Peak(s):  South Arapaho Peak  -  13,397 feet
North Arapaho Peak  -  13,502 feet
Lone Eagle Peak - 11919
Date Posted:  08/07/2018
Date Climbed:   08/01/2018
Author:  JaredJohnson
 Arapahoe Traverse and Lone Eagle   

My wife wrote a blog about our time in Colorado this summer:
Below is an excerpt of her description of our climbs of the Arapaho Traverse, Pawnee Pass, and Lone Eagle Peak. I think it's a cool perspective from her, having only climbed a couple of other mountains before (Longs and Torreys via Kelso Ridge); and a cool perspective on faith in the mountains. A few notes from me:
- My wife is a total rock star. FTR we drove from the 4th of July TH to the Long Lake TH, so this is really two trips; but Andi basically did 4 impressive summits in 4 days without any complaints even though this isn't something she does on a regular basis.
- It was super fun doing this stuff with my wife instead of leaving her to do it.
- I was impressed with myself for doing about 25-30 of the miles in my luna sandals; here's a bonus picture of my feet in the middle of it:
- The view of Arapaho Glacier from North Arapaho Peak and the traverse route is stunning.
- I re-learned that if somebody is feeling the altitude a bit, unless they're super experienced and know they can handle themselves, don't leave them alone. Lack of oxygen does funny things to some people's brains. In the few minutes we were apart coming down from South Arapaho, Andi almost took off down the mountain toward some road she saw in the wrong direction!
- I did Lone Eagle a few weeks ago with a friend and it was fun and not scary at all; this time, it was terrifying worrying about somebody I care about so much being up there. I knew from her experience with rock climbing and from constantly checking in with her on the climb that she was ready for it, but it was still an intense experience.
Without further ado here's her side of the story.
Jared picked me up and we started our own adventure with just the two of us! It was 6 days of no phones, no work, no kids. Just us, in nature. It was like a honeymoon. I cannot thank my mom enough for allowing this to happen!!
Here’s what we did:
Sunday we climbed the beautiful Arapaho Peaks!
We summited South Arapaho Peak (13,400 ft),
then traversed to the summit of North Arapaho peak (13,500 ft) and back again.
Funny story- I started getting altitude sickness on the way down so Jared sent me ahead of him, while he turned back to grab some stuff we had stashed on our way up the mountain. Lack of oxygen is not good for decision making, and after a few minutes, I lost the path. I closed my eyes and called out to Jesus to show me a sign or lead me in the right direction. As soon as I opened my eyes, a marmot appeared about 15 feet in front of me, and pointed his nose east. I was not sure if this was a coincidence or a sign from the Lord, but I started walking east, and there was the path! And that’s not all. This happened two more times! Twice more I lost the path, and twice, marmots ran ahead of me and showed me where the path was! I was on the path for a while when I started to wonder if I had gone too far. Even though Jared and I had not been separated for very long, I started getting worried. The lack of oxygen was not helping my common sense. I wondered if I had been crazy to follow marmots this whole time. I cried out loud to the Lord again- this time for Jared to find me. A few minutes later I heard three short whistle blows- which is our signal if we get separated. At first I thought it might have just been birds and wishful thinking, but I heard it again, this time accompanied by Jared calling my name. He found me! I told him I had stupidly been following marmots thinking they were showing me the way, and he told me I was going the right way, so the marmots actually helped me! Thank you, Jesus!
We got down safely and all was well!
Monday we took the Pawnee Pass on the Continental Divide,
which is a very strenuous (but gorgeous) nine mile route, up to 12,500 ft...
and back down to 10,000 ft where we camped at the beautiful Mirror Lake for three nights.
This is why it's called Mirror Lake:
This is the view from our tent!
Tuesday we were too tired to do anything so we slept a bunch and lay around in the hammock staring at the beautiful scenery, including this killer view of Lone Eagle Peak!
And Wednesday we summited Lone Eagle Peak!!!!!
It was incredible and the highlight of our trip. It is a class 4 route, which means it involves some pretty serious climbing (but without needing ropes) and even though Jared is a rockstar and does this kind of thing all the time, I am super proud of myself for doing it!
Here's us at the top!
And here are my favorite wild flowers I saw on the mountain:
Thursday we had a decision to make: Go back over the grueling and exhausting Pawnee Pass back to our car, or take the much easier 7 mile, down hill, hike to Monarch Lake, and figure out a way to get around the mountain and back to our car.
We chose the latter.
We broke camp and headed down to Monarch Lake, praying that God would work out a way for us to get back to our car. We learned from a ranger that hitchhiking is legal in Colorado, so when we arrived at the lake, we started asking around. Two nice ladies gave us a ride to a town outside of Denver, and from there we called a Lyft to the trailhead, and our car. It was a miracle in itself that there was even a Lyft driver around- she showed up in less than 15 minutes! Both of these rides were filled with lovely conversations where we were able to share a bit about what God has done in our lives. Our wonderful Hawaiian Lyft driver also helped me plan my next vacation to Maui. :)
Side note: my amazing gentleman of a husband would not let me carry anything but water down to Monarch Lake because I was hurting from all our crazy adventures.
So here he is carrying EVERYTHING (and also hiking in his Luna sandals).
I love this guy.

