So my vacation/adventure in May involves hiking a mountain. Longs Peak to be exact, at least that is the plan for now. I've never hiked a mountain, before. Actually I've never been in the mountains before. The highest elevation I've ever been at is the elevation of Broomfield, CO plus 10 floors up in my room at the Omni (which by the way I loooooovvveee. I fully intend on eating brunch there. ) So needless to say I"m excited/scared and more importantly I'm exhausted. Because apparently you can't just be like, I'm going to climb a 14,259ft mountain today! (The summit of Longs Peak) It's hard work, it can be dangerous, and you have to be prepared. So my preparations started last weekend with the purchase of my pack and boots and hiking at Ledges State Park in Madrid Iowa. It may come as a surprise to you, but I'm no outdoorsman....outdoorswoman. I have a North Face jacket and I thought that gave me some outdoors cred. Turns out The North Face is the brand preferred by people who don't spend a lot of time outdoors. Sads for me. So I tried to branch out, ask the advice of real outdoor people on packs and boots to see if I could at least look legit while stumbling up a mountain and wishing for sea level grade oxygen. Turns out, I'm just a yuppy at heart.
To my defense, I tried various other packs, but I kept coming back to this one as it was most comfortable and met my requirements and I didn't get it in pink. I'm trying to look like a serious mountain hiker here. As far as boots go, I tried many different ones too, at a local outdoorsy place, Sports Authority, Scheels and finally ended up at Bass Pro Shops where I met a nice guy who broke my heart when he informed me the Columbia boots I had my heart set on were not sturdy enough for Colorado mountain hiking. I can't hate him though, as he ran back and forth many times getting a zillion different pairs of boots for me and finally helped me pick them.
(sorry, crappy BlackBerry pic taken at the store.)
I finally settled on these Mountrek boots as they were super comfortable and again met the requirements. Apparently. I wanted the pretty Columbia ones :( I also picked up a pair of SmartWool hiking socks. I am in love.
So I've got the gear, now I've just been working my ass off to get in shape for this little expedition. I don't do things half assed and I reallllly want to get to the summit. Although I am fully aware that 1. weather will be a determining factor 2. I have absolutely zero high altitude experience and oh yeah have never actually been on a mountain before. and 3. The scramble to the summit is one of the most difficult of the Colorado fourteeners. Wikipedia told me so. So don't worry Mike I will accept the limitations as they come but that doesn't mean I'm going to set the bar low.
So stay tuned as I continue to prepare for my trip. Only 9 weeks left!
Mountain Man Cheers!