companions. matt climbs a mountain

“Climb a 14er”

The term refers to climbing one of the mountains in Colorado that exceeds 14,000 feet elevation. There are 53 of these Peaks in CO. The 11th highest is Torreys Peak…..and that is one the Matt, Peter, and Christina climbed one week ago.

*this post, is typed out by me, but dictated by Matt. Only slight changes have been made to form more complete phrases and sentences, the intent has remained unchanged*

I boarded a plane and 24hr later we were climbing a mountain. In hindsight, the proper technique would have been to acclimate to the elevation for a few days before making the climb. (Minnesota is <1000 elevation and the base of Torreys Peak was 11,000 feet). This created some elevation sickness for me at the top, but it was completely worth it.

We were geared with hiking boots, camelback backpacks, energy snacks, a pair of walking sticks, and winter gear for the top.  The goal was to hike 8 miles round trip, gaining 3000 feet in the process to the top.

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The first half was moderate climb. Mostly low grade incline with big rocks. The weather was sunny and 50 degrees so early in the morning. We didn’t do a whole lot of talking during this section because we just wanted to plug through all the way to the top!

Then the last part was a much steeper incline, with slippery rocks, and snow covered paths. I started to feel the elevation much more here, needing to stop every 5min to catch my breath, push through the nausea, and look down for the next step.

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And then, after miles of constantly looking down at our feet to avoid slipping, we finally made it ALMOST to the top. We stayed there for 20 minutes, almost convincing ourselves that it was close enough. By this time, the altitude sickness had really kicked in making it very difficult to continue. HOWEVER. We came all this way, had to get to the top.

And we finally did.

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Not going sugar coat it. We stayed there for long enough for a quick snack, a few photos, and then we were eager to get back to a more comfortable elevation. I literally skipped the way down, I was so excited to get back down. After 2 miles, I felt much better, and we were able to enjoy the hike down the rest of the way.

I am really hoping to do it again sometime, maybe with a better acclimation plan, and then make out way through the 14ers! Thanks for the quick weekend adventure!!

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