Okay, so as I mentioned, my family hiked a 14,196 foot mountain yesterday--Mt. Belford. We got up at 4:30 in the morning (and I'd only gotten about 5 hours of sleep), drank a lot of coffee, ate some small breakfast, were hiking by 6:15 am, on the summit at 10:15 and back down at 2:00. =] It was going to be two fourteeners, but by complete bad luck the clouds appeared around 10:15-10:30, and it was looked pretty bad. We weren't moving too fast, and getting caught in a thunderstorm above timberline where you're the highest things around...NOT a good idea. And we would've been pretty miserable walking that exposed in the rain--we ended up getting rained on while walking back down, and if we'd hiked the second one we would've been...well, about 1/8th of the way back down and really miserable. But it was so much fun, to be honest. It's an absolutely amazing feeling to be on the top of a mountain that high!!!! You just look all around you at the scenery and the valley below. What really put it in perspective for me was looking down from the top at this small river along the trail that seemed an awful lot bigger when walking next to it, but from the top is just a thin line of blue water. And, when you're looking up at the mountain from the 'bottom,' it seems so daunting. I mean, you stand there thinking, "wow, I'm going to climb that?!" But then there's the amazing feeling when you stand on the summit of a mountain and proceed to think, "Oh my god, I really did climb up that whole way!"
I was pretty exhausted when we got home yesterday, though--I pretty much unpacked stuff, took a shower, and collapsed on my bed!!! And boy did I sleep like a baby....There's a way to get a good night's sleep: Hike for about 8 hours! But it was so much fun, and such a great accomplishment--2 14ers down, only 52 more in Colorado to go!
Just for fun: Kat's hiking a fourteener survival tips
1. Get up early. Even if you don't want to...Believe me, you'd much rather wake up tired and drink coffee than get stuck in a big thunderstorm.
2. Don't go too fast!!! Seriously, you'll walk a lot slower than you probably do just hiking on mostly flat ground, but you're losing oxygen and going up the whole way, so it's okay. It's not a race, and if someone passes you, let them. You don't know them, and who cares if they're going faster?
3. Wear sunscreen. Up above timberline, at 14,000 feet, that sun's pretty dang strong. So reapply it and don't get sunburned!!!
4. Don't look too far ahead of you. If you do, you'll likely get somewhat discouraged about how far away the summit seems. It's probably not as far as your brain is making it seem anyway. But just to be safe, look more like 10 feet in front of you so you don't realize how much elevation you're gaining.
5. Don't think about how much less oxygen you have. If you don't think too much about it, you won't notice it as much.
6. DO NOT get fooled by false summits. And if you do, don't get discouraged by them. The real summit isn't far away either, and if you just climbed to the false summit, you are perfectly capable of making it to the real one.
7. Look around you, because then you'll be distracted by the beauty of the mountain you're climbing and the valley below. Just appreciate nature, and focus on it, not any amount of pain you may be in.
8. Talk to other hikers if you see them. They'll be friendly and may have good tips, especially if you're going up and they're going back down.
9. Allow yourself to have fun!!! =] Fun, after all, is what is important in life.
10. Know that you have accomplished something really big when you stand on that summit, and feel good about it. It's a powerful feeling and very energizing.
Yay! But, to be honest, I wasn't any pain at all hiking yesterday and I didn't have any problems with the lack of oxygen. My feet were a little sore on the way down and I got a small blister on my heel on the way down because my feet were slipping more. But I personally think I'm in much better shape than I was on Quandry...and it felt a lot better to reach that summit not in pain.
Mt. Belford--This is the mountain we climbed up. This picture was taken about halfway through the hike, too, so we'd already climbed a very considerable amount!!!
Us on the summit--Okay, so I've posted pictures of me on here before, but just to be sure, I'm the youngest one in the blue shirt on the far left.
The view--This is the view from the top. *sighs happily* Isn't it beautiful?
In other news...
It's Obama's birthday!!!!!!!!!!!................. *crickets* Well, it is, and I just wanted to wish him a very Happy Birthday and good luck in the elections!
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand........2 days until Terminus! Squee!!!!!!!
Well, Cheers everyone! =]