Head in the clouds 

Breathtaking views, lack of oxygen, physically exhausted, and loving life!

During my first full day in Colorado I drove to Longs Peak. I arrived at Longs Peak trailhead around 10:00AM to start what was supposed to be a “let me see what I got myself into” prehike. My goal for the day was to hike up to the timber line and back. This was a great opportunity to see if my lungs and legs were up to the task. Seeing how I’m not acclimated to the altitude, the hike took a bit longer than what I originally thought.

The hike started out alright, but I soon realized I was not in NC anymore. The first thing I noticed was how hard it was to breathe. I felt like I was breathing through a straw. After about 10 minutes I started to feel better and was able to get into a rythm. The trail itself has some beautiful views, and I wasn’t even close to the summit.

Day 2 involved a drive to the top of Pikes Peak. The drive was filled with unbelievable views.

And, the view from the top wasn’t bad either. 

After spending an hour on the summit, I felt good and wanted to go for a hike. I found a trail that was around 13,000 feet in elevation and went for it. The trail looked a lot shorter than it turned out to be. The ice patch I eventually made it to took a little over an hour to get there. It’s the small white dot on the peak pictured below.

After spending the latter part of the day with a great friend and his wife, the relaity of the past two days started to kick in. My body begin to let me know how sore and tired I’d become. Later that evening, I hooked my Tens unit up to my legs and started to wonder if this was a bad idea. Was I in way over my head? That’s when I realized I didn’t fully think this through. Now, I knew when I agreed to do the hike that it was going to be difficult. I even flew in a couple days early to help with acclimating myself to the altitude. But, what I didn’t want to admit to myself, I was still weak. Mentally I am ready to do the hike, but physically that’s going to be challenging. Looks like we’ll see how I do on Sunday.

One final picture from today. This was taken on Cheyenne Mountain.

Still more to come…

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4 thoughts on “Head in the clouds 

  1. I believe you will make it. You are doing things correct by prepping for such a hike. Good Luck for a safe hiking experience. Enjoy the beauty along the way. Look forward to your photos.
    Carol (a FKHS friends of your mom)

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  2. Chris, wanting to register my viewing. Em is out giving somebody a ride somewhere because they’re from out of town. While she’s out I wanted to check-in. What do you think of the mountaineering spirit out there? In Seattle it’s definitely a cultural presence; my Dad raised me in its spirit and traditions, including a beer in the pack for the summit celebration. Now, in your case I understand theirs a role to play where maybe you have to be on best behavior…all those witnesses–I read that Longs Peak can have as many as 100 people on the summit at one time. Colorado–rocky mountain high–any altitude headaches? No, I’m sure you’re hydrated…but a 3:45 ascent time–I bet that put you ahead of the rush. I bet each and everyone of the folks must have had an epiphany with your crew’s actions. Finally, on a note of beauty appreciation–the advocacy adventure is a true performance art. Sincerely…

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