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New beginner and OUT of shape!

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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New beginner and OUT of shape!

Postby tlt » Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:40 am

It's time. A couple years ago, when I was in really good shape I use to hike the foothills every weekend but, a bout with depression (due to more going wrong in my life than right) had me gaining 70lbs putting me extremely out of shape.

Well, it's time to get over this crap! Some things are starting to turn around and it's time to move forward and get back to me. I want to start hiking again but, I am concerned with my current health condition. While my overall health seems to be fine, I do get tired easier with all this dagon extra weight.

While the foothills would be the ideal place to start again, I would LOVE to climb one of the 14'ers. It's an accomplishment I need to help motivate me to continue moving forward.

I've read on here people asking about good ones to start but, they've also all stated that they are in very good shape. Where do I begin??? Which one would someone recommend for a beginner with a handicap per say?

Thank you!

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Postby Maudie » Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:56 am

I understand your dilemma. After having children, its been at least a decade since I last felt comfortable with the whole "weight" issue. That said, my suggestion, as long as you have the mental fortitude, is go for it as you see fit. Ease into hiking with an ultimate goal of a 14er by the end of the year, or something like that.

Although I am no spring chicken, I have many of the fourteeners under my belt, none of which I accomplished when I was "thin." Just take it slow, breathe, and listen to your body. The thrill of finally reaching the last summit ridge is a sensation unlike any other. You will have to push yourself a bit, at least I do, but the reward . . .
Also, I always budget a mile an hour for my own pace, including the downhill, to ensure I get off the mountain by noon.

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Great suggestion!

Postby tlt » Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:59 am

Thank you for your reply. I had just finished reading and looking at pictures of Grey when I decided to delete my post but, you already answered so quickly!

I think your suggestions are RIGHT ON! I should definitely work on building my endurance back up and losing a few pounds, even if at a slow pace, before I start on even the easiest 14'er!!

Just the pictures of Grey took my breath away, I could only imagine what would happen once I walked the first mile!

Thank you VERY much for the links and suggestions!

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Postby Papillon » Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:10 am

Jared Workman wrote:If I were you I'd go do Green Mountain, then try Twin Sisters in RMNP http://www.thespiritoftherockies.net/sp ... sters.html

Then Flattop in RMNP http://www.thespiritoftherockies.net/sp ... pHike.html

Then Greys. I bet if you get out once a weekend you'll be amazed by the end of the summer. Try http://www.summitpost.com for trail details. Don't focus just on the 14ers, work up to that altitude safely, there are endless beautiful peaks out there.


I agree. No point in rushing things. I am a proponent of getting comfortable at altitude in tiers - 11ers, 12ers, 13ers, 14ers.

As you get more comfortable you can mix and match some lower peaks with varying distances, elevation gains, and approaches.

A good beginner's "scramble" is the Flattop-Hallett combo. More advanced "scrambles" would be Lady W and Storm (both 13ers in RMNP).

But the most important piece of advice is that no matter what summit you are on and no matter what the weather conditions are, you have to act like it is the place to be:

"Hey, isn't this great?" :D
The look in his eyes when it hit - Kid, it was tasty... - William Seward Burroughs

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Postby mtnview » Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:10 am

Good for you TLT, wanting to make a lifestyle change.

I would suggest getting some counsel on changing your eating habits, I don't mean just starving yourself but you know making better choices of food as to carb and fat content, smaller portions, eating more smaller meals each day. Then combine that with a good walking program so that you begin to slowly lose weight.

From there you can up your walking program to include hills, then bigger hills, then even bigger hills, then even 14er's!

Hope things go well for you.
Allan
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise (of his return), as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
http://www.truedino.com/colorado14ers.htm

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Postby rockymtns » Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:43 pm

I'm just getting back into decent shape myself, after living in flatland for several years, and confronting some problems of my own. I agree that being patient and not overdoing it is very important. Just enjoy the scenery and have fun.

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Postby lodidodi » Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:40 pm

I think the most important thing to get in shape is to be consistent with exercising. Don't make excuses and don't tell yourself, "I'll just do it tomorrow." Make a schedule and stick to it no matter what. Instead of eating big meals a few times a day, eat smaller amounts more often to boost metabolism. Watch what food you eat but it doesn't mean you have to eat sticks and leaves. Everybody has to start somewhere so doing something is better than doing nothing at all.

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Postby skerrane » Sun Jul 01, 2007 5:13 pm

i dont really consider myself in great shape either. Had some problems trying my first 14ers this season and am still trying to get the hang of it. I started just doing Bear and S. Boulder Peaks as there is less altitude to deal with and just moved on to sniktau and grizzly.

I figure once I can do them without winding myself after every steps I should be able to move higher.

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Postby michaelverdone » Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:18 pm

Just go for it! If you don't make it to the top try and figure out why. Keep trying until you make it. Everyone who has told you to take it slow and try easier routes is right on in that it will make your initial 14er attempt easier. But, if you want to climb a 14er then just go out there and try it. Stay safe.

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Postby KeithK » Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:51 pm

michaelverdone wrote:Just go for it! If you don't make it to the top try and figure out why. Keep trying until you make it. Everyone who has told you to take it slow and try easier routes is right on in that it will make your initial 14er attempt easier. But, if you want to climb a 14er then just go out there and try it. Stay safe.


I agree with this assessment. I tried my first 14er at the WEE gathering! Elbert in 3 feet of snow, and it was the first time I ever wore snowshoes. I had no delusions; I just went up as far as I could, and then came back down. Did the same thing a month later with Quandary, and then just started banging away at the non-14er hikes, like Brainard lake, Bear and South Boulder, and spent most of the month of May postholing in the Lost Creek Wilderness. I highly recommend anything there! I did my first 14er on Memorial Day, Bierstadt, and then Sherman last week and Quandary today. I want to lose at least 50 pounds, so I think I have a decent idea of where you're coming from. Except I wasn't depressed, I was married! LOL

Don't be afraid to try!
Snow is dumb.™

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Postby gdthomas » Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:15 pm

KeithK wrote:
michaelverdone wrote:Just go for it! If you don't make it to the top try and figure out why. Keep trying until you make it. Everyone who has told you to take it slow and try easier routes is right on in that it will make your initial 14er attempt easier. But, if you want to climb a 14er then just go out there and try it. Stay safe.


I agree with this assessment. I tried my first 14er at the WEE gathering! Elbert in 3 feet of snow, and it was the first time I ever wore snowshoes. I had no delusions; I just went up as far as I could, and then came back down. Did the same thing a month later with Quandary, and then just started banging away at the non-14er hikes, like Brainard lake, Bear and South Boulder, and spent most of the month of May postholing in the Lost Creek Wilderness. I highly recommend anything there! I did my first 14er on Memorial Day, Bierstadt, and then Sherman last week and Quandary today. I want to lose at least 50 pounds, so I think I have a decent idea of where you're coming from. Except I wasn't depressed, I was married! LOL

Don't be afraid to try!


I rarely see extremely overweight people on the top of even the easiest of 14ers. It's asking alot of your body to haul an additional 70 pounds up any mountain. The risk you run "going for it" without working up to it is misery and probable failure. Lose some weight, ease into hiking as others have suggested, then when the time is right, climb your first 14er.

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Postby colson » Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:22 pm

Start slow. Even the easiest 14ers are still difficult if you're just getting back into shape. Go hike the trails around the flat irons in Boulder. It's scenic, close by, and good training. There's a good trail that goes up to the arch, that has good ups/downs for getting yourself going! Nice views at the top too. Good luck!

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