Warning: the following words and images will allow you to vicariously see the world with the eyes of Sultan. Read at your own risk. The name Sultan has many meanings, but derives from the peak Sultan Mountain in Silverton, CO!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mt. Mitchell Ascent

Today we hiked up Mt. Mitchell despite iffy weather reports. We ascended via the Black Mountain Camp Grounds, 12 miles round trip, 3,700 feet of gain. This is my 13th Black Mountain summit. I know the trail very well, but every time it looks different when I’m there.

We started the hike with warmer than expected temperatures. After the first 2 miles freezing rain the size of tic-tacs began to fall, and I heard a few cracks of thunder (video below). The ice was pelting my head and my body. We kept hiking on.

Photos and Video

More rain fell and more wind began to blow. Up commissary ridge I stopped avoiding the large puddles of slush (slurpy like liquid mixed with small round ice pellets, just like the ones you can get at the gas station).

At the summit the temperature was right at freezing, and the wind chill was closer to 25 degrees. This photo was taken at the summit. The photo from left to right, Mohammed, David, Jim, and Mike. The view was minimal as the clouds had consumed the sky.

We ran the whole way down the mountain. Snow began to fall heavier than at the top as a weather system was moving in. As usual, I took a swim in the freezing waters of the South Toe river at the end of the hike.

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