Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Getting High...

A little altitude never hurt anyone.  Well, maybe some people's bodies (or brains rather) don't respond very well to altitude, but if you live in Colorado you just gotta deal with it and enjoy the gorgeous playground we have.  

Training is getting pretty intense, so a little bit of cross training and spicing it up a little won't hurt.  So a couple of weekends ago I decided to go all out.  On Saturday morning me and my Ironman gang went out on an 81 mile bike ride.  I was feeling STRONG!  I was telling Kristi that it sometimes scares me, since I have to remember I need to run 26.2 miles after I jump off my bike.

We went out to Masonville and back on a gorgeous, 70+ degree, sunny day:

This time, instead of heading out for a 26.2 mile, I went for a 2 mile hike... at night. We started off at 9700 and 10:30 pm and we immediately started to go up, up, up.  There were some crazy switch-backs gaining lots of elevation FAST. After the switch-backs, it flattened for a second but we started hiking through snow... lots of snow too.  Fortunately we were not post-holing, but still slightly slippery. After almost two hours, we reached another flat-ish area where the man had planned for us to set camp.  This was at 11,600ft.  I was exhausted, but unfortunately didn't sleep so well. My feet were cold.

At the trailhead at 10:30 pm

Elevation gain - Trailhead to camp site. 
On a happier note, since we camped at 11,600ft, we got to sleep in.  We went to bed at around 12:30 am, and slept until 7, which is a late wake up time when you climb 14ers. We had breakfast and started hiking at 7:45 am.  We got  to the mountain fast... we only had 2 miles to go from our camp to the summit of Mt. Belford.  Once we hit the ridge we, again, started gaining elevation FAST.  It was a gorgeous day and the views were amazing.  Unfortunately, we couldn't document it since I carried my camera without a memory stick.  The internal memory of my camera holds 10 pictures, so I had strategic points where I could spare one.  We reached the summit shortly before 10:00 am.

Panoramic view from the summit of Mt.Belford

Summit shot - Mt. Belford

We continued on.  We had another 1.5 trek to the summit of Oxford.  It felt nice to walk on flat for a bit and while I thought the descent would be fun, it was steep and snowy but we hit the saddle pretty fast.  The ascent to Oxford was dry and was not as steep, so it was fast.  We reached the summit of Oxford an hour later and enjoyed some Krispy Kreme's.

Summit shot - Mt. Oxford
Now, let's go back home.  Got off the summit and headed back up to Mt. Belford.  Lovely.  Apparently the only way to get back is heading back up.  But I was feeling strong so that was definitely not an issue.  On the way down and back to camp I slowed down and was enjoying the weather.  It started getting hot.  We broke down camp and couldn't wait to get back to the car.  We were craving pizza.  An hour and a half later we were back in the car stripping off layers.  We drove back to Leadville and ate at Pizza Hut.  Once again, epic weekend and our Colorful Colorado did not disappoint.

Campsite - Mt. Belford - Mt. Oxford - Mt. Belford - Trailhead


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