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Are we crazy?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Are we crazy?

Postby angieelz » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:09 am

My husband and I will be venturing out to Colorado at the end of August, from Michigan.

He would like to hit some 14ers, as would I (I'm just less certain of my physical ability to actually make it to the top).

What I'm wondering is this...is it feasible for us (2 people from Michigan, without much elevation) to be able to do the following? (I'm sure we'd try anyway, but I want to know if we're over our heads or not)

Days 1-3 -- Arrive and get acclimated. We plan to drive up to the top of Pikes the 2nd day there. (We were last out to CO in Feb '05 to ski with my brother and we seemed to acclimate fairly fast.)
Day 4 - Mt. Elbert
Day 5 - Rest by whitewater rafting
Day 6 - Quandary (or another in that vicinity)
Day 7 - Rest
Day 8 - Grays/Torrey or Bierstadt
Day 9-10 - Rocky Mountain National Park
Day 11 - Leave

Granted, all this will depend a lot on the weather. My husband's in much better shape than I am, but I'm working on being in top shape when we get there. The best we have for elevation change is a "big" hill that I've been running up and the 12 stories of stairs at the hospital that I've been walking up and down.

Any suggestions are welcome!

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Postby Alpine » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:17 am

You might be OK, given the three days of acclimatizing. But, I would think about maybe doing the RMNP days right up front as more acclimitizing time, then follow up with the fourteeners.

Oh, I see robimtns has the same idea.

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Postby KendraJBranch » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:31 am

I agree with Alpine. I'd acclimatize as much as possible. I live here and I still have a rough time if I don't give myself a good few days at 10,000 ft. Anything you can do to make it easier.

Are you planning to sleep for a good 3-4 weeks after this trip? It sounds amazing but it also sounds as if every last morsel of energy will be used!

Have fun!!!

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Postby JimR » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:35 am

Whether you start in CS or RMNP, I'd suggest a warmup hike or two during days 1 - 3. Don't knock yourselves out (you'll do that later), but get your lungs pumping for a couple hours at 9000 ft or higher.
As for Pikes vs RMNP, I'd go with RMNP first, but the CS folks might disagree, or you may have other constraints (visiting friends/family, etc).
I have more age than experience, more experience than knowledge, and more knowledge than wisdom.
Yet somehow I usually make it back to the car safely; and oftentimes, so do the people that I'm with.

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Postby Aspen Summit » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:37 am

Angieelz, that's a lot of rest time compared to my schedule. I'm working in Philadelphia but whenever I fly home I get so excited that I usually do a 14er the next day with only a few hours to adjust to the higher elevation. For me the trick is drinking WATER...and lots of it! :D

With your schedule, you'll be fine...just a matter of one foot in front of the other. G'luck and have fun. Thanks in advance for spending $$$$$ in my state :lol:

Knight
Follow Your Path! Cross ALL Boundaries!! AND RIDE THE EARTH, BABY!!!

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Postby CorduroyCalves » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:43 am

I would suggest going to RMNP before doing any of the 14er hikes. Then you could spend some time getting acclimated. JMO.
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Postby JasonF » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:30 pm

Besides that your from MI no your not crazy :lol: (sorry I couldn't resist being from OH). Seriously though - your schedule looks okay. Ultimately your body will tell you if you can handle this volume of high peaks in the duration allotted. Whatever you do listen to your body not your heart when it comes to hiking out here. You need to get off the mountain safely - some folks seem to forget that you need to allow time for a safe descent. There are no escalators in the mountains and the mountains don't care for your personal well being.
solvitur ambulando - it has been solved
"From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the name of the Lord shall be praised." Ps. 113:3
"For the things which are seen are temporary but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2Cor 4:18

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Postby vermonster » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:39 pm

you should probably cut out your rest days.... don't want to give your muscles time to tighten up... :wink:

Looks like a fun time!
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Postby tlee83 » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:25 pm

Those sound like good choices. In 1994 we were living in NC and a friend in Fort Collins called and asked if we wanted to "climb a 14er" when we came out...we said yes, although we weren't really sure what a 14er was! We did Long's Peak with a couple days in FC to acclimate, and we were fine. Our friend even put a brick in my husband's pack and didn't tell him til treeline. Keep up the work with getting in shape, though, that'll make life easier! Have fun and enjoy the scenery.

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Postby Mtn Geek » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:53 pm

I'd say it's very do-able.
In 2003 I was living in Phoenix, AZ (elevation 1,400 feet) and I went to the San Juan Mtns for a week. Our schedual looked like this:
Day 1. Drive to Matterhorn creek Trailhead From Flagstaff, camp.
Day 2. Hike up to almost 12,000 feet and camp at the Base of Uncompahgre Peak.
Day 3 Hike Wetterhorn
Day 4 Hike Matterhorn
Day 5 hike Uncompahgre Peak then tear down camp and hike out. Drive around to Silver Creek Trailhead
Day 6 hike up Silver Creek, Camp
Day 7 hike Redcloud and Sunshine
Day 8 Tear down camp, hike back to the car and return back to Flagstaff

Durring this trip the elevation was killer for me, since I lived at 1,400 feet, But it was do-able and I was a great trip.

The elevation might be a factor to you, but take your time and you should be able to get your summits done.
Have fun!!!

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Postby greenwok » Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:08 pm

Aspen Summit wrote:Angieelz, that's a lot of rest time compared to my schedule. I'm working in Philadelphia but whenever I fly home I get so excited that I usually do a 14er the next day with only a few hours to adjust to the higher elevation. For me the trick is drinking WATER...and lots of it! :D

With your schedule, you'll be fine...just a matter of one foot in front of the other. G'luck and have fun. Thanks in advance for spending $$$$$ in my state :lol:

Knight


Can't emphasize the hydration factor enough...I drink appx. 5 liters/day living here. Also get some Burt's Bees: Beeswax Lip Balm or even the Lifeguard's Choice Lip Balm since it sounds like you will be exposed to the UV rays. http://www.burtsbees.com

Oh...and rather than assume, you have or will be picking up a camelback of sorts for each of you?
Last edited by greenwok on Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The question is not what you look at, but what you see
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Are we crazy?

Postby Smalls » Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:10 pm

Well, I bet you guys will defiantly be feeling the altitude in the begining of your trip, but some water and advil will fix all that. Other than that, sounds like a great idea. Have Fun!! :)
If the world didn't suck, we would all float away! :)

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