The Four Peaks draw people to it like perhaps nothing else in the state, and with it so close to the city many have tested themselves on it and have an experience of a lifetime. For me this has certainly been the case. I've been on her multiple times and really thought I was done, not having the desire to go over again, but enjoying the memories from the past treks and reading stories from everyone else had me fulfilled. Then Scott and Brian had to tell me they were going to do them while taking a few people out that haven't done the peaks yet. I said I would think about it but was really on the side of not going, then the days pass and something inside of me was building up. My last time over was at night with Pete and we were not lucky to have the moonlight we wanted because of cloud cover and an approaching storm. After checking the dates I noticed the weekend Scott wanted to go was close to the full moon. I threw out the idea of going at night again but knew it wasn't going to happen. Then while at our pre hockey game routine of drinking beers at Gordon Biersch Scott told me they were going to do them South to North and my insides let out what I wanted to do on them. I wanted to solo the peaks at night and wait atop Peak 4 for the group and then go back over with them. Scott had a bet going with Katrina that he wouldn't get them off route so after hearing that the plan was set. I would be waiting for the group atop Peak 4 and trail in the rear and let Scott do the leading. After a few emails of final plans it was a go.
Friday the 15th came and everyone was set. I would get out there before anyone and start on up. Everyone else would be camping out there Friday night with an early morning start the goal. I arrived at the trailhead right before 6pm and gathered everything up and collected my thoughts. I took off at 6:20pm leaving a liter of water and radio on the Jeep for the group to bring up so I could have that much less of a load to carry. The early evening was calm and the sunset was becoming beautiful. I approached the Brown's saddle and caught the last of the sunset and had the twilight mood to head on up Brown's Peak now. I arrived on the summit before 8pm and sat on top for 30 minutes letting my eyes adjust to the dark, listen to a few songs and clear my head for the trek over the peaks. The moonlight was spectacular but I still used my headlamp every second as there was no room for error on any hand and foothold. I left for Peak 2 after 8pm and quickly found my way down to the saddle, found the rock underpass I wanted and made it safely to the base. I was right on route and made my way up to the ridge and onto the Peak right before 9pm. Again I spent about 30 minutes on top to get the route in my head of getting over to Peak 3. At this time I noticed lights from below and was thinking it was the gang coming up and setting up camp. Later I would learn that indeed Brian and Katrina were able to see my headlamp while I was on Peak 2. Now the fun begins.
The journey from Peak 2 to 3 is always an adventure as anyone who has done them knows, but I knew where I wanted to be and continued on. Getting over the jagged knife ridge is always a blast and the adrenaline starts to rush as the approach to the top of the backward Z becomes closer. I remember the exact spot where Pete fell last time and saw the cactus that eventually drove a spine into his palm that was surgically removed later. I laughed at the memory and pushed on. Now the most dangerous part of the trek is here, the down climb on the rock slab with extreme exposure above the Z. I took my minute of reflection and went down, it was over in seconds but the rush lasted minutes. I continued down on was now on the ramp of the Z. While feeling the rush I looked for the biggest rock I could find and sent it down the ramp. The sparks lit up and continued down to a seemingly bottomless abyss. Continuing down the ramp was slow going, I was all over the place trying to find the best path of travel without falling. Towards the bottom I had to go butt to rock and thanked my shoes for sticking to the rock. I was off the ramp and over to the saddle. Here the views of the city are great and you feel like you are looking over at burning embers in the distance. I left a powerade here and continued on up to Peak 3. I arrived after midnight on the summit and wanted to get over to Peak 4 as soon as I could to get some rest for the night. The down climb 3 is not bad but the bushwhacking in the area is always a part for letting out the curse words. After a few snaps and whacks I was atop Peak 4 at 1:45am. I got out the Kiltlifter and downed the brew while looking over the logs. Several HAZ triplogs are good to see and the Four Peaks Pens left in the cans are classic. The Peak 4 log is down to a few spots left on the pages so a new notebook will be needed up there soon,(hint for those going up soon). I got my fleece and balaclava on and wrapped the emergency blanket around me. Didn't want to pack much and felt that would do in the cool night. I had my audio book going and fell asleep right on top of the peak before 3am.
The sudden chill, and flapping sound had me awake, my audio book still going I thought I had my eyes closed for a few minutes, but after sitting up I noticed the light coming from the east. I looked at my watch, 5am. Wow, the fastest 2 hours ever, I got up and moved around a little bit to warm up and watched the sunrise over Roosevelt Lake. PERFECT! I watched the Peaks light up as well and now knew it was a waiting game for the group. I laid back down but didn't really sleep. The sun came out and seemed to warm up everything fast. I loved watching the shadow of the peaks grow further west as the sun continued to rise. I wanted to group to be up top now, but knew it would be another hour or two hoping they started early as planned.
Helicopter sounds mixed with the audio book made for a great morning, later I would find out the helicopter was below me landing at the mine for a tour. I finally saw the group arriving towards the top of Peak 4 after 9am and was anxious to head back over. The group arrived, Eric, Scott, Brian, Katrina, and Tanya were glad to see me as was I glad to see them. I told them how the night went and we were ready to set off for a great day on the peaks.
Scott took the lead as planned and the nagging on his route became loud early. lol The trek back over was great, seeing the faces of the girls when they encountered certain areas, seeing the face on Eric (that being very happy since he is a great climber) the constant audio the group provides is something that cannot be topped, you just never know what you are going to hear which makes it great.
We made it over the peaks and craved the cold beer at the vehicles. I could get into detail with the trip back over, but that would be another story, perhaps best left for someone else to tell.
Thank you Four Peaks for all the great times, I really fill fulfilled with them now and believe I have taken my final steps on them, but then again I have said that before.