Thursday, October 9, 2014

First 14er - Mt. Bierstadt



Hiking and climbing mountains... twice in 6 days.


A friend asked me last month if I'd be interested in a 14er. "A wha??" I replied. Surprisingly, we've lived in Colorado now for 3 years and I had no clue what a "14er" meant.

What are 14ers?
Colorado has 58 moutain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet (known as "fourteeners" or "14ers" locally) -- the most of any state. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels will find peaks ranging from easy to very difficult, with some hiking trails for exploring the state's scenery, wildlife and rugged beauty.

It was definitely one of the coolest things I've done. Right behind marrying John and having our 4 amazing children. And I could see how these could become addictive... "the 14er conquer!" #moutainjunky I mean, there are worse things out there to be hooked on, really.


Gear.

Note, ya my sign has the wrong year, oh just 3 years off. We did this on September 11th. I had that in my mind when I was making it.


Round 1 of Mt. Bierstatd

Starting out.


Mt. Bierstatd is the tall mountain to the right. The pointy one on the left is Mt. Evans and the middle jagged part is called saw tooth. Some people actually take this hard core dangerous path from one to the other and I have no idea how. Looks way too scary for my taste.


The huge :) river we had to cross, okay more like a creek. We had to hop on just 5 stones to get across and well, what ya know... I managed to drop my Iphone in it. Go figure! Water = 2, Christa's Iphone = 0. I will not be getting the Iphone6 for sometime...  I don't deserve it.



 Some of the most gorgeous views I've had the pleasure of seeing.


Half way.


Workers. They clear small paths and loose boulders and make it safe for hikers.


Looking back down at Chance. It was starting to get more steep at this point.


More workers. We'd been on the trail about 2 hours at this point. I can't imagine making that hike of a commute to work.


That green spec is a climber. Those boulders that we had to make it through were about the size of a large kitchen island. It was nothing like I had expected or envisioned in my head about this hike/climb.




Such an awesome picture of my friend Chance making her way with that postcard of a view behind her.




The 2 peeks all the way to the left are Mt. Torrey's and Gray's Peak. Those might be next on my 14er bucket list.


So at this point we were oh-so-close. We are smart moms. Three moms 10 kiddos between the 3 us. There were 40 mph winds as we reached our final ascend to the top. We made an executive decision to call this the top for us that day... we took our pics and headed back down. At this point the winds were so cold, it felt like 20 degrees. My snowboarding gloves were beginning to fail and our faces were getting numb. On top of that it felt like we were going to get blown away. We were very smart to turn around! Especially after we met a hiker the following week that told us about his friend that got blown 60 feet down off of a 14er he was attempting. Thankfully he survived but that's just some scary stuff!


Here's some of the rocky, uneven path. I was surprised all of our ankles survived.



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Round 2 of Mt. Bierstatd

The following week presented itself with a day that was going to be warmer and less windy. So we headed back up. I've always been fond of a good challenge and seeing that darn gold coin at the tip top and signing the silly notebook full of squished up signatures with names of random people on it just sounded too good to pass up. So-- why not!?!?





About half way up we see what we thought were just a couple little mountain goats....


that turned into about 25 goats.


We pretty much just stood there frozen in shock. We weren't sure whether to run or walk away or just hang out? The hikers behind us said these were "teenagers" I guess their parents frequent these hillsides often, and are HUGE they said.
 


A goat postcard.
 

Come to ma-ma. No really though... come to me and I'll actually run my butt the other way. I'm pretty sure they wanted food.



They took off across the mountain after about 15 minutes of hanging out. It was surreal to see them so close.


Some of the rock pyramids that would help us stay on the path.
 

Taking a break before the final ascend up.



A picture of Mt. Evans from Mt. Bierstadt.

  

Sigh.



The gold coin.
 

The notebook that people can sign at the top.


This little grandma in the hat was so sweet to watch. We passed her group on the way up. We wondered if she'd make it to the top. And sure enough.... she got up there and answered her ringing cell phone "Hey, I'm just hanging out on the top of Mt. Bierstadt, what are you doing?" It was just the cutest!!


The Ta-Da pose. The clouds felt so close to us.

 The yoga pose... or ice skater pose!? It just felt right to do it up there.
 

Mt. Evans- again.
 

A dog at the top. This sweet pooch and his owner bypassed us as we were taking a break before the final 30 minute trek up. It was so neat seeing them up at the top when we arrived. Everyone we came across was so pleasant.


Rocky trail.



See the spec in the lake? It's a moose. A giant moose.


Here's his profile. 


Right there at the end of my finger tip was where we had just came from.

7 miles round trip
2.5 hrs up
2 hrs down
14,060ft

Bam! I might be overly proud, but definitely not ashamed of it.




All of these pictures don't even do these two amazing trips justice. I can't wait to do another one. I know John would love this stuff.  It was such an adrenaline rush and natural high. The best kind. And I'm very fortunate I had two awesome friends to have shared this experience with. And an amazing mother for holding down the fort at home for me (and John since he's currently in Boulder). She even did school drop off and pick up for the first time... Woot, woot! I wouldn't have had this opportunity without that help.




What are 14ers?

Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet (known as "fourteeners" or "14ers" locally) — the most of any state. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels will find peaks ranging from easy to very difficult, with hiking trails for exploring the state's scenery, wildlife and rugged beauty.
- See more at: http://www.colorado.com/articles/what-are-14ers#sthash.itHwSAn2.dpuf

What are 14ers?

Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet (known as "fourteeners" or "14ers" locally) — the most of any state. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels will find peaks ranging from easy to very difficult, with hiking trails for exploring the state's scenery, wildlife and rugged beauty.
- See more at: http://www.colorado.com/articles/what-are-14ers#sthash.itHwSAn2.dpuf

What are 14ers?

Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet (known as "fourteeners" or "14ers" locally) — the most of any state. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels will find peaks ranging from easy to very difficult, with hiking trails for exploring the state's scenery, wildlife and rugged beauty.
- See more at: http://www.colorado.com/articles/what-are-14ers#sthash.itHwSAn2.dpuf
Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet (known as "fourteeners" or "14ers" locally) — the most of any state. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels will find peaks ranging from easy to very difficult, with hiking trails for exploring the state's scenery, wildlife and rugged beauty. - See more at: http://www.colorado.com/articles/what-are-14ers#sthash.itHwSAn2.dpuf
Colorado has 58 mountain peaks exceeding 14,000 feet (known as "fourteeners" or "14ers" locally) — the most of any state. Outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels will find peaks ranging from easy to very difficult, with hiking trails for exploring the state's scenery, wildlife and rugged beauty. - See more at: http://www.colorado.com/articles/what-are-14ers#sthash.itHwSAn2.dpuf

2 comments:

Renee said...

OMG!!! That looks Amazing!!! Awesome work!! :D

Mikki said...

You are the bomb, Christa. Oh, to be young again!