Five Days After 9-11

Mount Elbert, 9-11, Mount Massive Wilderness Area

American Flags on Mount Elbert : Prints Available

Five days after 9-11, we climbed the Black Cloud route on Elbert; deciding that climbing is a great way to express our freedom. On reaching the summit, we saw the large flag -a poignant moment that we'll never forget. Our friend Carol added the second flag. Mount Massive Wilderness Area

We weren’t sure whether it was ok to follow through with our plans to climb Mount Elbert just a few days after 9-11. At 14,433 feet, Elbert is the highest peak in the Rockies and it was a tough day on the Black Cloud Trail both emotionally and physically. We reached the summit after about five hours of ascending and saw the large flag on top. There was another group on the peak at the same time and I recall that we all spoke in hushed voices, celebrating our expression of American freedom quietly. This image always takes me right back to the strange days following 9-11, the surreal coverage of the tragedies, and the lump in my throat on Mount Elbert that day.

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