View from the drive in
Our weekend started off with the odds against us, which is actually the norm with most of my adventures with The Alpine Hack. We left home at around 12:30 am with about an 8 hour drive ahead of us. The destination was Mount Sneffels in Colorado. We arrived in Ridgway, CO at around 9:30 am, and after walking around town for a bit and stretching our legs from the long drive we continued the drive to the trail head.
Crossing one of the many log bridges on the approach
The Alpine Hack - Professional Post-holer
After getting our packs loaded up and taking a few goofy pictures we started the hike up. Our plan was to hike into Blaine Basin and camp for the night. It's only a 3.2 mile hike but we figured with how sleep deprived we were it would take around 5 hours. Needless to say, we were pleasantly surprised to find we made it to camp in just 3 hours. After stripping off most of our sweaty clothes, grabbing a quick snack and refilling the water bottles we both practically passed out right on the spot before even getting camp set up.
View from camp in Blaine Basin
We managed to wake up long enough to set up camp and make dinner for ourselves while talking about the plan for the next day. The alarm was set for 3:30 am and we were passed out in the tent by 4:00 pm. The night was unfortunately less than peaceful. My Klymit sleeping pad decided to magically deflate leaving me extremely uncomfortable (note to self - invest in a RidgeRest). Thankfully my Teton Sports sleeping bag kept me super warm so it was only half miserable. Regardless, after a long, sleepless night when the alarm finally went off neither of us were ready to get up. We finally got up around 6:30 am and started up towards the North Buttress about an hour behind another party who were heading up the Snake Couloir.
My high point
Looking back up... I will be back.
The ER doc diagnosed me with UV Keratitis and after a few rounds of (amazing) numbing eye drops and some pain meds I was sent on my way. I followed up with a local ophthalmologist the next morning and he concurred with the diagnosis and I got a lecture about proper sun protection for the eyes when at altitude. And after talking with my friend Melissa from Adventure Tykes she informed me that the cheap sunglasses I wore can actually be worse than not wearing sunglasses at all. Lots of lessons were learned from this trip, some were learned the hard way. It was a fantastic weekend up until the eyes bothering me though and the scenery was absolutely gorgeous so I can't really complain too much. My partner and I are already trying to figure out when we can make it back up there to try again. So hopefully you will have a successful trip report in the very near future!