Soren and I, when we stood on top of Vesper Peak, had one of these moments that I like to call: “too good to not do again” moments.
Have you ever had one of those? Perhaps on a roller coaster when you finally reached the 48 inch height requirement, or when you saw your favorite artist live and it was…live. They’re those moments when you are so happy, so content, so filled with life that you think to yourself, or aloud: “Well, I’d have to be crazy not to try for this again.” On the summit, we simultaneously had a too good not to do again moment, and so we found ourselves scrambling up the peak again the next morning; we just couldn’t have enough. Adventurers and life-livers alike will know what I mean.
Prior to that though was the night before, Sunday night. Soren and I knew we were off somewhere the next day to scramble a peak, which peak that was though, we did not know. That’s when he thought of Vesper Peak, a mountain that almost exactly a year prior denied an ascent due to too much snow (summer in WA – who would’ve thought?). We came to the conclusion that there’s no better day for redemption than today, and so we headed out. Admittedly, we left late, and when we got to the trailhead it was full steam up the path to summit before the sundown. But we powered through, and made it up to summit with enough time to take in quite a bit of the sunset, actually. As a matter of fact, the sunset seemed like it lasted forever.
Rich golds filled the valleys to the brims by light, and made the peaks shine like ornaments on a Christmas tree. We lost ourselves to moment: where exactly does time go in moments like these? I swear, it stopped. If the golden hour was the highlight of the story, I could stop here and we could all go home, but it was just the beginning of many. The golden rays soon gave way to reds and pinks, and the glaciated slopes of Mt. Baker glowed like a slushie cone.
Against our greedy wishes, the sun did finally set, and we started our descent. The blue hour was deep and vibrant, and this hour actually never ended – the nearly full moon was determined to keep it alive. And so on the way down we hardly needed our headlamps, and my calves enjoyed the rest, though my thighs protested. We got back down to our campsite, which, is one of the best I’ve ever had. A rock, a step out from the mainland on Vesper Lake and surrounded by water…the very perfect size for a tent to be pitched on.
And pitch it we did. Before going to bed though, we ate the freeze dried meal that, if you know anything about freeze dried meals at all, satisfies like none other. Mountain House chili mac. Add in the summit brews that we forgot to drag to the summit, and a sky full of stars, and you have a meal worth remembering. We slept like rocks on our rock that night.
But, as I said, in the morning we summited again. Despite a 4:30 start time, our fresh legs made the 1200 feet up and 5280 feet forward a breeze . It’s hard to say which hour on the summit was better. The sun rose, unimpeded by clouds in its full glory, once more filling the Central Cascades with its warm goodness. We soaked it in and I got this shot of Soren that I had imagined the night before.
Because all good things must end, we made our way down with protesting spirits that could only be satiated by a lakeside nap. No alarm – the midday sun heated us to consciousness. The next logical step was to cool off in the water. Soren decided to do that at a steeper angle than I did, and got to know the bottom of Vesper Lake with this dive.
After we couldn’t avoid it any longer, we packed up and left for the parking lot. We returned that afternoon feeling full of life. I guess the story is: if you have a moment that is too good to not experience again, don’t let it pass you by – go for the summit twice, why don’t ya?