“If we do this again, we’re getting Verizon” – Andrew

Sprint sucks.  I have had no access to the internet for days!  I got home late last night after driving through a terrible rainstorm.  It is hard being away from it all, but I do have to work eventually.  I had planned on taking the whole time off, but due to the uncertain early conditions, Andrew delayed 5 days, and I was unable to rearrange my work schedule.

Here are some pics from the last few days.

Day 2 Driving to Creede.  Scary Lightning.

Day 2 Driving to Creede. Scary Lightning.

Day 3. Kyle driving up the Lake Como Road.

Day 3. Kyle driving up the Lake Como Road.

Day 3. This road should have been really easy for Andrew last year on the motorcycle. Not  sure what his problem was.

Day 3. This road should have been really easy for Andrew last year on the motorcycle. Not sure what his problem was.

Day 3. Me bouncing around in the back.  Kyle gave me a 4wheeling lesson on the way down.  Came in handy on the Huerfano road.

Day 3. Me bouncing around in the back. Kyle gave me a 4wheeling lesson on the way down. Came in handy on the Huerfano road.

Day 3. Jaws 1

Day 3. Jaws 1

Day 3. On the Lake Como Rd

Day 3. On the Lake Como Rd

Day 3. Hiking up the Lake Como Road after Jaws 1 to the 3000" point.

Day 3. Hiking up the Lake Como Road after Jaws 1 to the 3000″ point.

Day 3. Como. Still smiling.

Day 3. Como. Still smiling.

Day 3. This is how Andrew got up past Jaws 1 to the 3000" point.

Day 3. This is how Andrew got up past Jaws 1 to the 3000″ point.

Day 3. One of many wash outs.

Day 3. One of many wash outs on the Huerfano road for Lindsay.

Day 3.  On the Huerfano Road after the flash flood, trying to get to Culebra.

Day 3. On the Huerfano Road after the flash flood, trying to get to Culebra.

This Earth mover nearly got stuck in this, and had to use the front loader to get himself out.  It was a miracle we got the van out of there.  Kyle hooked a tow rope to the van, and I used my newly acquired 4x4 skills to get out.

This earth mover nearly got stuck in this, and had to use the front loader to get himself out. It was a miracle we got the van out of there. Kyle hooked a tow rope to the van, and I used my newly acquired 4×4 skills to get out.

Day 3. Lots of mud

Day 3. Lots of mud

Day 4. Upper South Colony Lake with Kyle.

Day 4. Upper South Colony Lake with Kyle.

Day 4. Our good omen.

Day 4. Our good omen.

Day 4. Leaving the Crestones.  After being drenched at the upper lake with Kyle, it all cleared out by the time we were heading over to Pikes.

Day 4. Leaving the Crestones. After being drenched at the upper lake with Kyle, it all cleared out by the time we were heading over to Pikes.

Day 5.  Frontier Ranch TH.  Calvin, Axel, and Max.

Day 5. Frontier Ranch TH. Calvin, Axel, and Max.

Day 5. Returning from Mt. Princeton.

Day 5. Returning from Mt. Princeton.

Day 6. We waited out the rain in the RV before the big Elks day.

Day 6. We waited out the rain in the RV before the big Elks day.

Day 6. Final prep for his 24 hour trek.

Day 6. Final prep for his 24 hour trek.

Day 6. Bye

Day 6. Bye

Day 6. Andrew and Laura

Day 6. Andrew and Laura

Day 6.  Calvin and Axel at Maroon Lake.  It was an absolutely beautiful day. But take about the worst time to be in Aspen, on the 4th of July.  We got driving reprieve for a few hours with our friend Luke.  We then drove around to Capitol Creek where Kyle and I hiked up to Capital Lake.  We got there a little too fast, so waited for about 3 hours in drizzle for him to come down.  We watched his light from the peak to K2 and then it disappeared for a while before reappearing.  He descending so unbelievably fast!  Doing Capitol in the dark is difficult, but when it is wet... yikes! He said he scooted across the more difficult part of the knife edge because the rock was so slippery.  We returned to  Kyle's car via the old Capitol Creek route to avoid the stream crossing. I liked the 400 foot ascent at the end.  What Andrew will do for love!

Day 6. Calvin and Axel at Maroon Lake. It was an absolutely beautiful day. But take about the worst time to be in Aspen, on the 4th of July. We got driving reprieve for a few hours with our friend Luke. We then drove around to Capitol Creek where Kyle and I hiked up to Capital Lake. We got there a little too fast, so waited for about 3 hours in drizzle for him to come down. We watched his light from the peak to K2 and then it disappeared for a while before reappearing. He descended so unbelievably fast! Doing Capitol in the dark is difficult, but when it is wet… yikes! He said he scooted across the more difficult part of the knife edge because the rock was so slippery. We returned to Kyle’s car via the old Capitol Creek route to avoid the stream crossing (for me). I liked the 400 foot ascent at the end. What Andrew will do for love!

Day 7. After Castle and Conundrum.

Day 7. After Castle and Conundrum with James.

Day 7. Done with the Elks and still on schedule! Smiling!

