| 2nd Attempt and First 14er
First attempted (but not really) on 6/23.
We made it a family event, all the girls and the hound. We had never really been in the mountains hiking before, so we knew we wouldn't summit, but it was more about making sure we had the right gear and "just to see". We hiked about 1 1/2 hours, and got through the willows but just short of the meadow. Stopped for lunch, and came back down.
After further family discussion, it was decided my wife and two younger daughters, and the hound would not return, but myself and my oldest daughter Sydney would try making it to the top.
We left Lone Tree around 7 AM and hit the west parking lot around 8:40. For those of you on the trail by 5 AM, I salute you. Wrestling Sydney, 11, out of bed that early was like propping up Bernie in the Hamptons for the weekend...
We made good time across the willows and planks, and got to the meadows area within about 45 minutes or so. We were now past were we had stopped on our previous attempt in 1/2 the time so we were feeling pretty good. Periodic stops for water and to catch our breath were made
A look back
Around 13000' we started to slow down considerably. We had to pick out spots 300'-500' up the trail as our next resting stops. It really helped to break down the trip into manageable portions. 2 minutes of stopping to catch our breath, pick out the next spot, chat about all the people we saw, and away we went again.
We got to the boulder field at the top, and were able to navigate our way through that.
Boulder field @ Summit
I couldn't tell if we dodging people or the best route thru the rocks most of the time.
We summitted around 12:40, and hung out for 20 minutes or so.
Sydney @ top
Us @ top
I think the toughest part was the first 20 minutes climbing down the boulder field. Something about the pack threw off my balance a little bit, feeling tired, and a little short of breath all added up, I suppose. We made it back down in 2 hours, for a total 6 hour round trip. Not including the painful 5 MPH trip back to Denver on a Sunday afternoon at 3 PM.
Everyone we talked to was really nice. Picture taking offering, etc.
I saw the gamut of folks, at least an 80 y/o man, and someone else was carrying around a 3-4 month old baby without a pack, just wrapped in a blanket in their arms.
Somebody's pitbull took a dump at the summit, had to have been the best view ever for a dog to dump...owner didn't clean up after...
Disappointed there wasn't the elevation on the USGS pin.
Great trip, and a good one to start off on.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):