Monday, July 18, 2005

14er from Hell

Colorado is mildly famous for the 54 '14er' peaks scattered around the Rocky Mountains. Fourteeners are any peak above 14,000 feet above sea level, and Colorado has the highest concentration of these peaks the lower 48. One particularly popular pair is Grays and Torreys Peaks. They are only a short drive from Denver and present one of the few places where an able bodied soul can climb two 14ers in one day. This double bagger makes Grays and Torreys very popular with the rather insane crowd that wants to climb every 14er at least once. I myself have climbed the two of them 3 times each, starting when I was 12. That was my first every 14er attempt, and I made it to the top of both peaks, a rather significant feat, especially for a 12 year old. There really lies the crux of my entry today, for my father and I returned to these two fine peaks yesterday, and I learned just how out of shape I am. Now I did summit Torreys, so all is not lost, but it was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I exhausted all of my energy and stamina to make it to the top, there was never any question of heading back up the saddle to Grays Peak. It just wasn't going to happen. We could hardly make it back to the car we were so tired. It really drove home to me how much I've let myself go this past year, with less exercise than ever and quite a bit more ready made food. Some may wonder just what this has to do with Japan, but it is relevant, in a way. One of my reasons for wanting to climb a 14er was to get a photo for use in my Teacher Introduction Poster that I will be sending to my school shortly. The other reason was purely personal. I really want to experience as much of the unique Colorado elements of my life as possible before I leave.

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