Day 7. Done with the Elks and still on schedule! Smiling!

Day 7. At Elbert TH.  Charlie met us at the S Elbert TH with donuts! We force fed Andrew.  He has not been eating as much of his powder as he should be, so we are trying to stuff more in during transitions.  It is hard though, as he gets full quickly.  He will be a lot thinner at the end of this!

Day 7. At Elbert TH. Charlie met us at the S Elbert TH with donuts! We force fed Andrew. He has not been eating as much of his powder as he should be, so we are trying to stuff more in during transitions. It is hard though, as he gets full quickly. He will be a lot thinner at the end of this!

Charlie ad Andrew getting ready to drive up the S Mount Elbert road with Kyle.

Charlie ad Andrew getting ready to drive up the S Mount Elbert road with Kyle.

Day 7. Andrew returning to the North Halfmoon Creek TH to a waiting Homie, after Elbert, and before heading up Massive with Homie and Charlie.

Day 7. Andrew returning to the North Halfmoon Creek TH to a waiting Homie, after Elbert, and before heading up Massive with Homie and Charlie.

Day 7. Charlie crossing the creek at the base of Elbert.  They came down so fast, we made him get back in the water to take this picture.

Day 7. Charlie crossing the creek at the base of Elbert. They came down so fast, we made him get back in the water to take this picture.

Day 7. Homie and a "damp" Charlie.

Day 7. Homie and a “damp” Charlie.

Day 7. Andrew and his Mom Brenda.

Day 7. Andrew and his Mom Brenda.

Day 7. Its just a flesh wound.

Day 7. Its just a flesh wound.

Day 7. Packing the pack for Massive.  Andrew was in great spirits, smiling and laughing.  How?

Day 7. Packing the pack for Massive. Andrew was in great spirits, smiling and laughing. How?

Day 7. Kyle looking glamorous.

Day 7. Kyle looking glamorous.

Day 7. More transitioning.

Day 7. More transitioning.

Day 7. Leaving for Massive.

Day 7. Leaving for Massive.

Day 7. Returning from Massive.  He looks like he's sleepwalking.

Day 7. Returning from Massive. He looks like he’s sleepwalking.

Day 7.  And you thought YOU were tired!

Day 7. And you thought YOU were tired!

Day 7. Nap time.

Day 7. Nap time.

Day 7. Andrea, David (Laura's husband), and Kyle

Day 7. Andrea, David (Laura’s husband), and Kyle

Day 7. Everyone else driving to Holy Cross as I grudgingly went home.

Day 7. Everyone else driving to Holy Cross as I grudgingly went home.

The rest of the crew

Andrew has been doing very well as you can see.  He is currently going up Redcloud and Sunshine, numbers 10 and 11 of 58.  He managed to complete 8 in the first 24 hours.  We are currently hanging in the RV in Lake City with Gigi, Florian, Laura, and our eldest 2 kids Calvin and Axel.  We will be heading up to meet him at about 11,000 feet in a bit.  The tracker doesn’t seem to be updating at the moment, but he was about an hour ahead of schedule.  The weather is perfect today, so I am sure his plan is to get as much done in the daylight as possible today, and push hard while he can.  It is almost a full moon, so tonight should be nice and bright.

Playing Picwits while we wait, and I suffer with VERY slow internet!

Playing Picwits while we wait, and I suffer with VERY slow internet!

Update from Natalie, and goats…

Hi Everyone! It has been a great start! Both of us were pretty depressed after getting SOAKED for an hour hiking into Chicago Basin, but by the time we got to the upper campsites, it was sunny. We dried out, ate burritos, and went to bed about 8pm. Andrew was out within seconds of laying down. We were woken up n the night, though by thunder and lightning, but surprisingly little rain, and GOATS! Lots of goats stomping around us. We should have known after seeing all the bits of goat fur on every branch of every bush. In the dark, we looked outside the tent and just saw LOTS of eyes, EVERYWHERE! Andrew left right at 430am. I waved goodbye from the comfort of my sleeping bag, and went back to sleep. I was awoken again when my tent was bumped by a goat. I packed up and headed down to the train. Andrew made it in great time, without running this time! The Needles went smoothly, and Andrew was warned several times by other hikers to not attempt them due to snow. Little did they know! Sorry about all the goat pictures. I am a little obsessed.  I have some videos too, but the internet is too slow to upload them.

The downhill bike.  Getting ready at the Silverton train station.

The downhill bike. Getting ready at the Silverton train station.

IMG_3166

 

Andrew getting off the train in Needleton.Andrew getting off the train in Needleton.

Natalie getting off the train.

Natalie getting off the train.

The narrow gauge engine.

The narrow gauge engine.

Hiking into Chicago Basin after the sun came out.

Hiking into Chicago Basin after the sun came out.

Eating Qdoba by the creek.

Eating Qdoba by the creek.

Fat and happy!

Fat and happy!

Going to bed in the daylight.  I was not so fast to fall asleep.

Going to bed in the daylight. I was not so fast to fall asleep.

The view from my sleeping bag as Andrew gets ready to go.

