The CC class of 2014 (my class) adopted the class motto "Damn, those fourteeners are high!" this year, and though the intended implication doesn't really resonate with me, it did help to inspire a new goal of mine for this summer. I turn 20 in just under a month, and have decided that I want to have climbed 20 of the Colorado fourteeners before then. I'm a little ashamed to say that, in all my years living here, I've only done 10 of them. This summer is fast becoming the most ambitious of my life (first Triple Crown, first triathlon), so I figured why not add one more slightly insane goal for myself? 10 fourteeners in 4 weeks. I think it's doable.
When the idea first crossed my mind I almost felt a little guilty, like I was somehow disrespecting the mountains by wanting to "conquer" them just for the sake of being able to say I did 20 before 20. Thinking more about it, though, I realized that my goal was not about conquering or "bagging peaks," but about accepting the challenge that each one presents. Forgive my cheesiness, but if you read my last post you may have noticed that I sort of have a thing for mountains. I love the unique massiveness and potential experiences possible in every ascent, and I think that my desire to climb so many in such a short amount of time is more a manifestation of that love than a shameless ploy for bragging rights (I mean, do I really need more to brag about than running up Pike's Peak?).
I spent last Thursday hiking up Grays and Torreys, and had an experience that was different than any other mountain, or any other day would be. I've gone on a million hikes in my life, but this - like every hike - was special in its own way. I'll always remember Grays and Torreys for who I was with, jumping through the snow, envying the skiers going over the other side, seeing that bear (it was definitely not a mountain goat, Brendan), and how hilarious I suddenly became as the altitude got to me.
Not only will this next month be great training for the Ascent, it will be a great time for me!
Side note - I went to a concert at Red Rocks on Thursday after Grays and Torreys, and nearly didn't make it up the stairs to my seat, so I've got some work to do on my leg strength...