Friday – Saturday, June 27 – 28 – Lost Creek Wilderness and McCurdy Park Tower

Things were lining up in our favor Friday… a successful morning of resupplying our climbing gear (found stolen items we didn’t think we could find locally) and the window repairman showed up EARLY! By 2:30 pm, we were on the road to meet Mike at his office in Colorado Springs, from there we were headed to the Twin Eagles Trailhead to begin our 6 mile, 2,200 ft of elevation gain hike to McCurdy Park Tower.  Gearing up in the parking lot, we got swarmed  by ravenous mosquitoes that were sucking our blood through two layers of clothing… not to mention biting our bums!  Even 100% deet didn’t keep the little suckers away.  After putting on our heavy packs filled with sleeping gear, food, and climbing gear (packs weighed in at 50ish pounds for Mike and Dave, 35ish pounds for Alex) we took the traditional trailhead photo and then put our boots to the dirt at 7:15 pm.   

About 3.5 miles in, after the rolling hills turned more heinous, and the sun had set, thunder and lightening appeared in the distance.  We quickly found a clearing next to the trail, set-up camp for the night, hung our food bag down trail, and settled in to sleep… some of us sleeping better than others.  

Good Morning!

At 5:15am, the expert sleeper, Dave, decided that we had enough sleep and roused us all.  We packed up camp, and continued on to our destination, where we planned on cooking up some breakfast and coffee before getting on the wall to climb.

Arrival at McCurdy Park
The pile of rocks and  sticks was our protection against small critters getting into our food supply… also a good place to fly our flag!

McCurdy Tower – Our climbing goal
After setting up camp, eating, and having our coffee, we readied our climbing gear and headed to the base of the wall to pick out a line to climb.  Knowing that weather changes quickly, we kept an eye on the skies, and decided to wait a bit for the questionable clouds to pass.  

While waiting at the base, we spied a piece of booty (an abandoned piece of climbing gear) low on the wall.  Mike successfully freed the  shiny new nut, a #8 Black Diamond.

Once the wind picked up and thunder rumbled in the distance, we scampered downhill to our camp…. Alex’s pace picks up SIGNIFICANTLY when she hears thunder.  By the time we reached camp, rain drops and pea-sized hail were beginning to fall, so we hunkered down in our tent, and Mike in his bivy.
After napping while waiting out the storm, the sun was again shining and roused us from our shelters.

Though the sun was shining, we still saw clouds that we knew could quickly become a storm, so we putzed around camp for a bit.  Sadly, those clouds soon converged, turned gray, and then a shade we began to refer to as “Impending Doom Blue.”

The thunder again began to rumble and lightening appeared in the distance, so again we retreated to our tent and bivy.  Dave joked that he would love to see golf ball sized hail this time and hear Mike yell like a little girl as it would pelt him in his bivy.  A few seconds later his wish came true.

Once again, the storm passed, we left our shelters, and contemplated the climbing conditions.  Sadly, it was now mid-afternoon, we had spent over 2 and a half hours in the tent and bivy,  and we accepted the fact that our dreams of climbing that day were pretty much over.  We knew the weather for Sunday looked worse, so reluctantly we decided to pack up, and head home…. as long as we would make it to the food joint in the nearest town from the trailhead in time to get burgers.

Once back at the car, we threw the packs in, put on some clothes that weren’t covered in sweat and deet, headed to the restaurant, and feasted on bacon cheeseburgers and fries.  As Mike promised himself, he tossed his old beat up hiking boots in the dumpster.  He would now have no choice but to buy and break-in a new pair before next weekend’s adventure.

Though the goal of the trip, climbing McCurdy Tower, never happened, it was still a great weekend spent in a beautiful place with great company!

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