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4000m-Peak Nr 5: Mt Lady Washington (4048m)


During my conference trip to Boulder, CO, I was able to squeeze half a day of mountaineering into my schedule. I decided for something less technical (as it was winter and I would be alone). Mt Lady Washington seemed to offer just the right combination of ease of access, non-technical but still challenging climbing, spectacular views and no way finding issues. I started at approximately 6:30 from Longs Peak Trailhead.

There was a lot of snow in the woods and after a while I started cursing myself for not having snowshoes or skis with me but instead trying to dig through waist deep powder.

As soon as I reached the tree line everything was fine, because most of the snow was blown away and the parts that remained were wind-pressed and easy to walk upon. From some perspectives it seemed like there was not any snow at all around me. At some point I could see the whole way to the summit as well as the spectacular "Diamond"-face of Longs Peak. The wind was fierce, though, and I put on every piece of clothing I could. Breaks were bitter-cold and so I tried to avoid them or spend them behind some big boulder providing shelter from the wind.

The climb was easy scrambling with some I-II steps between huge boulders near the summit.

Reaching the summit, I took a short break but in spite of the boulders sheltering me from the main winds, there were really strong gusts from time to time and I started to shiver after just a few minutes and decided to descent after taking the summit photo above. I had some problems with altitude sickness, too, because I had no time to adapt to the height and cursed my strong headaches and sick stomach.

As soon as I descended a few hundred meters, everything was fine, though and I reached the car by 4pm and made it back to my conference session at 6pm :)