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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Boy, this mountain is high....

A while back, I came across the phrase "runner's high." Apparently, a phenomenon happens to a number of people who run where they get a sense of peace, euphoria, or a 2nd wind of sorts, when they've been running. Such a state exists and has been documented, and a number of people continue to run so they can achieve such a high. Well, not too long ago, I came across another such state called "Rocky Mountain high" where the euphoria comes during the course of hiking a mountain.

I already enjoyed mountain hiking before I heard that term. Last year, I hit a number of peaks, including Mt. Yale, with Kelly and another couple. That was a great time, exploring the great state of Colorado and braving the chilly nights above 9,000 feet above mean sea level (MSL). This year, I took a shorter trip and nailed Vail and Mt. Lincoln, the 8th tallest mountain in Colorado, the 23rd tallest peak the United States.

The most difficult part of this trip was due to weather and timing, we had to make the summit of Mt. Lincoln earlier in the trip than desired. Acclimation to 10,000 feet and above is vital to lessen the chances of altitude sickness. I was definitely feeling the effects of reduced air - some light dizziness, shortness of breath, and lack of energy. I'm not sure how Kel managed it - she kicked my tail up and down that mountain! Way to go!

I'm glad I was able to reach the top and see the fantastic valley surrounding the Mosquito range of the Rockies - it reminds me that nature is out there to be found and enjoyed. Sometimes it's a bit hard to remember that when we're struggling with details of the latest new technology to come out or the fight we're having with movie theaters over captioned movies. I'm coming back refreshed and ready to rumble!

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