10/11/15 – 10/12/15
Summer was fading away and fall was already in full force in the high country. Pat “Perry” Johnson and I decided it was time to knock out a Front Range 14er that we had waited to do until tourist season was over, Longs Peak. We planned to depart from the trailhead in Estes Park on a Sunday morning, camp at the Boulder Field right below the Keyhole, and summit Longs Peak the following day. This would hopefully ensure relatively low traffic on the route and allow us to enjoy an unfamiliar area without the congestion it typically attracts in the summer months. I talked to a ranger a few days before to make sure a campsite was available and work out any fees we would need to pay before heading up on the mountain. He informed me that the Trough section of the route contained both ice and snow so I decided it was a good idea for Perry and I to bring an ice axe and crampons to be on the safe side.