The view from my sleeping bag as Andrew gets ready to go.

All ready!

All ready!

And he's off!

And he’s off!

One of many.

One of many.

I was surrounded.

I was surrounded.

Babies!  They sound like squeaky toys!  This little guy lost his Mama, and was calling to her.

Babies! They sound like squeaky toys! This little guy lost his Mama, and was calling to her.

More goats.

More goats.

And more...

And more…

Made it to the train in time.

Made it to the train in time.

Happier on the train!

Happier on the train!

Off to the Wilsons in Kyle's 4WD.

Off to the Wilsons in Kyle’s 4WD.

Calling it

So after having Micah drive me and the kids up to Fourmile Creek trailhead and seeing Andrew’s leg, I was a little concerned.  He was in agony walking.  His right leg is swollen, weeping and exquisitely painful.  Every step was pure torture.  Andrew was hoping I’d be able to give him a steroid shot to make it all go away, but alas, I don’t carry such things with me at all times.  I also told him that the injury is more serious and is exertional compartment syndrome.  The anterior compartment of his lower leg is so tight and weeping, not good signs.  I called an orthopedic friend who confirmed my diagnosis by phone.  I explained all to Andrew and James and the rest of the crew.  Andrew went and tried walking around the Kite Lake trailhead, calling it quits shortly thereafter.  He was playing the number game in his head, and while at normal pace, he could do it, not with this kind of injury.  It was just slowing him down too much, and is not worth any permanent injury.  Not only that, but he would never be satisfied with how it ended if he only beat it by minutes.  There were amazing people who came out to say hello and cheer Andrew on, and we are so appreciative of that!!!!  And for all those who were ready and waiting to hike with Andrew!  What an amazing group of people!!!!  Andrew is now home after falling asleep with margarita in hand, me having Andrea try to start an IV on a comatose Andrew (which is great for learning BTW), and him getting some IV fluid.  His asthma attack just now left his lips blue, but I am sure this is not the end…..

Castle and Conundrum

Someone asked what music he listens to?  Well here it is.  This is what happens when you spend all your time with 4 children! And we love him for it!

“Let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway.”
Last night with great fatigue and really cold wind we climbed through the pain cave. Just two friends two mountains and the soundtrack to Frozen on loop. Grown guys at 2am singing along with the mutual understanding that there really is nowhere else either of us would rather be.

cc2cc1cc3cc4cc5

DeLorme help

I got a very nice email from the DeLorme inReach people!

“I found your email address on Andrew’s blog. We have been following along today and know that there were periods where his inReach appeared to stop tracking. We just wanted you both to know that our engineering team spent some time analyzing the data and it appears that his device was going into “rest mode” because he was moving so slowly (due to the injured leg). inReach is designed to automatically stop tracking when the user is stationary (or barely moving with long rest intervals), but in the event of an emergency (he pushes the SOS button) his exact location will be immediately updated and can still be seen and pinged (updated) by search and rescue authorities. There are also going to be times when he is in deep canyons or under heavy tree canopy where the satellites might be obscured briefly and several text messages will queue up waiting to send. Once he has the connection again, they all send out immediately. So that might happen occasionally during his climbs.

Andrew has had almost 10,000 views of his MapShare page today [as of 2pm] and had 14,000 yesterday, so a lot of people are following him closely and very interested in what’s going on. I am sure there is some concern about the skips in tracking, so if you want to let people know that his track line may appear fragmented at times due to the rest mode and that the device seems to be functioning properly, it might put some people at ease. We’ve had at least one follower contact us about it, so I just thought I would reach out to

We are here to help however we can and are rooting for Andrew’s success!”

They also gave us VIP tech support with 24/7 access and personal cell numbers. Pretty classy.

Thanks Kim and the DeLorme inReach team

Still on South Maroon?

I receive this text at 4:00am:
Hi. Stefan and I on south ridge of south maroon. My leg is so bad can barely move. Can you reach James.

I have tried to reach both, but have not heard back.  No SOS has been called, but I don’t know what is going on as the tracker seems to have stalled on the ridge.  Either it is having issues again, or he is just sitting there.

Massive and Capitol

From James:

So your husband is strong enough to make Homie who has completed the hard rock 100 question if he can keep pace up hill then two days later Wes who is training for the montblonc 100 turns back on the ascent of massive at 13300 because he didnt want to slow andrew down. In his defense it was his 5th fast mtn with Andrew. Your husband almost broke me on the ascent of Columbia.  Today being the Elks Stefan will probably be learning the hard lesson we all have. Andrew is one of the strongest athletes I’ve ever met.

wes and andrew on the last creek crossing coming down elbert at 10800ft

wes and andrew on the last creek crossing coming down elbert at 10800ft

capitol trail head with the morning view all the crew cars

capitol trail head with the morning view all the crew cars

my best friend Wesley

my best friend Wesley

pretty

pretty

shoe choices. At the massive transition. No joke andrew went with 1 hoka and 1 Salomon speed cross. Probably a worlds first

shoe choices. At the massive transition. No joke andrew went with 1 hoka and 1 Salomon speed cross. Probably a worlds first