Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Wall

This afternoon before work, I went to the Broomfield Rec. Center and took my "Top Rope" Certification test so I can climb/belay their wall whenever I want (opposed to the limited "open wall" hours).

The test was a practical designed to prove that one could put on a harness, tie into the harness to both climb and belay (using the correct knots and technique).

After passing the test, I was able to make a few climbs and belay my neighbor Judy. We both had a much more fulfilling time being able to take part in both aspects of climbing (climbing the wall and belaying one another).

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Camping and a 14er

Hiked my first 14er yesterday. Camped in the Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range a few miles from the Humboldt Peak trail head. We arrived where we made camp just before dark (with barley enough light to set up the tent and make camp (yes, we forgot a flashlight). The weather was good; there was just a brisk chill in the air. Our camp site was a tad soggy, so finding dry wood for kindling wasn't going to happen. So, we had dinner, drinks, and 'un-smoored' Smores in the car instead and still had a great time.

We began our trek around 6:15am taking a short ride down an easy 4-wheel drive trail. We ended up only driving partway up... not knowing how far we had left to go. We hiked up the rest of the 4-wheel trail (about 2 miles or so) to the start of Humboldt Peak and reached the trail head to officially start the hike at 7:10am.

We reached the top just after 11:00am. The views were beautiful and the weather was perfect for such an event.

It being my first 14er (not to mention not hiking in at least the past 7 years to any extent), the fact that I'm not in the shape I'd like to be in, and me being completely backwards on my schedule (since I work nights); the hike was slow...and, well tedious. Surprisingly, the last bit (maybe 1/4 mile or so) where you needed to scramble over large boulders was a lot of fun. I made up most of my time there and was able to catch up. This might have been because I'm not quite sure I followed the trail (zig zagging back and fourth) and climbed straight up. Whatever the reason, this was more my idea of a fun outdoor activity. Too bad I had to hike all that way to get there.

Coming back down was much faster and less strenuous. By the time we got back down to the trail head, I was definitely toasted and ready to be finished though. Unfortunately, we had to hike back down the 4-wheel drive trail to where we left the car....

We got back to our camp site just a minute or two before it started to rain. We had everything packed up and ready to go just before it began pouring...and we were off.

Overall, the trip was a lot of fun. There was fantastic scenery, animals, and most of the other hikers were friendly. The next day, if it weren't for the minor sunburn on my shoulders and a few blisters on my feet, I'd be feeling just fine physically. Even though I had a great time, this is not a hobby that I will be taking up any time soon... it doesn't quite fit my current lifestyle.