Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Deer Mountain attempt, Rocky Mountain National Park

September 2, 2015

Distance: 4 miles completed out of 6.2
Time: ?
Elevation gain: ?

Year to Date miles: 541.3

Map: National Geographic Longs Peak (301)

Parking: Deer Mountain trailhead

Directions: Rocky Mountain National Park Dayhiker's Guide by Jerome Malitz

We woke up super early, because I figure it is safest to do all of our hiking before any afternoon thunderstorms develop. We got to the trailhead at 6:45am. Probably the earliest I've ever been hiking. There was a large antlered elk standing right at the trailhead! He moved away before we got all organized. 

We decided on not trying to increase our elevation today, so Deer Mountain looked like a good bet. It is only 6.2 miles round trip. Short, but the idea is that we shouldn't over exert ourselves on our 2nd day here.

I'm not a morning person, but I have to say this morning hiking is nice. The mountains were bathed in a beautiful light as the sun was rising. Maybe this is what they call alpinglow. There were far fewer people on the trail as well. 

This trail switch backed up the mountain. I could still feel my heart pounding too much due to the altitude. Glen felt nauseous so we sat down for half an hour hoping it would go away. It didn't. After continuing upwards, Glen got sick. We figured it was safer to go back down rather than continuing to the summit. Adjusting to the altitude is challenging.

We sat in our car for a while and rested. Then we drove along Route 34 which climbs in elevation. We checked out the tourist overlooks. We got up to 11,500' and just sat up there for a while. Hoping that being at higher elevation without exerting ourselves will help us acclimate.

Coming back down the mountain

View on our post-hike drive

View on our post-hike drive

Stopping for elk crossing

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