Potosi Mountain, or What Not to Do While in the Mountains!
This is where things started to go bad. At the time this picture was taken, sunset was about ten or fifteen minutes away. My GPS showed the spot where I hit the ridge was still a distance away. It began to get dark, and it got dark rapidly. The problem with missing the point where I hit the ridge was that if I didn't go far enough, I'd hit the series of cliffs on the descent. They'd be tough to do in daylight, and absolutely treacherous in the dark. I started the final descent a bit too early and came to the edge of a precipice. I back tracked a bit and began traversing towards what I hoped would be my track back down (I had the map feature on my GPS turned on). It got too dark to see very far ahead and I stopped for a moment to pull out my recently purchased head lamp. It was worthless. I thrashed my way further down the slope, and finally started digging through my pack looking for my flash light. That helped some, but I still could only see a few feet ahead of me. I hit more cliffs. I was able to down climb them by holding the flashlight in my mouth while I used both hands and feet to climb down. As soon as I got down one, there would be another one. It was very slow going. Finally, I came to what was a 4th class down climb. I began edging my way down, but lost footing and fell about five feet. Fortunately, I landed in pine needles and although I was scraped up and split my lip with the flashlight, I was otherwise uninjured. I continued on, knowing that I still had over a mile left to go, and several hundred feet to descend. I reached out for the GPS that had been attached to my sternum strap, and it was gone. Damn! It must have been knocked loose in the fall. I turned around to go back, but I realized I'd never find it in the dark (did I mention how dark it was? Black.) So I ruefully turned back and headed on down. I'd made it over the worst and finally came out on the road long after eight o'clock. I found my car (it was about a hundred yards from where I came out of the bush). Lesson? Don't ever underestimate a mountain. Even the most benign mountain has teeth. This one chewed me up pretty good.