McHenry's Peak, Glacier Gorge

Rocky Mountain National Park

October 1-2, 2005

Dave Svilar, Jill Wolverton


Summit of McHenry's looking down on Arrowhead, Black Lake, and our bivy (upper right).

Jill and I came back for another shot at Spearhead's north ridge, but were once again turned back.  This time, instead of turning back we turned to the side and still nabbed a RMNP summit.  Much a similar trip a year ago we arrived underneath late on Saturday afternoon with bivy permit in hand.  This being what I consider being Colorado's most beautiful single location (sorry Telluride) I didn't care that much if we climbed or not.  I just wanted to enjoy a night out underneath the stars. 

Enjoy we did.  Climb we did not.  A couple of pulls off the Captain Nelson led me to waste a roll of film on taking pictures of reflections in rain puddles.  Shortly after the puddles Jill and I snuggled into a nook in one of the granite boulders that litter this part of the gorge and finished the bottle of Captain Nelson.  It was obvious the Nelson's was taking effect as Jill and I stayed up well past sunset talking positively about our teaching experiences.  I had pictures of star-trails on my agenda, but the wind had other plans.  Sometime in the middle of the night it was blowing so hard that I remember my feet lifting off the ground while still in my bag.

The wind did not relent in the morning making the north ridge of Spearhead a plan for next year.  Again.  This time we took advantage of plan B, which was a pleasurable scramble to the summit of McHenry's.  Perhaps I should be careful with my use of the word "pleasurable" as Jill had to sit down and cry due to cold and fatigue on the way down from McHenry's.  After getting this out of her system we packed what was left of our gear at the bivy and headed back to Fort Collins for another five consecutive days of lesson planning and disgruntled teenagers.  And another year of waiting for the north ridge of Spearhead.

Looking up toward our destination underneath Spearhead (upper right).
Hiking in a national park.  Bridges where a trail would've been just fine.
Jill performs the hamstring stretcher pose.
Always carry your GND filter into the backcountry or pictures will look like this.
Keyboard of the Winds on Longs reflected into pools at sunset.
Bivy delight.  Stroganoff and Captain Nelson's.
Jill racked and ready at the base of the north ridge of Spearhead.
Summit of McHenry's with Longs looming in the background.
Jill descending the boulder-strewn slabs in front of Spearhead and Longs.


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