National Geographic : 1954 Aug
IJ^S' ,, t4 ; 248 Color Colorado Battles Snow with Gu When snow slides threaten the high passes, highway and set off avalanches (page 224). Here a 75-mm . shel above Berthoud Pass, triggering loose the beautiful but second wind, and I knew I could make it. Once at the top of the ridge, we looked down on Boulder Field, a mass of broken gran ite extending back for more than a mile. We skirted this and worked our way over to the cable route. Here steel cables are anchored in the cliff above a 1,000-foot drop. We started, one at a time. Not daring to look around, I hauled myself up hand over hand. Then one final pitch and I was on top. After 62 hours of climbing, I had kept my promise to stand on Longs Peak. How does the world look from the top of a 14,255-foot mountain? We were standing on | an almost level stretch of10to15acresof tumbled boulders, its edges dropping sharply into glacial cirques and Valleys. Two miles to the west, peaks bristled along the Continental _- Divide; northward we Should trace the Medi cine Bow Mountains into Wyoming. Pikes Peak stood sharp and clear on the horizon. I was amazed to learn that it is 103 miles away. Before the summer was over I joined the Colorado Mountain Club again, this time for an outing in the San Juans high above Ouray, "where the miles stand on end" (page 210). We ex plored ruined mines and basked in the waters of Ouray's warm springs. Jeeps took us over the awesome Mil lion Dollar Highway; rado State Highway Department climbing the walls sur rounding Ouray, it clings to the sides of engineers block traffic a prcipitous canyon o 1 explodes on the slopes a precipitous canyon on treacherous drifts, its way to the iron stained Red Mountains. On my last evening in Colorado's high country, as the moon rose over stark peaks and probed dark canyons, I gazed from the aloof heights to cheerful, firelit faces. The mountains could chill, but to me they had brought also the inspiration of soaring beauty and the warm glow of friendship.