Wednesday, September 7, 2011

8.16 - Mount Elbert

On August 16, we went to Mount Elbert. We were going in the morning, but we didn't quite know what time. Or well I didn't know what time.  Next thing I know Griff and Huck show up at Callie's ready to go. I'm still in my PJs and Timmy was still in bed.  Callie made us breakfast before we left. She made 3 different breakfasts for 4 people. I think she catered to guests a little too much.
Mount Elbert is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains of North America, at 14,440 feet, the highest of the fourteeners in Colorado, and the high point of the Sawatch Range. It is located in Lake County, approximately 10 miles southwest of Leadville. It lies within the San Isabel National Forest. The mountain was named after Colorado statesman Samuel Hitt Elbert, who was active in the formative period of the State. Mount Elbert is the second highest mountain in the contiguous United States, after Mount Whitney in California, and is only 65 feet shorter than Whitney's 14,505 feet.
We took pictures on the way up.  We also took breaks on the way up. The elevation is hard to get used to. Also walking to get to the top at top speed is a very hard thing to deal with so soon after arriving at a high elevation.
After going up a little (a lot), I started having the dogs help me up the mountain.  They helped but I'd still get out of breath.  I needed breaks often. I felt so out of shape, even though I know it was the elevation. Also having to walk so fast was a struggle.  Climbing a 14er so soon after getting to Leadville wasn't the best idea.
After awhile my head started getting all foggy. I still kept trying to walk up. I got above the tree line.  So in addition to my head being foggy, my fear of heights was coming into play too. Oh man does it suck being afraid of heights.  Then a storm sounded like it was about to roll in. I decided that was the last straw and I decided to be a wimp and stop going to the top. Everyone went without me.  I headed back down below the tree line. I sat there for a bit.  I was forcing myself to eat my snacks but you know how when you are light headed eating feels like such a chore. It was like forcing to get my food down.
I sat for what wasn't long at all and then Timmy joined me.  He couldn't go up any more either.  Then we had fun taking pictures.  We went down the mountain slowly and it was so very nice. We got to take picture of the weather on other mountains.  

I did end up looking at the blisters on my foot and seeing how bad off they are. Having blisters on my feet also sucked. I couldn't bend my feet at the ball or it hurt. I couldn't push off with my toes. It was rough. 
After a little bit everyone else came and joined us. There went our picture time and we hurried down the mountain. Part of the rush was still the potential of a storm coming in. Going down the mountain I kept getting so far behind the group. I swear they didn't even know that I wasn't 2 steps behind them. Downhill was a lot tougher on the ol' feet.  I fell twice skidding down the hill. My shoes weren't the best for trails and lacked the appropriate tred.
After we got back down the mountain we took a group picture. It took a few tries to try to get it right. Note the progress.

  1. All in all it was a good mountain adventure even though none of us made it the whole way to the top. 
  2. I really wish I wasn't afraid of heights.
  3. I wish it wasn't chilly when we left in the morning or that I was used to the temperature swing so I would not have worn pants
  4. I got some awesome pictures from the mountain even if I didn't get pictures from the tip top
  5. I have a picasa album that has some but not all of the pictures from the day.
  6. My calves hurt when I woke up from climbing the dunes so that probably made the climb of Mount Elbert even harder.
  7. Mosquitos bit me like crazy on this trip. Even through 2 layers of clothes. 

After hiking up the mountain we were tired. Griff even fell asleep on the floor.  Callie decided she would vacuum up the dog hair. I don't even think Griff woke up.  We had a little yard party. There was also some weight lifting going on while drinking purple drank.

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