I hiked this weekend with a meetup group in Rocky Mountain N.P. I can't remember when I realized it was an incredible hike, whether it was while hiking into the clouds or sliding down a glacier on my butt or jumping into a frigid glacial lake. The meetup members were great hiking partners. We stuck together as a group, and made decisions together. Our decision process went like this:
Hike one more peak?
It's getting late. Hike one more peak?
The highlight of climbing up Flattop, Hallett, Otis, and Taylor Mountain was actually getting down. Not to escape Altitude sickness, but because the fastest way down was sliding down Andrews Glacier on my butt. The sign atop the glacier says to use extreme caution when traveling down because of deep crevasses. The glacier went from steep to steeper, and peaked in the middle with boulders and crevasses lining the slick sides. What I thought was ice at the bottom was actually slush, thankfully. I used a garbage bag to slide on. My butt is still sore from all the bumps. At the bottom was a beautiful tarn that ached to be swam in. There's nothing so invigorating as all your body heat being sucked into a pristine body of water. The taste of the water reminded me of sucking on ice cubes, yet with more grit.
On the 5 mile hike back, just when we thought the adventure was over, we missed the last park shuttle back to our car. We were stranded 4 road miles from the car. Luckily, a nice couple from Kentucky stopped for us and gave us a ride in their rental car - the trip leader, Adam, and I crammed into the hatchback trunk.
Someday soon, I'll hike my first 14'er. Not this hike.
Also, I'm running the Blue Sky Trail Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 4. Basically, I'm trying to jump start my running routine again after an exhausting start in my first year teaching Fourth Grade.
15 mile trip.
Flattop Mountain: 12,361'
Hallett Peak: 12,713'
Otis Peak: 12,486'
Taylor Peak: 13,158'