There Is No Easy Way…

To Climb a Mountain. 

Baldy is done. In a manner of speaking. This mountain has bested me a couple of times. Strangely I have now been to San Antonio peak but have not seen the sign, so…am I done? I have no idea. If anyone has followed along my BFF and I have attempted to get to the top of this peak on numerous occasions and in the process have encountered record high temperatures, snakes, water shortages, wrong turns, falling boulders and so on and so on. It would be a disservice not to mention that our failure to simply climb a  mountain (because that is all it is, right?), at the risk of sounding melodramatic, was crushing. Fuck. How could it possibley be that hard? You get a map, you pack your gear, you get there, you do it. Only that is not how it ever worked out. 

There is no easy way…

For this last trek up the mountain we elected to go the ‘easy route.’ The plan: drive up to the ski park, take the gondolo lift up to the summit, hike out to the peak across the Devil’s Backbone (6.1 miles round trip), done.  Great. We made the drive, that was the easy part. The gondola is closed during the week and we were up there on a Tuesday. From the point that we were at there was a fire road that runs up to the summit, 3 miles. 

3 miles winding up the remainder of the hill to the summit. When we reached the summit is when I had to stop, take my shoes off and tape my already popped blisters. I wore the wrong socks. New socks. Bad socks. Not new shoes (I’m not that thick! 😉 ), new socks. Both feet taped at the ankle and the toes, 3 miles in. Then there was the 3 miles ‘out’ to the peak. Most of which was straight up. All of which was treacherous? Well, it might have been the elevation gain? It might have been the pain? It most certainly was the increasing dread that this fucking mountain had done it again! 

The trek out to San Antonio peak was the longest 3 miles of my life. Is that 3 miles as the crow flies? I don’t know but I am hard pressed to believe that all those ridges, the switch backs, the straight vertical incline amounts to 3 M*F*ing miles, but, lets say it does. The longest, call it 2.9 miles of my life actually because I was so hungry and so tired I did not bother to climb to the sign. I sat, I ate, I waited for my BFF to come back down. She took the camera. We have ‘proof.’ The last stretch of that climb is just shale, a barren peak covered in washed out grey rock, frigid winds, no cover and it is STRAIGHT up. For the love of all that is holy. There were no balloons. No parade. No elation. No sense of accomplishment. Hell, I couldn’t be bothered to go to the sign. 

the sign


To Climb a mountain…


I’ve had hollow victories before but I ‘expected’ something more out of actually getting to the top of that peak. It took a couple weeks actually and a meeting with my sponsor to come round. Our conversation began and ended with her asking a few ‘simple’ questions, like  ‘how long did you smoke?’ ‘What was the elevation gain?’ ‘You taped up both feet at what point?’  

Oh, Right. I’ve seen the view below with my very own eyes. 

The View


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