Being in nature for two weeks (with no reception) allows a lot of time for self reflection and prayer. Every time I hike up a difficult mountain, I am overwhelmed with how similar to life mountain climbing is. It is so difficult and often you can’t imagine finding the strength to make it, but when you look around there are so many beautiful things to see, so many blessings along the way. You can always look behind you and see how far you’ve come, what you have been able to accomplish. The entire journey is filled with worship and praise for God- for who he is, what he has done, and the beauty he has created- along with constant crying out to him for strength and wisdom (and often relief from pain). It became clear to us how easy faith is in the mountains. We pray when we need strength, when we need to find the way, when we need to weather to change. And when He comes through, we are not even surprised, just thankful. (It started raining while we were on our way up Lone Eagle Peak, which would have made it impossible to summit, but we quickly prayed for Jesus to take the rain away- and immediately it stopped!)
Kristine Demarco's lyrics rang through our head this trip:
You carry me up the Mountain
Carry me to the heights
Where I understand your story
Where faith is not a fight

Those lyrics made perfect sense to us. On the mountain, there is nothing we can do but depend on Him. Faith is not a fight. It's easy. And the only thing that gets you through is having your eyes on the prize, fixing your gaze on that summit, on the reward you will reap from your hard work and trusting in Him. My life has been so hard the past 12 years, and especially the past 3 years. And just like when I’m struggling up a mountain, my dependance on God grows exponentially through each trial. Just as many of the mountains I climb seem way beyond my physical ability, this life God has given me is way beyond my emotional ability. Most of the time the only thing that gets me through is keeping my eyes on the prize- knowing that God is preparing a place for me- a place of beauty, rest, joy, love, and an eternity in His glorious presence. When you get to the top of a difficult mountain, there is nothing like it in the world. You know all your hard work, pain, confusion, and trials were worth it. You know every step- the beautiful ones and the difficult ones, got you where you are. All of the things you see and experience, you never could without the hardships. The hard things actually make the joy possible. Someday, we will see how each trial we encounter in life is actually leading us to God’s glory and getting us where we belong. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. Reminding myself of this each day means faith can be easy in regular life too, not just on mountains. When you understand His story, faith is not a fight. It's easy.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

Comments or Questions
08/07/2018 16:01
That Lone Eagle pic is one of the best I've seen of the place!

I thank you, too, Jesus.
08/07/2018 18:21
Even the Marmots know your voice.

Awesome photos!
08/08/2018 08:54
The photo of mirror lake is fantastic! Gret trip and report!

08/08/2018 09:05
She got them with a cell phone camera! She's the best.

Good Job
08/08/2018 12:35
Climbing South Arapaho is on my to do list. I backpack up to Lone Eagle Peak last September. One of my favorite places.

Very Cool
08/09/2018 09:35
You were surrounded by the fingerprints of God and his little messengers! Life is a Mountain! All the trials and triumphs of life are etched in those ridgelines. But if you trust in God, he will help you along. Great story, thanks for sharing!

BTW, my wife calls my sandals Jesus Shoes!

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