Get Bill Up the Hill. Okay, who are we kidding? Get ME up the hill! The Forums' plan to get Bill up Longs Peak was a good excuse for me to join a trek up a mountain I hadn't ever considered going up before. When I first heard about this excursion, I was pregnant with our second daughter. Imagine planning a trip, while still pregnant, to hike up a 14er, and you're out of shape, and due 7 months before that monster of a hike. I was concerned, but it didn't stop me from planning and dreaming. Our daughter arrived on January 29, 2010 and I let myself off the hook for 3 months. Then it hit me --uh oh! Only 4 months to get into shape! I signed up for fitness classes at our city's parks and rec system and I faithfully went to them (on some especially grueling exercises I thought, "Longs Peak! Longs Peak! Longs Peak!"). When it came time to do Longs, I knew I was in the best cardio and muscular shape I had been in for a looooong time.
I knew well in advance that I wanted to camp in the Boulderfield the night before going up Longs Peak. Part of it was because I was concerned about day-hiking the Keyhole route, and part of it was because I wanted the experience of sleeping in a place that people told me "is like a different planet". Allen didn't share my enthusiasm for camping, so we made plans that I'd camp and he'd day-hike. We'd meet up in the Boulderfield in the morning and go up to the summit together. So that's what I did. With a lot of help from John regarding backpacking gear, I was ready for the big day. I had been looking forward to camping in the Boulderfield as much, if not more, than summitting Longs Peak. My hiking/camping partners included John, Monica, Rick, Mike and Staci.
Hiking day! Allen drove me to the Longs Peak trailhead and I met the others in front of the ranger's station at 10 a.m. My pack weighed around 40 lbs after I put 3 liters of water in my Camelbak bladder. (I have an older backpack, and a co-worker of mine sewed a loop of nylon webbing on the inside of the bag so that I could hang the bladder – it was a very nice retro-fit!) Some people, not to be named, (unintentionally) freaked me out about the weight, so I got rid of some of my items, including my summit pack (Allen would be arriving with his day-pack in the morning, so we could share) and my borrowed water filter. Mike and Staci offered to filter water for me. OK! So now my pack weighed 38 pounds. Whew! What a relief! :P
On our way! L-R: John, Lora, Staci, Monica, Mike, Rick
Monica signs in at the register:
John suggested we take it slow up the trail, and that's what we did. Slow… VERY slow. But steady. It's surprising how far you can go without stopping when you go slooooow. We stopped for lunch at the falls and continued upward. Pretty soon the views opened up and… WOW! We had a beautiful day for hiking, and everything around us looked gorgeous on that fine day.
Mike & Staci
Twin Sisters. Folks hiking in the dark don't get to see this view on the way up.
Longs Peak teases us with just a glimpse from the trail
This picture just plain cracks me up.
Edited by hector, 16 September 2010 - 07:45 AM.
to change title at Hector's request