In Colorado, there’s this thing where all the outdoorsy people love to climb 14ers — peaks that are above 14,000 feet. Kevin and I have always thought about doing one, but we’re not the type to plan ahead and be prepared to leave early on a weekend to climb a mountain. That’s just the way it is.
But our friend Anna generously invited us to stay at her family’s condo in Breckenridge over the weekend and we ended up planning to climb a nearby 14er! Mt.Democrat is a Class 2 (out of 5, Class 1 is the easiest), and it was just really convenient.
It turns out that you don’t have to leave at 6AM to climb a 14er. I’m not a morning person. Kevin was sweet and got up and made us some breakfast, and we left the condo a little before 8AM to begin our climb at around 8:45. There were a fair number of people out there (including some crazies camping!!), but it wasn’t really crowded.
For whatever reason, I can always totally cream Kevin at running, cardio, and anything endurance related. But get that boy on a mountain and he sets a GRUELING pace. We didn’t take a break at all for almost an hour. Kevin might forget sometimes that he’s a little taller than us which really comes into play when there are many steep passages and rocks. Here we are finally taking short breather, and Kevin had the nerve to take a pic. Haha. I refused to look at the phone because I was feeling feisty.
For the most part, it was manageable although a little bit more difficult than I expected. I know a lot of people who aren’t really into working out climb 14ers so I kind of thought it would be cake. Haha. A little bit of an underestimation. Although really, I guess it was less the fitness part and more the being out in the elements and scrambling over rocks that I wasn’t crazy about. It wasn’t really scary or dangerous. It just made me impatient, but that’s a personal problem. Haha.
Not really a visible path. Just rocks, rocks everywhere!
More rocks!!!!!! Of course, these two pics were taken on the way down. Honestly, I had no time to safely have my iPhone out taking pictures on the way up. We only ended up taking one more break to put our jackets on when it started to get really windy. Other than that, just extremely brief sips of water (yes, we brought water! We are so proud of ourselves since we tend to be super unprepared).
Yay, we made it!! A fellow hiker took a pic of us at the summit. It took us about 1 hour, 50 minutes to make it to the top. You could probably make it in 90 minutes if you don’t have any blind/prissy friends. And yes, I had my glasses on, but I took them off for pics since they sometimes ruin pictures with glare or sliding down over my eyes. I chose not to wear contacts because I was afraid of my eyes getting dry/tired, and I think that was a good choice.
The view was stunning. Even more so since we worked for it!! :)
Mt.Emocrat. Haha. I inadvertently covered up the d in most of the pics. It was so fun being with Anna and seeing her reach this goal of climbing a 14er. All 3 of us feel like slightly more legit Coloradans with this checked off our list. But we’re still super Midwestern at heart. :)
With my handsome husband!
Kevin was so awesome the entire weekend and putting up with us girls!!! Love him. Plus I love this pic because Pippa looks like she wants to run off the mountain. Trust me, she was looking for a shortcut. She did awesome, but she wasn’t impressed with the rocky passages either. We really debated whether or not to bring her, and I’m happy we did. She’s really the kind of girl who is happier when she’s with her family, and she loves exercise!!!
SLEEPY GIRL!!! She fell asleep as soon as her head hit the backseat.
We stayed at the peak for about 20 minutes before making the return trip down in a little over 90 minutes. My quads were burning a little since they were sore from the previous day’s CrossFit workout. And there was this fun moment where I was panicking about crossing a little… stream… on a (slippery!!!!!) log. Some strangers made fun of me. Thanks for that, guys. Still not outdoorsy. Another fun part was was people watching. People wear the most hilarious things while climbing 14ers. By the way, my little pink Nikes were totally fine for the hike (and it was my first time wearing them – haha – classic Corrie).
It was fun climbing with friends, but I don’t see myself making a goal of climbing 14ers regularly. For one thing, the lack of bathrooms made me nervous the entire time we were hiking. I know I’m in the minority in Colorado… I like the mountains. They are a gorgeous part of God’s creation. But I’m not obsessed. Plus the traffic is always lousy although I’m thankful we managed to time it pretty well for a holiday weekend!! But hey, it was a decent workout, and I’m happy we gave it a try. I’m also happy to be back at home on my couch. I know, such a little pessimist, but I promise I’ve made huge progress since my parents used to drag me away from books and shopping and into state parks! Yay!
Ever hiked a 14er? Hope you had a great holiday weekend!