This past weekend, I did it. I climbed to the top of Mt. Bierstadt and then Mt. Evans. While not an easy hike, and while several times I felt like I would not make it, the climb was very rewarding. My legs were extremely sore the next day and the day after and even a little bit today.
Now, I am daydreaming about doing Long's Peak. Derry, the guy I was planning on hiking / climbing with, does not have the same open dates to do it as I do, so it is looking like we might not get to do it this year. But, I am thinking about just doing it without him. I might ask Brannan (the guy who went with me up Bierstadt & Evans), or I might even try to do it on my own. I might back-pack up to the Goblin Forest back-country sites (which is about 1.5 miles up the Long's Peak trail-head) on Friday and then take off early Saturday morning.
Maybe this can be both my climb up Long's Peak and my solo-Backpacking trip (see Time Flies). Of course, climbing Long's Peak may not be real smart. Anyway, in case I decide I want to do this, here are some pages that might help:
Backcountry camping guide: http://www.nps.gov/romo/visit/park/camp/guide.html
Backcountry Trip Planning Worksheet: http://www.nps.gov/romo/downloads/campingpdfs/Tripplanningworksheet.pdf
Designated Backcountry camp-sites in RMNP: http://www.nps.gov/romo/visit/park/camp/campsites/designated.html
Just a miscellaneous Denver Post article about Long's Peak: http://denverpost.com/search/ci_2900903
Note... the fact that my legs got so tired (and started to cramp) on the sawtooth between Bierstadt and Evans scares me a bit. I also came much closer to running out of water than I am comfortable with. So, here are some changes I think I need to make:
- More Water... I always bring a lot, but I am thinking I need more. Also, just in case, I think I am going to get some water-purification pills. If I back-pack up to Goblin Forest, I'll have my water filter anyway. The thing is, though, there is not a lot of water to be gotten up above tree - line. By the time I get back down to the water, I'm close enough to the end, that I might not need it.
- Polyester shirt as my lower layer (instead of cotton).
- Banana chips as part of my food (my King Soopers did not have any for this last trip... I usually bring some).
- Take Calcium / Magnesium / Vitamin E / Potassium supplements the days before the hike (I have read recently that this will help with leg cramps).
- Work out harder. Weights in the back pack on the tread-mill. Higher resistance on the cross - trainer. I hope to carry Tyler in the Kelty carrier a few times before the Long's Peak hike. Should I weight train my legs?