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Quandary Peak

June 25, 2012

Places I’m Sunburned: behind my ears, right underneath the hairline on my forehead, from mid-calf to the top of my ankle.

Things That Are Sore: my butt, my quads, my calves.  Basically the lower half of my body.

Things I Have Hanging Around My Apartment: a Go Lite backpack, half-eaten bags of pretzels/trailmix, dirty socks and sunscreen that obviously wasn’t used very well.

Guess where I was yesterday!

Oh you know, just hiking my first 14er.  No big deal.

We were up at 4 AM and on our way up the mountain by 6 AM.

The very beginning of the hike up Quandary Peak is kind of steep.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t kind of freaking out in my head because we were 2 minutes in and I was already so out of breath.  I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but it eventually flattened out.

Our friend Chris has hiked a bunch of 14ers, so he served as our mountain guide.  All good mountain guides have hiking sticks.

Our backpacks were lifesavers.

Stopped for snacks and a chance to take in the breathtaking scenery.

Then we just had to make it up to the summit.  Every time I looked up, the summit looked like it was right there, but it so wasn’t.  And when you have to stop every few minutes to catch your breath and let your burning legs rest, it can feel like getting to the top is taking

But then you get there, eat a peanut butter and jelly pita and it all seems worth it.  Oh, and the views, those are pretty good too.

You know how when you’re hiking and you’re legs are burning and tired and you can’t wait to go down and then you start going down and your legs feel like jello and your knees and ankles feel like they’re going to break and you’re never sure if the rocks you’re stepping on are stable or if they’re going to slide out from under your foot?  Oh you don’t?  Me neither…

Things I Loved: the scenery, the camaraderie between all of us hikers, the fresh air, the company, the mountain goats, the feeling of doing something amazing.

Things I Did Not Love: waking up at 4 AM, wanting to go to bed a 5 PM, the sunburn on my legs, the pain in my calves, how bad I had to go to the bathroom the entire way down, the fact that a dad carrying his 4-year-old son on his shoulders beat me up the mountain.

But give me a couple weeks to forget all the hard parts and I’ll probably want to do another one.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2012 7:40 AM

    The way down is the worst!!! Every step seems to be a constant reminder that you are probably going to face plant into some rocky bizness when your legs finally give out! Congrats on your first 14er!

  2. June 25, 2012 8:36 AM

    Thanks for a great hike, Lauren and a witty, entertaining trip report!

  3. June 25, 2012 9:11 AM

    Did you really see a mountain goat? Too cool..and cute!
    What a gorgeous gorgeous hike!

    • June 25, 2012 6:00 PM

      I really saw about four mountain goats! Their horns are so sharp, eek!

  4. June 25, 2012 9:17 AM

    Oh my gosh that looks gorgeous!!! 🙂 How fun!

  5. June 26, 2012 11:33 AM

    The way down is definitely the worst part. I always feel like my legs are going to die…but somehow they never do. A tip for the bathroom situation, just wait till you get to timberline and then go off the trail somewhere. I will admit that there have been a couple of occasions where I truly couldn’t hold it and had to just do my thing above timberline. Trust me, no one (or very few anyway) would judge you for it….just in case you run into this sort of issue again on your next 14er. 🙂 Also, always bring TP! I feel lost without it. Haha!

  6. July 3, 2012 3:33 PM

    What a beautiful looking hike. Colorado is on my list of places to check out. I want to hike there so bad!

  7. July 25, 2012 10:05 AM

    This was our first 14er. We did it the week before. Trekking poles helped on the way down. My wife wouldn’t have made it down without them.

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