Today I climbed Mt. Bierstadt from Guanila Pass.
There is very little snow for this time of year, just
a few isolated patches above 13,000 ft. The weather
was perfect, sunny with light winds. I only needed
shorts and a windbreaker at the 14,060 ft. summit.
Altitude acclimation is another story. I just flew
from sea level yesterday. On the way up (1:45 from
11,600 ft, about 1500 ft/hr), I was breathing hard and
a young hiker passed me at about twice the pace with
hardly a breath. Just wait 2 weeks!
I was going to take the Sawtooth over to Mt. Evans
(saving $6 vs. driving to the summit) but decided
against it. Good thing, because I started getting an
altitude headache on the way down and it got pretty
painful. Usually I only go to 12,000 ft. on the first
full day, and 14,000 ft. on the second, and by the
third day I no longer have headaches at 14,000 ft. I
noticed a slight sensation of intoxication at the end
of the hike which went away after driving to lower
altitude, but the headache is only now fading after 8
hours at 6000 ft.
BTW this other hiker had an ice axe. Noting the lack
of snow, I asked him if he thought he would need it.
He said he used it on Mt. Yale a few days ago. They
had a storm and 60 MPH winds when he climbed it.
We climb Princeton on Sat. and Yale on Sun. I will
probably check my email next Tues. Go to
-- Matt Mahoney, matmahoney@...
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