7 Days // 7 Summits //
The first planned hike was to summit Mt. Belford and the day started out with great weather--not noticing that storm system approaching us. We had just cleared the tree line and hikers coming done advised us to head back because the storm was going to be pretty intense. So we rushed to get back, but the storm poured its might on us. Luckily we had returned to tree cover so we were fairly protected from the hail and rain. Lesson for the future: check the radar before embarking on a 4-6 hour hike.
We rested at base camp the night before and had a early start the next day. The drive was about an hour from camp to the trail head and we started hiking before sunrise. The plan for this day was to summit Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans through the Sawtooth ridge.
Ian (left of center) breezed through the hike, while I (far right) lagged a bit behind, but Yahya (right of center) and Ryan (far left) were very far behind. As I remember, we waited 20 minutes before they showed up for us to take the group photo. Anyhow, we quickly realized that none of us had the chutzpah to hike the Sawtooth ridge to summit Mt. Evans. So we decided to hike down to the car and rest for the remainder of the day.
The third day itinerary was pretty ambitious: wake up at 4, drive two hours, and summit 4 peaks. Of the four only Ian and I mustered the courage to hike the 4 summits
Summit photos from Mt. Democrat. I was somewhat okay, but Ian had altitude sickness. We both brushed it off and attmepted the other summits.
Though the hike coupled with altitude sickness was a bit difficult and at times unpleasant, the end of the day triumph was incredible. The final tally was 10.2 miles and 3,858 feet of elevation gain.
During the last day of hiking, the group reassembled. We set out on our drive before sunrise to summit Grays and Torrey's peak.
Above left: Ryan, what can you say, with brute force he trailed and the results were rather surprising.
Grays peak was spectacular! The view of the distant mountains was humbling. We all made it to the top of Grays after Ian. Ian was way ahead of us and I think he was actually done with Torrey's peak and just relaxing on a ledge.
The high of the summit carried Ryan forward to summit Torrey's peak, but unfortunately Yahya decided to head down. Meanwhile, I caught up to Ian and we hiked down together.
The trip was a much need break before the start of a new job and settling in a new apartment. Ian and I hike 7 summits, Rayn did 3, and Yahya did 2. We decided to have the last day as a break day before our 9 hour drive back to Kansas City.