On July 18 my 15 year old daughter and I joined a group of 8 teens and 3 adults on a backpacking trip in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. We had two guides courtesy of Wilderness Expeditions based in Salida, Colorado. Our goal was to backpack into the mountains and climb 13,900 foot Mt. Silverheels, a mountain named after a prostitute who lived in the area and was famous for dancing in silver-heeled shoes.
Day 1 — Rappelling and Hike to Low Camp
Phil, our guide, setting up the ropes to teach rappelling
Dupree, the guide, demonstrating trust in the belay
Julia Rose and I going over the edge
At the trailhead for hike to Low Camp
Day 2 Hike to High Camp
Mt. Silverheels from hike to high camp
Columbine, the state flower
Day 3 Solo Day
On solo day we stayed at high camp and had some time to go off by ourselves; however, solo time was cut short by thunderstorms and rain.
solo day breakfast: fried spam, hash browns, and pancakes
Julia Rose and I staying dry under the crew fly
Thunder, lightning, and hail.
Day 4 Summit Attempt
Summit attempt–we started the morning early, hiking by flashlight
Ridgeline to the summit–hard winds
Climbing the ridgeline–steeper than it looks, and every step is difficult
13,300 feet above sea level. We stop at a false summit 600 feet below the peak, with another hour to climb and bad weather rolling in. The guides are worried about lightning and storms.
Phil, me, Julia Rose, and Dupree at our “summit”