Monday, September 20, 2010

My INSANITY Day off...

HAHHAHA. Yeah right. According to my INSANITY Calendar, Sunday is my day off. Jim and I both had the day off from work, and since the leaves are peaking right now we decided to go for a hike. We decided to hike Mount Elbert, which is Colorado's highest peak at almost 14,500 feet above sea level. Its also the second highest Peak on the continental U.S. We figured the view from up there would be fantastic.

Well, let me tell you that my INSANITY day off ended up being the most INSANE of them all.

We left the house around 7 because you have to get an early start when hiking 14ers because it usually takes 8+ hours round trip. Luckily, this time of year we don't have to worry about afternoon storms, but the sun goes down earlier. We took a route that is closest to Aspen, but isn't frequently used. We didn't see a single other person the entire day, and as you'll soon find out...the entire day meant the ENTIRE day.

We have a 14er book, which details all routes to hike 14ers, so we used it to get to the trailhead. Too bad the book sucked for getting to the trail head because we couldn't find the road it was talking about. So we parked and bushwhacked around for like 2 hours before we finally found the trail. Luckily the views were good anyway:

At this point, we figured we'd just go for awhile and then turn back because it was too late to start the 10-ish hour hike. About an hour into the hike, I realized that my legs were WAY more fatigued from the INSANITY work outs than I expected them to be. We kept going, but it was slow moving. We saw some great sights. Probably 10+ other 14ers, great foliage, waterfalls, etc. We got above tree line to about 13,000 feet after about 3.5 hours of hiking. I realized at this point, I was out of water. Dont' you think that would have been a good time to turn around? Except that I figured we were that far, we might as well keep going.

And then we hit the ROCK FIELDS. I hate rocks. We spent 2 hours climbing over rocks and got to the final horribly gnarly ascent to the final ridge to the summit. At this point we were about 3/4 mile from the top, but we looked around and the light was about to hit the ridge, so we had to turn around. That last 3/4 mile would probably have taken an hour and a half anyway. See:

Good thing we turned around when we did because we got out of the rock fields right when the final light left the sky. We had ONE headlamp to share, and spent the final 2 hours of hiking out sharing it. That final two hours probably would have taken 1 hour if we both had headlamps...or if it was light out. My legs were also like jello by this time, and I just broke down in tears. I definitely pushed myself too far, but Jim was super supportive about it.

We finally got back to the car TWELVE hours after we left it. TWELVE hours of hiking. This is ridiculous.

The one victory for the day is this: I checked my heart rate monitor and it read 5,333. Yes, 53 activity points friends. Which means I don't feel one bit guilty for eating an entire box of 7-11 mozzarella sticks when we got home :)

Here are some photos to enjoy!

Changing Aspens along the drive up Independence Pass

An old mining building left from the "Last Chance Mine"

Me hiking!

It is pretty cool to be around 13,000 feet at sundown :)

1 comment:

  1. Hi there. I just discovered your blog and want to say congrats on the 35 pounds! The before and after photos look great. I was a vegetarian for over 12 years and I was so unhealthy. I ate tons of processed crap and "fake" stuff. Yuck. Once I started running, I started to crave the real stuff. I now eat meat and have no problems.