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First 14er! (a quasi-trip-report)

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First 14er! (a quasi-trip-report)

Postby Dark Helmet » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:35 pm

HOLY CRAP WE DID IT!!!



Friday (Yesterday?) Morning October 5, at 4:30 I left our friends' house in Colorado Springs with one of my best friends, Armen Badeer, and we set out for the Barr Trail parking lot in Manitou Springs. We had been warned of horrible weather scheduled for our hike and our impending demise. It was misty and temps were just above freezing (IIRC) when we left the house and it held to the TH.

We paid the extortion fee to park the car and left right at 5 and began our adventure. We had intended to hike to Barr Camp and evaluate our progress and condition, and decide whether to hike over to Mountain View or press on, this was a real issue as Armen had spent something like 10 of the last 14 days with stomach flu and was dealing with some back spasms . We had driven out Wednesday and spent Thursday acclimating. I spent 4 days in Estes Park/RMNP last week hiking as well. This is huge sine we both live at ~1100ft above sea level.

the trail started (as most of you know) by kicking us in the teeth, it was just warm enough and we were working hard enough that we sweating a little and the misty conditions made it a bit too "wet" for comfort, but we kept after it. after 2hrs the light finally started coming in and we were about 4 miles in and finally free of the tough initial climb. we made Barr Camp at ~8:30 and stopped for coffee and to chat with the two girls that Neil and Theresa have helping them for the winter. Coffee was very good. we left Barr Camp and 10Kft a few minutes before 9 and got after it. We encountered a group of 4 Marines on the trail that chatted with us for a while before moving off very briskly. We found a comfortable pace and moved on to A-Frame at 11,900 arriving at about 10:45.

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at 11am, we abandonded 12Kft, reasoning that going to the top was less work and less physically dangerous than going down to mountain view (BAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!) Our pace slowed measurably to allow Armen to keep his wits about him as he was very uncomfortable, and we took a lot of brief stops. This is where inadequate (by choice or otherwise) conditioning really begins to punish you. The weather above Barr Camp was stunning. we were well above the clouds and the sun was out and the wind was intermittent tolerable. at 11:22, we stopped at 12,350 ft which was an altitude record for both of us (mine was previously Chasm Lake a 11,800+ set LAST friday)

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From there it took us over 2 hours to reach the "Golden Stairs" sign at 13,8-ish, and above 13,000 ft, I was really feeling the altitude as well.

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this was, no-questions, the easiest part of the hike. finally having a palpable path to the summit, and a finite and visible distance to travel, we were able to press on a somewhat brisker pace than the previous 2 hrs. reaching the top, we found what we thought was the highest point, and then did our "summit pics" with the sign at about 2:20pm I think we actually summited at 2:15.

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it took us just on the long side of 9 hours, with 30mins at Barr Camp, and another 15 at a-frame. Had Armen not been sick, he believes we would have been at least 30 minutes quicker to A-Frame, and at least 45 minutes faster above tree-line. we had originally targetted a 7.5-8hr trip, so we were well short of that, but when you loose your last two weeks of prep, that's what happens.

The Donuts at the top were good, but not great. and we hung around and people watched until our train (the 4:40) took us back down.

This morning, we awoke to HARD blowing snow/sleet and horrible visibility and MUCH lower temps. I think we hiked the last good day of the year on that hill.

Would we do it again? no, never
Glad we did it? absultely
More 14ers? certainly

Next? Gray's/Torrey's and Elbert... NEXT year... Maybe Bierstadt/Evans too.

how would I prepare differently? I would do more weight work on my legs, otherwise, my cardio was fine (prepping for a Half Marathon in 2 weeks), I feel good enough to go run right now, a few sore spots, but not ruined by any stretch.

I think this means I can officially apply for membership in the club now. 14,110, DONE.

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Last edited by Dark Helmet on Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: First 14er! (a quasi-trip-report)

Postby JROSKA » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:49 pm

Welcome to the club. You will want to do more. I introduced an old friend from Wisconsin to his first 14er in August, and he is already thinking about which one to try next summer.

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Re: First 14er! (a quasi-trip-report)

Postby Dark Helmet » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:53 pm

wow, just re-read my post... some horrible grammar/typing in there. sorry you all had to be subjected to it!

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Re: First 14er! (a quasi-trip-report)

Postby TallGrass » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:59 pm

live at ~1100ft above sea level

Oh you highlanders have all the breaks. :wink: Congrats on your first 14er and hope you get to some less congested ones next season!
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: First 14er! (a quasi-trip-report)

Postby Dark Helmet » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:40 am

TallGrass wrote:
live at ~1100ft above sea level

Oh you highlanders have all the breaks. :wink: Congrats on your first 14er and hope you get to some less congested ones next season!



it wasn't congested at all (other than at the top with the train tourists...) I think we saw 10 other people all day.

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Re: First 14er! (a quasi-trip-report)

Postby sgladbach » Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:16 pm

There's plenty of attractive peaks out there, some of which will make you spill bodily fluids, but you'll never forget your first.

\:D/ Congratulations! =D>

Steve
"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?

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