Sunday, July 20, 2008

My first Fourteener & not my last!!!

July 19, 2008

Mt Elbert is the third highest mt in the United States and the highest in Colorado (beating out 50+ other peaks) . Mt Elbert's peak is at the elevation of 14, 433 ft.

The day finally arrived for the hike of my life. I have been training since April with great anticipation. My group consisted of 10 women and 2 men ranging from the age of 29 to 65 yrs old. We took off Friday night, stayed in a cabin, went for dinner and retired to bed early. We woke up early at 4:45, left at 5:15 and got to the trail head by 6:00am. It was 6:30 am and the hike began.

The first half reminded me of the kind of hiking I grew up with in Seattle WA. Being surrounded by huge green pine trees and walking on dirt and roots. Colorado Hiking is very different than what I'm used too, but it's just as beautiful. Once we hit the timberline we were able to see a clear view of the bright blue sky. It was perfect weather to be out hiking, I could not have asked for a better day.

About 2/3 of the way up I started to feel the effects of the elevation. I had to slow down, drink more water(which I thought I was drinking alot already), and take more breaks (oh, and eat). Getting elevation sickness was one of my worries before starting, yet I didn't let it stop me. It took me 5 hrs to get up and 3 to get down. Yes, it took me longer but I reached my ultimate goal.


I made it!!!!Pole of Victory!

My life savers who nursed me back to health so I could finish!!! Thank you!!

Some of us on the summit!
As you can see, on top of the summit there was still some snow, it just added to the beauty.... Check out the views!

This hike will stay with me forever. It was one of the neatest experiences I've had. When I was sick, I kept asking myself, " why am I doing this? What made me want to do this? After the sickness passed, I was feeling great. I was on "top of the world". In fact I had so much energy on the way down, I ran some of the it!!! This was my first FOURTEENER but it's not my last. Jay and I are planning to hike Mt. Beirstadt sometime in September. Anyone want to join us, let us know!!!