Hitchhiking Colorado- Lost on Mt. Shivano

Date: Sunday, September 29, 2013

Time: about 1:00

Wait: about 20 minutes

 

This week I waited about twenty minutes on the way back from Colorado Springs to Denver.  It was a clear, cloudless, bright sun-shining day, and almost 100 cars passed me on by without stopping.  One man stopped and was heading to Monument, but I passed because the chances of getting picked up at that particular exit can be slim.

A girl swings over in a slightly-beat up heavy-duty Dodge Ram truck, says “hop in!”, and I do just that.  Her entire left arm and shoulder are covered in fresh bandages, and she informs me that she has just been freshly covered in new tattoos.  ” Some of it hurt like hell!,” she says.

The most captivating story she tells me is of when her and two friends climbed the 14-er Colorado mountain, Mt. Shivano, which is a class-two climb, meaning it is one level of difficulty above an easy climb.  ” We were climbing in the winter, and I had foolishly given my survival supplies to my friends to carry because they were getting too heavy,” she says.  ” Well, I somehow tripped in the snow and slid down a huge portion of the mountain, and I was lucky it was covered in fresh powder, otherwise what may have happened may have turned out worse. There was enough snow on that peak to make for conditions of an avalanche potentially. I got lost and hiked by myself for over ten hours, and was starting to fear the worst, that I might even die out here… and then I ran into some other climbers, finally, and I literally fell down on my knees and couldn’t help but cry.” 

At first impression, Julia seems like  a pretty tough girl but anyone that has climbed a mountain knows that the mountain will show no mercy to anyone, regardless of who you are or who you think you are.  She laughs.  ” My friends said they were an hour away from calling in search and rescue,” she says. 

Julia tells me that she does some kind of security work, and works over 120 hours every two weeks.

 

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