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Sunrise from Mt. Lincoln

Sunrise from Mt. Lincoln, Mosquito Range, Colorado

Sunrise from Mt. Lincoln, Mosquito Range, Colorado

My alarm yanked me out of a restless sleep at 2:30 am. My headache was gone. I managed to force down a muffin with difficulty. Not eating dinner the night before meant that I hadn't drunk enough water either and the muffin seemed as dry as if I was eating cotton balls. I forced down some water and Cytomax on top of a cup of coffee and started up the trail at 3:30 am.

My shoot coincided with new moon, and the night seemed unbelievably dark, with laser-bright stars. The wind, thankfully, had eased to a gentle, intermittent breeze. I took my time, sipping Cytomax every 15 minutes by the clock and eating a small granola bar every hour. I topped Mt. Cameron (a bump on the long ridge leading to Mt. Lincoln) just as a faint glow began along the eastern horizon and summited Mt. Lincoln half an hour before sunrise. The high altitude air was very clear, with almost no haze. A richly colored twilight wedge developed over Mount of the Holy Cross, so I shot it first, then shot looking in almost every direction, including a few frames of Pikes Peak rising out of the fog filling South Park 4,000 feet below. With my headache and nausea gone, I finished shooting the best light, ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, hiked out and drove home, delighted that I'd pulled off a plan that seemed doomed to fail at least twice. Total time, front door to front door: 25 hours, 15 minutes. It had seemed much longer.

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