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Peak(s):  Mt. Bierstadt  -  14,060 feet
Post Date:  10/03/2011
Date Climbed:   10/01/2011
Posted By:  regimom


 Kids First 14er!    

We have been wanting to take the kids up their first 14er this year, but with all their activities we had just been too busy. Until finally this weekend! The weather forecast looked perfect with a very low chance of thundershowers so we felt comfortable letting the kids sleep an extra hour or so before we left the house. We weren’t sure which would be worse, grumpy kids or bad weather, so we figured the more rested they were they could potentially tough out the hard stuff. It worked out well, as all four of them were in a great mood!

We made it to the trailhead soon after 8am and prepped the kids with the right clothes and stuffed everything else in our bags. Dad and I were the pack mules to make it easier for the kiddos. Our 16 year old (Alex) carried her own stuff, which was awesome!

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Trailhead


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Beautiful Start


We lucked out on the weather heading up, as it was warm and beautiful! We made our first pit stop just after we got out of the willows so we could refuel. It gets steeper and rocky after that, so we tried to take mini breaks whenever they needed. After awhile, Regi and Kaitlyn (the 12 year olds) decided they were in a hurry to get to the top so they took off like mountain goats. Mike (dad) was trying to bridge the gap and keep them safe and in check while keeping an eye on me, Alex and our littlest, Kira (10 years old tomorrow!). It was tough work getting through that last steep push to the saddle just before the summit, but we got through it by making little goals. We would see a cairn in the distance and challenge ourselves to keep going without stopping until we reached it, and then take a break, and then find the next cairn in the distance…. Up at that higher elevation, we started hearing the squeaks of picas and the kids squealed every time they saw one. However, they preferred to call them fat hamsters.

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Alex with the summit ahead


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Kira resting near the summit


Regi and Kaitlyn made it to the top quite some time ahead of us, which was great, until Regi realized it was cold up there and I had his jacket and food in my pack. When I finally got up there, he was hunkered down shivering and promptly let me know he was on the verge of death because I took so long. We ate and warmed up. Then it was picture time. We also had to take pictures with the WichWich bags so we could have a free meal (this might have been a driving factor for my son’s participation that day). As soon as we started posing for pictures, it started snowing pellets. I think I said “at least it isn't a thunderstorm,” and of course a minute later we heard a big boom from the clouds. We scrambled off the summit quickly and started our slightly easier hike down. The snow pellets kept falling (Kira said they looked like Dippin’ Dots) and we were surrounded by a really thin cloud. Kira then looked around at the cloud and the snow pellets and instead decided we were in a snow globe.

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Almost dead Regi

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Summit photo

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Which Wich plug

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Posers

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Mike - He kept us all safe.

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Yellow aspens

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Just in time


Not long after we got out of the rocks, the snow faded away and the clouds thinned out. It was a wonderfully cool and pleasant descent. We got back to the car just as some rain started to fall. We timed it perfectly. Beautiful day and perfect fall weather. The kids did such a great job and didn’t even complain! We are VERY proud of them. So we rewarded them with some pizza from Beau Jo’s.


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Regi's pizza surprise



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
dmccool


priceless photos     10/03/2011 17:50
what a great memory-maker! thanks for posting


MtnHub


Super job, guys!!     10/04/2011 00:58
Always great to read about a family's summit outing together! And it can be really fun to experience snow and weather along the way. Congrats for hanging in there!


jpfeif001


Great Job!!     10/04/2011 06:53
WOW, to get all four of your children to the summit is amazing. I can only get 2 out of four of mine to make it to the summits. The other 2 are just not interested. Your children all had smiles on their faces and looked like they had a great time as a family which is awesome!! Kudos for being able to give them that wonderful experience.


sgladbach


Wheeeeee!     10/05/2011 16:58
Congatulations kids!! I love the ”Posers” shot and the ”Pizza Surprise.” Looks like you wre well prepared with clothes from cool to COLD. Smart!


Regi- you alomost died on your first mountain??!! You be careful. And, being first to the top and all, it sounds like you are ready for YOUR OWN pack!


Keep having fun!


Steve



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