So I climbed Mount Bierstadt today.
(Bierstadt is German and means Beer City)
I woke up around 4am, and was out the door by 5:30am. After an hour and a half in the car, I was ready to start hiking promptly at 7am at the Guanella pass summit area parking lot. I entered the Mount Evans wilderness in the Pike National Forrest.
Yes. This is the same wilderness that I was once S&R’d (search and rescued) from in the past. Fuck it.
It was just me and Charlie (my border collie and favorite climbing companion), and when we set off the sun was already fairly high in the sky. It was a 16km (~10 mile) round trip that starts off at roughly 3535.68 meters (~11,600 feet) and then gains 1188 vertical meters (~3,900 vertical feet) throughout the duration of the trail to the summit at 4347 meters (14,264 feet).
It took me 3 hours to hike 8 kilometers, which is slow for me. But I was able to reach the summit shortly after 10:00. This was my second attempt at the mountain this year, and this time there was drastically less snow.
It’s weird, whenever I do intense physical activity at high elevation I notice that my body actually performs better once I reach the higher elevations. In this case once I crossed into the last 500 or so vertical meters of the hike I noticed myself getting acclimated quickly, and was actually able to do a bit of jogging near the summit.
I rested at the summit and drank beer with the sun on my shoulders with a handful of other strangers who also decided to make the trek today.
I was back at my car to finish the expedition by lunch time, thanks to even more jogging on the way down hill.
I have had some really disappointing failures this year. I try my best to not let them sneak their ugly faces into my day to day life, but they are still there. I failed summiting the mountain a month ago and had to turn back due to harsh winter conditions. But I try to remember that failure is important and it’s part of the whole process. I will continue to try stupid batshit crazy ideas and continue to make a fool of myself. It’s hard work, but every so often it pays out in a very exciting adventure indeed! I will continue to try and fail, and try and fail, over and over again. Despite failure being hard and embarrassing, it’s worth it in the long run.
I refuse to ever fail at trying.
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