Have you seen part one of the Mt. Bierstadt saga?
So a few days ago I shared some of my favorite black & white photographs from our hike to the summit of Mt. Bierstadt on the 4th of July, and promised a few of my top color shots as well. Here goes!
We saw moose on our hike! What I really wanted to see were mountain goats, which according to trip reports are pretty common along this trail, but alas. Moose was a pretty cool alternative though, and I’m actually pretty amazed with as crowded as the trails were. This was my first time seeing a moose in the wild, and we saw three (even a bull – see if you can spot him in the photo below, right.)
The creek we had to climb across was really lovely, and the rocks shimmered gold under the sunlight. One of the nice things about this hike was that there was some variation in the landscape – you start in a marsh, walk through some brush, over open grasslands and finally – just rock. If you’re going to hike for four hours, there better be something interesting to look at, right? You could see practically the whole trail right from the outset, which was good and bad – good because you could see where you were going, and bad…because you could see where you were going. It definitely seemed way too far away at some points!
Breathless. Photos do not do justice to those flower-laden fields (am I the only one who wants to bust out in the Sound of Music now?) I found some that looked so much like the honeysuckles my friends and I would pluck as kids – another hiker told us they’re called chiming bells, but I almost wanted to taste one, just to see.
If you ever have a chance to hike a 14er in Colorado, I’d highly recommend it. Check out 14ers.com for detailed trip reports and great tips for planning your own ascent – trust me when I say that if I can do it, you can too! That said, these would be my top tips if you’re planning on doing a summit hike:
- Eat a good, filling breakfast! Carbs and protein are both important so that you have the sustained energy you need for this kind of hike. And bring a snack (like a PB&J) for the summit. It will taste like liquid gold (of course, I’d say that about a PB&J any day!)
- Stay hydrated. Cory carried a Camelback that we both drank from, plus a big water bottle in the car – we each probably drank about a liter of water over the morning.
- Be comfy – shoes especially, but light layers that you can take on and off as needed are also good. I was in shorts & a t-shirt for most of the hike, but was so glad to have my pull-over when the snow was falling at the summit! I saw people in all sorts of footwear, but we went with hiking boots.
- Last but not least – don’t give up! I think this goes for most challenges in life – but when the going gets tough, you’re probably right at the finish line. Just keep going! You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish when you stop limiting yourself by what you think you can or can’t do.
Phew – so I made it up my first mountain! What are you tackling today?