At the edge of the tree line on Abol Slide Trail headed up to Baxter Peak, I happened to turn around to see where I had come from and this view hit me square in the chest. THIS.. This is exactly why I was putting myself through this. Suddenly my legs felt a little better and my stamina increased. I was only 1/4 of the way to the top and it took me 3 hours to do that, but I was going to make it I had no doubts.
Looking at the pictures of the first part of Abol Slide does not do justice to just how steep the climb is. Lots of loose rock and boulders every step needs to be measured. But I made it and the thought crossed my mind that it can't really be much worse than that right?
Oh how wrong I was, the path I just walked up might as well have been a padded escalator compared to the vertical climbing that was about to happen.
Back in my day I was a pretty spry young man with incredible balance thanks to martial arts training, but that was 2 decades and 5 desk jobs ago.