Yesterday I summited four peaks at 14,000 feet or more - it was crazy awesome. John and Jake, who are competing in a series of races this summer, have two hundred mile events coming up in the next two weeks, so they didn't go with us. So, Cynthia, John's wife, and I tagged along with the Atchison family to climb on Wednesday. Thank you for including us!! It was a blast. We climbed four mountains - Democrat, Lincoln, Cameron, and Bross - which are part of the Mosquito Range. Democrat is 14,148 feet, Cameron is 14,238 feet, Lincoln is 14,286 feet, and Bross is 14,172 feet. This was definitely one of the hardest things I've ever done. You can't breathe, your heart is racing, and your legs are on fire. But it's so worth it. Below are a bunch of pictures and a little bit about the climb. I tried to keep the pictures in order and remember which peak went with each picture, but I don't know that I did the best job keeping them organized, so some pictures might be out of order.
Cynthia and I were ready to go about 5 am!
We parked and got ready to start! The mountains didn't look ALL that bad...I had no idea what I was getting myself into!
Here's our whole group getting ready - It was windy and cold already at the beginning...
These pictures don't do the scenery any justice...nor do they show how steep everything was. We had to climb up these rocks FOREVER. Cynthia led the way and I just tried to keep up.
It was SO steep. But, we NEEDED to take some pictures, which was a good excuse to take a little break. ; )
Picture op or needed break? You'll never know!!
(It was a break...my legs were on fire!)
Everything was just so pretty! And we really started to warm up, which was nice. The sun kept coming out occasionally and we definitely enjoyed the warmth!
So, funny story - Cynthia and I kept getting off the actual trail, which resulted in us climbing up some super hard non-trail areas...and leading everyone else off the trail. Whoops! I got excited after one of these instances to find a trail sign...things got a tad bit easier after we finally got onto an actual trail. Cynthia kept calling us "trail-blazers", which was true!
The cloud cover was pretty intense - this is what we were climbing up to. A couple people were descending and told us that it was snowing up top and that bad weather was heading our way, so we might want to think about turning back. Cynthia and I looked at each other and just decided to keep going. We were going to risk it, plus, the forecast had looked pretty good when we left that morning.
I'm glad we didn't turn around! It was a little cloudy up top, but nothing crazy and it was actually warmer with less wind. This was on the false peak, where Cynthia and I waited for the rest of the group. We wanted to summit the mountain together since Taryn and Daphne were turning around after this first mountain.
These rocks were everywhere! That's what we were climbing up. I think I only fell once!
Everything is just so pretty - the clouds started to lift, so we were able to see further and further the longer we were on top.
Summiting my first 14er!
We had some snacks while we were waiting. This Clif Bar was amazing!! And any chance to have Skratch chews, I'm taking it!
Aaaaand some dark chocolate covered almonds. Mmmm. I loved my Altra Lone Peak mids! They were the perfect shoe for this climb.
This was some of the softest snow!
Check out this incredible view! I think this was on Democrat still...but I could be wrong.
Here's the whole group once we summited Democrat! All smiles!
I think this was on Cameron...which was the second peak and I was miserable and considering descending back to the car...I had done a leg circuit workout on Monday and my calves were so tight, I was having trouble bending/straightening my feet. I just had to stop every once and awhile to point my toes downward to stretch a little. I ended up continuing on with the group - Dathan, Kyle, and Cynthia - and I'm so glad I did! My legs loosened up and I felt a million times better as we summited Lincoln, the third peak.
The clouds were incredible.
Dathan and Cynthia found this little rock fort, which blocked the wind. The wind had really picked up about halfway through.
Feeling much better and ready to knock out the last two peaks!
I love this picture. It's one of my favorites.
Here's the group in the saddle between two peaks, I think!
We made it to the top of Lincoln! Another couple up top had this sign, so they let us borrow it for a picture. We only had one more to go!
Our fearless leader, Dathan!!
We were pretty excited to have reached the top of our 4th 14er! Ready to descend!
Descending Bross, our last peak, and heading back to the car! Kinda steep...
Guys, this was our descent from Bross...the whole way. It was terrifying but so, so fun!
I slid down part of this on my booty...no shame! When I got to the bottom of the rocks, I had so many in my shoe. I had to stop and dump them out twice.
We finally made it back to some semi flat trail! There was a lot of really pretty running water as we were finishing. I was REALLY glad to be off the steep, rocky descent. Really, really glad.
Cynthia and I headed home when we finished - we were both pretty worn out, so a nap sounded wonderful. We both got a short nap in, then we all met the group we had been climbing with for pizza! I was STARVING, so I couldn't wait for pizza.
Mmmmm! We had pizza with a basil pesto sauce, chicken, veggies, and a balsamic drizzle. Aaaand Sriracha. <3 It was amazing.
Then this happened...
These cookies were amazing. I still have a little of mine left and I've been thinking about it ever since I told Jake not to let me have anymore...I think I need it NOW.
After we ate, we went back to our condo to relax. I got a bloody nose, surprise, surprise. I talked about this the other day, but I have gotten bloody noses ever since I was a little girl. Sometimes I get them a ton and sometimes I don't have one for awhile. I think climbing around 14,000 feet for most of the day caused this one. Still worth it!!
I was worn out last night, so it was early to bed! We moved from our two bedroom condo to a bigger four bedroom one this morning. Jake's family is coming up to stay with us for the races, so it'll be nice to have a condo with room for everyone. They will be up here Friday afternoon! I think we are having a relaxing day today, which will be nice! I need to knock some work out since my dissertation proposal is due Monday...GULP.
Happy Thursday! I hope your day is AMAZING!
I write about whatever is going on each day. I want to use this space as a place to document my dissertation and training journeys.