What the heck is a14er? In mountaineering terminology in the United States, a fourteener is a mountain that exceeds 14,000 feet (4,267.2 m) above mean sea level. The importance of fourteeners is greatest in Colorado, which has the majority of such peaks in North America. ...(from wikipedia)And guess what? I climbed one! Maybe that doesn't seem like a huge deal to a lot of people but to me it kinda was. It was pretty difficult and I was very nervous about the altitude seeing as I come from a near sea level valley.
Snapped this pic of Quandary Peak -14,271 ft. Hiked all the way to the tipppity top!
I was given advice to pop some Ibuprofen before we headed up and I'm sure it made all the difference. Toward the top I felt a little pressure in my head but nothing too uncomfortable. And how could I think about my head when I had a view like this:
At the top is was freezing. And windy. Thankfully my husband knew about my propensity to under pack for cold weather and stuffed one of his jackets into the camel back I borrowed from him. What would I do without that guy?
My summit was a little less romantic than I'd imagined. I followed the orders of my dear husband to hydrate hydrate hydrate a little too well and I had to pee like you would not believe. Being a woman can be really inconvenient. Dozens of people hiked the peak that day and we were surrounded by fellow climbers. So I stayed long enough to shovel a sandwich into my mouth, snap a couple pictures and marvel at the beauty of God's creations. Then I got the heck outta there. We were well above tree line and with every step down the boulders and rocks I wanted.to.die. I kept scanning around the trail trying to find a place to pop a squat. Hmmm...not over there, unless I want to tumble down the mountain and die. Nope, not over there unless I want to moon that father and son duo. Not down there either; rocks too sharp.
Finally I found a crevice off the trail and only hikers coming down could figure out what I was doing but at that point I could not have cared less. I even shouted to a couple guys taking their sweet time, Hey uh I'm just trying to find a place to pee over here! To which they responded, Oh uh, we'll give you some space. Thanks guys.
Full bladder aside, It was a gorgeous day filled with breathtaking scenery. There is nothing like the feeling of being far, far away from everything.