Region: Front Range
Date: September 11, 2010
Elevation Gain: 2,800'
Partners: Darrin, Kris, Sean ... 35+ of Sean's friends
14ers.com TR: Oooops! Someone beat me to it :(
I've met Sean on a few hikes, and have followed his progress through his trip reports on 14ers for a year or two now. He is quite the character, and his quirkyness isn't fully realized until you see him in action. Within a few moments of this trip, it was apparent to Darrin and I, that Sean is one unique fella. To be surrounded by the cast of characters in costumes, only proves this fact further.
Sean's 14er finisher party started long before Darrin and I showed up. A large group of his friends had camped at the trailhead parking lot, and from what I hear, the partying was loud and fun. At 7am, the temps were below freezing, and I wasn't exiting the truck until the sun rose above the Sawtooth or we were ready to go. My costume for the day was light at best, despite being bolstered by an R1 Hoody and some extra leggings.
Once it looked like people were mobilizing, and the sun was up, I ventured out of the warm vehicle to find a unique assortment of Sean's friends. Hotdogs, pirates, mermaids, Bender, cheerleaders, a mormon, where the wild things are, crazy wigs, lumberjacks, Darrin as "doggler", me in my 60/70's outfit, and of course Sean in his pimp-tastic suit. Sean managed to wrangle up friends from grade school, college and out of state to compliment the locals for support on his final 14er. Sean mobilized the crew like a running coach with a whistle start. The stares by everyone else at the trailhead were PRICELESS! I bet they didn't know what to think!
The only downside to such a huge group, is that I could not be a part of everything. After the stream crossing, the group splintered, as expected with the elevation gain. So we all probably had different experiences on the way up. Kris (crossfitter) was shouldering an 80lb pack with the keg in it. And his wacky contribution was to rope up to his roommate, Darrin and me. The heavy pack was the only thing holding Kris back from running up the mountain, which was good, since there would have been 3 people dragging on the rope!
Our smaller group was in the stragglers, but Sean kept an eye on everyone, despite the beers he had already drunk. Half way up, he even tried shouldering Kris's pack! I bet the red wagon was slowing his speedyness down a bit ;)
Just before the getting onto the ridge, we put away the rope team, as it was getting silly, and the big rocks were ahead. Plus Kris was getting a bit wobbly on his feet, with all the weight. The cheer that went up from the group on the summit when Kris presented them with the keg was (I bet) worth the effort for Kris.
Our rather large group took over the area around the summit register, almost by accident. But that's where the keg went, so that's where the party was. Another large CU group started singing the CU fight song, and us alumni in the group sang along. Beer was passed around and shared freely. I'm sure for most on the summit, this may be their favorite summit!
Photos were taken, our "item that doesn't belong on a mountain" were retrieved from packs. Twister on a summit... fishing poles, giant rubber ducky, bike helmets, dude in a speedo, and a yoldleing pickle... yeah it was a crazy sight to see. I wonder if those on Mt Evans could hear the ruckus we created, or our yells of BEER!
Some people in the group had to leave early, and missed much of the party and fun. Though what better way to tell those coming up the mountain, than a gal in a hotdog costume saying there's a keg on the summit!
Keg stands became the way to consume more beer, and conserve the blue cups. Not sure how many did keg stands, but it seemed like a vast majority of the crew participated. With time, the keg wasn't emptying fast enough for Kris (who didn't want to carry it partly full down), so we got random strangers and those unsuspecting "surfer girls" to do keg stands of their own. When it looked like Kris may have to pack out some beer, a large group of college guys showed up, and filled their Nalgene's!
With the beer and cake gone, we did our bit and cleaned everything off the summit. Sean even found his beer can he opened while waiting for Kris to show up, and we were off down the mountain. Everyone on the way up saw us coming down, and already knew the story. Many were sad to find that the empty keg was leaving, and that they weren't fast enough. Wagon rides occurred in the more favorable spots, and I got many comments on my shiny silver pants.
Once back to the trailhead Kris and Sean were plotting their trip to Aspen and Capitol for Kris's finisher. Not sure how those two animals can handle a weekend like this!
A big congrats to Sean on completing his 14er list!!! This is one party that may be imitated, but never ever surpassed!
Photos: (View Slideshow)