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Day 16

The mountains surrounding us are so desolate, just bare rock. It looks like we’re hiking in Mordor towards Mount Doom. 

Our luck ran out… Around noon, right before a climb, it started raining. It was the whole package; rain, hail, thunder and lightning. We had two miles to hike before getting out of the tree line so we walked on. When we got above tree line it looked like it was clearing up so we went for it. 

It was fine, with no thunder or rain/hail for awhile but before our last climb above tree line it started up again. The thunder was right above us and the air felt like it was buzzing. It was completely terrifying! The pass wasn’t far and we were already completely exposed so, we ran for it. Okay, I ran for maybe 30 ft before I couldn’t breath and walked as fast as I could. Doing climbs at high altitudes is getting easier but running is a whole other level. The tree line wasn’t far down the other side of the pass. 

I will point out that at no time were we walking in on a ridge line. The whole time there were peaks on our sides but we were in high treeless meadows. 

I will for sure do lightning safety  research when we get to Salida tomorrow.

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