• Otilia

Requited love: Mount Quandary. Beyond pain there is more pain, but in the end there is happiness

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

Part one: The Beauty

The unforgiven sound of the alarm…even if it is 3 o’clock in the morning and I am in the middle of a nice dream, I spring out of bed and start getting ready. Today is the day: we will go up the Quandary - the 13th of the Colorado’s fourteeners, all the way up to 14,265 feet.

As if to confirm once more the rational for being awake when most people enjoy their sweetest sleep, Jon says: “This is good training for Everest” and starts the car. As it is my first night climb, I am trying to control my excitement and not jump out of the car and push it from behind to move faster. The half moon keeps me busy as it sheds light over some of the majestic landscape and my imagination helps me fill in the parts left in the darkness, giving life to mythical giants hiding between the trees. After a two-hour drive we get to the trailhead and with head lamps on, start our adventure. Jon is quiet and focused and this is a clear indication that our climb will be far from an easy one. Even though I understand it is going to be painful, I put that thought aside for a bit as the beauty around me is unbelievable. Lofty pine trees against a night sky scattered with shining stars…the half moon throwing rays of light on the snow. If Van Gogh attempted to make a winter version of the “Starry night” for sure it would had looked exactly like what I was looking at. Eyes glued to the landscape around me, I forgot who am I and what was I doing there. Fortunately I was already caught in the rhythm of the climbing steps, and time was flowing more smoothly than ever. Amazing beauty is a shortcut to mindfulness…

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