Pikes Peak Summit

July 7, 2010

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Pikes Peak:
14,115 feet
Colorado Springs, CO

Barr Trail:
12.6 miles
7,300 ft. elevation climb
Walk-up trail

Our Hike:
9.5 hours
Average heart rate – 160BPM
Burned over 7,000 calories

Saturday night Jeremy and I flew into Denver, Colorado and drove down to Colorado Springs to conquer Pikes Peak. We’ve been wanting to do this for a little while and decided, last minute, to cross it off our bucket list over the 4th of July holiday weekend. It’s also going to be good practice for our Everest Base Camp trek in Nepal later this year (17 days, 19,000 ft.).

We woke up early Sunday morning and hit Barr Trail at 8am to begin our hike. We started off feeling good – at half-way we were tired and developing some pretty nasty blisters but felt confident about making the rest of the hike. The last mile was probably the hardest thing, physically, that either of us have ever endured. Apparently, if you’re from out of state it’s a good idea to acclimatize for a couple of days before tackling a 14er. Oops. The altitude didn’t really hit me like it did Jeremy – but we were both definitely feeling the exhaustion of the long hike.

It really became one step at a time. I tried everything I could to get myself through it. I thought of childbirth. I thought about people climbing Everest. I thought about Kevin Bacon (what!?). I counted 1-100 a few dozen times. And see that picture above with a skull in the clouds? I thought it was a sign that I was going to die. Maybe the altitude was affecting me more than I thought.

But we did it. Under ominous skies, we made it to the top. At that point we didn’t care about photos. We didn’t care about anything at all and we were consumed by pain. We were pretty sure we wouldn’t be able to move the next day but we both woke up craving adventure all over again.

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