As I reflect back on 2014, I realize that I have many great memories. I completed my first half-marathon, I visited lots of family across the country, I attended my first Broncos game, and so much more. But I’ve decided that my favorite memory is climbing a mountain that reaches over 14,000 feet – my first 14-er! On August 16th, the morning after stand up paddle-boarding with LIM 359, my boyfriend and I set out at 4am to Mount Bierschtadt near Georgetown. We hit the trail at 6am. It was beautiful seeing daylight break. I was not prepared for the climb (though this is one of the easiest 14-ers in Colorado) and about half way up I got dizzy. My heart was racing and I had to catch my breath every 5 steps, but I would just stop and look at my surroundings. It was so amazing. In retrospect, we needed much more water than we’d packed. Finally, crawling up and over some red boulders, we made it to the peak.
The view was like none I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to put into words – just stunning. After soaking up views in every direction, and because the peak was starting to get crowded with other hikers, we started our descent. The total hike took us 5 1/2 hours. To me, the view that was just as amazing as the view from the top was the view from our car looking up at the peak. I couldn’t believe what we’d just accomplished. It was so crazy to me that I had just walked around on top of this tiny tip top of a peak I could now see from the car. The mountain looked so enormous from the bottom. This year, I hope to summit another Colorado 14-er!