Amber and Adam | 13,000 Ft Hiking Elopement
Savannah Chandler Photography | Colorado Elopement Photographer
Amber and Adam flew out from Minnesota to elope here in Colorado amongst the Rocky Mountains. We had discussed quite a few locations we could hike to, the logistics of each different spot, and the time it would take to hike to each one. After mulling it over, we picked a mountain near Grand Lake that would be a 9 mile summit (and that I’ve personally been wanting to hike for a LONG time!).
Hiking Elopements are an interesting thing here in Colorado. Sometimes, not everything goes as planned. Thunderstorms roll in, it snows in July, or as in this case, construction closes down the road to get to the trailhead.
One of the great things about being a Colorado native who is obsessed with the mountains, I backtracked and found us an awesome mountain with spectacular views that was still within a reasonable drive of Amber and Adam’s AirBnB. As the evening went on, it was clear that we were meant to climb this 13,081 ft. mountain on this day, August 20th.
We began our ascent for our 5.5 mile trek at around 4:00, hoping to catch an amazing sunset for their ceremony at the summit of the mountain. The weather was holding up nicely, and the scenery was absolutely amazing the entire hike up the mountain.
As we were making our way up to the summit, Amber and Adam told us some pretty crazy stories about their time in Colorado. In Amber’s words, they’re “Believers”. They had met a woman on the hike to Sky Pond the day prior, who randomly approached them. This woman let them know that she was expecting to see them, as she had a dream that the male would be carrying the female across a threshold during their time in Colorado. Mind you, this was before Amber and Adam let her know that they were here in Colorado to Elope. We knew, that at some point during their mountain top elopement, Adam would have to pick up his new wife.
The approach to the summit was rather mild, and we made it to the storm shelters just as the sky was starting to turn magical colors. Amber headed in one direction to change into her attire, and Adam the other. Once they saw one another and were ready to say their vows above 13,000 feet, I told them to find a rock that sung to their souls – and that’s where we’d have their ceremony at. I personally am a huge proponent of finding a piece of Earth that speaks to you – you find the spot, and I’ll adjust myself accordingly.
As Amber and Adam began to walk towards the West ever so slightly, they found an amazing rock that they decided was the spot where they’d say their vows to one another. Amber’s Pastor had also recorded a message for them to listen to once they were wed.
The sun began to set, making it’s way through a large block of clouds. Just after their ceremony and as the pastor’s message started to play, a HUGE cloud swooped up from behind all of us. In an instant, the wind picked up and swept this low hanging cloud over all of us and it flew out into the distance. Right as the sun peaked out, the mysterious cloud made it’s way in front of the sun – creating a perfect heart in the sky. It really, truly is hard to put into words the feeling we all had. We were clearly meant to be on that rock, on the mountain, at that exact time. I still get chills when I tell other people the story of the perfect heart in Amber and Adam’s photo.
Nightfall was fast approaching, and we had a decent hike ahead of us. We walked out into the amazing orange light, and began our decent down the mountain. It was quite the dark hike (with a few distant, terrifying booms in the distance) – but we made it down with no one being left to the mountain as a bear snack 🙃
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for inviting me to adventure along with you Amber and Adam. It was a wedding day that I’ll always remember very fondly. I wish you nothing but the best. And I REALLY, REALLY am hoping that you’re able to make it back out to Colorado so we can find some Wild Ice. 💙