Our 4th of July Hike

5 Jul

Travis and I went hiking up South Boulder Peak (8,549 ft) on the 4th of July. Man, was it a hard one! The whole hike is about 6.7 miles round trip, which isn’t bad. BUT you gain 3,000 feet in those 3.35 miles. That’s steep.

I felt a little tired/sore when we first started out. About 2 miles in, my legs started to get shaky and really tired. I was pretty hungry but thought I would just wait until we reached the summit. Nope. I had to eat on the way up because I started getting dizzy and feeling sick to my stomach. When we reached the spur up to South Boulder Peak, it was the worst. I knew we were so close to the summit so I pushed myself (within reason) but that last 45 minutes was rough. It took us 2 hour and 45 minutes to get up to the top–about a 40 minute mile! I had to stop every 20-30 feet though because I couldn’t breathe, which was frustrating.

Then when we got up to the peak, the bugs were so thick that I stood up there taking in the view for about 5 minutes before I got too grossed out and went to wait for Travis back at the base of the spur. When he got down, he said, “Yeah, the bugs were bad. You pretty much just had to let them crawl all over you or else you’d be constantly moving.” Um, ew? No thank you.

The way down wasn’t bad. We made it down in about an hour and a half with about 2 stops. The whole hike, rests included, took us 5 hours. It was a very challenging hike, the hardest I’ve ever done in my life. Travis talked about climbing Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans the next day but 1) I didn’t think I’d have enough energy after climbing South Boulder Peak and 2) that climb had me really doubting my hiking abilities. Turns out that climbing Bierstadt is not only shorter but you gain less elevation as well. Travis did the hike on Saturday (by himself) and got to the top in an hour and a half. Granted, he was cruising (which he would NOT do with me!) but I figure that if I can do South Boulder Peak, I can do Bierstadt. The sawtooth between Bierstadt and Evans, on the other hand, could be another story.

I do want to do a 14er later this summer though. I’m going to try to get in some harder hikes in the meantime in preparation!

Funny side note: Travis and I climbed Bear Peak last fall, which is very close to South Boulder Peak. Until hiking South Boulder, that had been our hardest hike to date. The way down was SO steep and never-ending! I guess that part of the Flatirons is just brutal terrain!

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