A Tough Fitness Test

 

  One of my goals in this life is to hike all the 14,000′ peaks in Colorado. There are 52 of them. I have done 15. Some, many times due to the close proximity. Like Long’s Peak. Probably the hardest, and definitely the longest hike of a 14’er I love to do. I have summitted Long’s at least 8 times. The view makes the effort worthwhile. 

  This year, I am taking on the Collegiate range. I will attempt a triple summit in one day. Princeton, Havard, and Yale peaks are a 7+ mile hike round trip. (Long’s is 15 mile round trip.) all of this is at or above 11,000′ and if you are not acclimated to the altitude, you can feel pretty sick. I know people from the coastal area that cannot handle 5280′. (1 mile above sea level, Denver’s elevation.) 

For all of you wondering why this is relevant, it is because I am older now. 57 to be exact. And I smoke cigarettes, about 15 a day. And I do not go and work out. I get my exercise at work. Stocking a freezer is a great way to stay in shape. And last year, I suffered from medical conditions that were the most painful things I have ever experienced. See my previous posts for more on that.  And yet, despite all that, I seem to be in better shape now. I have kept my weight at 170# and I am more energetic lately despite the heavy allergens in the air this year. 

   Doing these 14’ers proves to me that I am still in shape. I will do this every year until I cannot. I love being at high altitude. The air might be thinner, but it is fresher and cleaner than being in the plains or in Denver. It helps me clear my mind and focus. And the views are just stunning. So is the wildlife. I always feel so comfortable in the wilderness. It’s how I grew up. 

   I will post some pictures after the hike. Feel free to use any of them. And wish this crazy old fart some luck. I am hoping most of the snow will be gone. Either melted or blown away. And that I won’t have a stroke. Lol  I hope my genetics are strong. This is my first major hike of the season and hoping it will be the best. Here’s to success!

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