Jul. 30 – Hiking my first 14er

Last week I got to do something that I’ve wanted to do for awhile now…Hike a fourteen thousand foot peak. I was fortunate enough to go with great group of guys on a backpacking adventure that lead us into the mountains of Colorado, specifically Mt. Elbert (14,440)…the highest of the 53 CO 14ers, which makes it the highest peak in Colorado and the second highest in the contiguous US…

What transpired was THE hardest physical thing I (along with probably most of our group) have ever done.

20140730-100058-36058774.jpgWe had to get to the trail-head and start early in the morning to reach the summit by a respectable time so we wouldn’t have to deal with the afternoon thunderstorms for fear of lightning, which is very dangerous once you get above the treeline. The obvious benefit to this was experiencing a incredible sunrise…

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Once we got above the treeline we all still felt that we were doing “Okay”, we were still making fairly good time up the mountain and physically felt that we were still “Good”…. little did we know.

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Almost immediately at that elevation you really start to experience shortness of breath and fatigue… sometimes only being able to go 20-25 ft. before having to stop and take another break. This with the addition of the trail becoming more and more less defined with some parts mainly being loose gravel….not to mention the several false peaks along the top made this part of the trail by far the toughest, most physically difficult part of the trip….

The payoff was some spectacular views!

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Finally made it to the top!!!

Pictured: Micheal, Jason, Me, Andy, Greg, Chad

 

 

 

 

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