Sunday, January 4, 2009
"I climbed Montgo and that is the 2nd highest mountain in Alicante" - Christian Roy, January 2, 2009, Javea. After months of hard work, hours of preparation, broken promises, infighting at base camp, and a seemingly endless wait for the weather (and for daddy's New Year's hangover) to clear, we finally got a rare window of opportunity to make our ascent on the morning of January 2nd. Just one day after Christian made it his New Year's resolution to bag this formidable and elusive beast - and just two days shy of his 7th birthday - we found ourselves ready to seize the day. Every morning this past week, Christian has been waking up and looking pensively across the valley to the Montgo, wondering if today would be his day. One by one, the other promising climbers backed away from the challenge, until only Christian and his dutiful sherpa remained. As the summitting season was nearing its close, pressure was mounting on the climbers and the tension weighed on the camp like a wet wool blanket in the cold, damp Javea air. A sliver of dawn peaked out across the horizon as we packed our bags, kissed our loved ones goodbye, and headed for the trailhead. The fog hung thick across the valley as we drove through the orange groves in silence, wondering if we had what it would take to summit and return... Today, fate was on our side and the mountain gods smiled upon us as we began our ascent. Christian was more than prepared and he bolted up towards the summit with hardly any need for rest along the way. I had planned for 2 1/2 hours, but we made it in less than 1:45 - plenty of time to relax and enjoy the views from the top, savoring our accomplishment. I must admit his agility surprised me, particularly on the rocky scramble at the base of the summit. Sure, he started to poop out towards the end, but by then we were only a couple hundred yards from the car and adrenaline more than compensated for his tired little legs. It was great to watch him parade into base camp a hero - he was so proud and couldn't wait to share his accomplishment with everyone. I too, was a very proud sherpa, and it looks like I might have at least one budding backpack partner in the mix - perhaps sooner than anyone might have anticipated!