Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bear Peak Hike (oh, my legs!)

Today was by far my hardest hike yet. I hiked Bear Peak, which is part of Boulder's Flatirons. My book listed it as strenuous, which it certainly was! To compensate, it also had awesome views in all directions. Not only could I see Boulder, but the Indian Peaks to the west, and Mount Meeker tand another flatiron mountain to the north. The first few miles of the hike were pretty mellow, through NCAR's informative walk, then down through a forest where I crossed over the same stream many times. It was nice and cool-a break from the heat in Boulder! Warning: whenever you go down early in a hike, that means you will have to go back up later. This is not good! Anyway I stayed in the forest with the creek and many wildflowers for awhile. Then started up toward a ridge-this was a lot hotter with more sunlight, and steeper. It was really cool when I got high enough to see not just Boulder, but over the other side of the ridge to the mountains to the west, too. However, seeing actual Bear Peak was a little....concerning. For good reason: it was STEEP! The last mile was very difficult, it felt like I was going straight up! I had to take lots of breaks, that's for sure. I kept thinking about how I'll need these leg muscles for the Inca Trail! I did eventually make it up to the top.



I took more pictures but I was hot and tired, and out of water (oops, that has never happened before!) so decided to head back down. The route down (Fern Creek) was different than the one (Bear Creek) I had taken up. It was really, really steep-I lost about 2,000 feet of elevation in about 1.5 miles! It seems like going down should be easier but this was so steep it was pretty difficult. I was very happy to get back to my car, out of my hiking boots, and get to a gas station for water and Chipotle for some food-I ate a whole burrito! Part of my training plan is to hike a few days in a row to get my muscles used to it, but at the moment that doesn't sound like much fun! We'll see how tomorrow goes....
Pictures are of...Bear Peak (the pointy bump in the middle is it), the trail during the steep last mile, views to the west (Indian Peaks) and east (Boulder), and the view from the top to the north, of the flatirons.

3 comments:

The Lindahl News said...

Your title got me...I had never heard of Beak Peak before!

Once again your photography is amazing. And now I know why you are getting into shape: for the Inca Trail! You go, girl! Even with hurting legs you accomplished your goal.

cellothug said...

Oops, I had better revise that-haha! How strange that I'll be in Peru at close to the same time as Jennifer! (I'm not sure when she comes back) I'll be down there from june 17-july 10. I enjoy reading all of your comments!

Vincen said...

You go girl!