basin across from us (behind the Crestones) all morning and many times we could see the clouds rolling over the peaks, obscuring them from view. This made me feel uneasy.
I always think, when I’m not climbing, that I will reach the summit and do a dance, smile a lot, or scream at the top of my lungs. This is never the case. I am usually so damn nervous and anxious about the weather, falling rock, route finding, etc. My feeling is that we are allotted only a small amount of time to achieve this and we do not belong in this environment. We are not Pikas or Marmot that can survive a night above tree line. Humboldt Peak can easily turn as treacherous as the Crestones under the right conditions (break an ankle on talus, etc).
Dom and I stayed on the summit for about 15 minutes, snapped some shots, walked the ridge, etc. We then started heading down.
I love coming down as this is when I celebrate. I fly down mountains listening to music. Along the way, I passed three guys and told them they still had a ways to go for the summit. I passed them and waited for Dom. It took Dom 30 minutes or so to finally come over this little gendarme and I was growing inpatient.
Dom had stopped to talk with the guys I had passed earlier and did so in more length than I did. They were the guys that went up from the night before. Dom told me he thanked them profusely for going up as we were next in line and they went up there to help when we were torn between waiting for SAR and going up to help as well. He also learned the whole story of what happened.