23 August 2009

Big Baldy - One Year Later

I climbed Big Baldy again. You can read about my first venture up baldy if you haven't taken that opportunity yet. So, I have been exercising quite a bit since my last trip up the mountain. I didn't think it was doing any good but after this trip I think it may be helping after all.

I started up the mountain Monday morning at 5:30 am. It was still dark outside so I wore a headlamp. The weather was beautiful. The trail is worn enough that it was pretty easy to follow in the dark. There were points, though, were the grass had grown so long on the side of the trail that it bent over and made the trail impossible to see. Luckily, at those points the trail was worn down into a rut which allowed me to stay on the trail by feel instead of by sight. It became light enough to see without the headlamp about 6:10.

I still had to go to work after the hike so I gave myself a time limit of 7:00 at which point I required myself to turn around and return home. At 6:30 I was at the top of the steepest grade and on the back side of the mountain. At this point, I knew I was close to the top. I sped up my pace to make sure I made it to the top before the 7:00 cut off time. I ended up jogging about a half mile of the trail. I finally reached the summit at exactly 7:00 with at least 15 seconds to spare. I climb the trail in only an hour and a half this year cutting about an hour off of last year's time.

After a brief stop to catch my breath I headed back down the mountain. As I headed down I noticed the same birds that I saw last year at the top of the mountain. I got a better look this time at what they were. It was a bunch of grouse running around.

The trip down the mountain took almost as long to make as the trip up the mountain. It was so steep that I had to travel pretty slowly on large parts of the trail. But I made it home at last with just enough time the take a quick shower and run off to work. What a great way to start the work week.