The day arrived for the Friday Gang to climb ol' Charlie. Yep. Mt. Charleston Peak, herself. She rises to 11, 913 feet above sea level and requires a climb of 4800 total elevation feet. The route chosen for today's marathon 17.5 miles was up the South Loop and down the North Loop. This was the writer's second trip over the peak. (As an editorial note, I found this trip more meaningful, in that, I was more aware of where I was, where the photos were, and what it meant to be able to accomplish this hike. Although I may never do it again because of the stress it puts on the body, I am very glad I hiked this mountain one more time.)
South Loop Trailhead to Griffith Saddle
Then the magic began happening. As the sun rose virtually at the center of the down side of Kyle Canyon, the mountains, peaks and aspens lit up progressively providing a beautiful colorful light show as seen in the photos above. We hiked up to the first set of switchbacks taking a lot of photos, waking up our hearts and warming our muscles. The morning was a pleasant temperature, not warm and not too cool.
Griffith Saddle to the Corner
The Corner to Charleston Peak
All mankind is of one author and is one volume;
when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into
a better language, and every chapter must be so translated. God employs several
translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war,
some by justice; but God's hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind
up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie
open to one another. ... No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. ... Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. . . . ~ John Donne
Charleston Peak to Devil's Thumb
We lost altitude fast as we zigzagged down the steep slope that ends abruptly on a cliff. Below us was upper Kyle Canyon. We were hiking on that face of the peak that everyone can see from the drive up Kyle Canyon Highway.
Devil's Thumb to Trail Canyon Trailhead