Thursday, July 25, 2013

Double Summit Sunday

This past weekend, we lived life like true Boulderites. With so much to do so close to town, a day can begin late in the morning and still be jam-packed, and for me, someone who enjoys snuggling in bed much more than waking up before the sun, that's pretty much perfect.

Brian and I decided to start our Sunday by exploring our neighborhood a bit.  We went to a nearby cafe, Lucky's Cafe, that uses the ingredients from the independent grocery store just next door. I totally fell for that joint - the food was good, the atmosphere was good and the company was superb!

After our leisurely meal, we ventured to Neptune Mountain Sports to look for some new climbing shoes for yours truly.  You see, since the unfortunate ankle break/toe surgery summer of 2010, I've found it ever more difficult than earlier in my climbing life to find shoes that fit well (a cankle will do that to a girl, I guess).  Add in the fact that I have extremely narrow and flat feet and an almost vertical achilles/heel, and I'm pretty much the antithesis of someone a person wants to fit for any shoes, least of all climbing shoes. The super accommodating and patient man at Neptune helped me find something that we all think will work well for me.

While I was excited to try out the new kicks, it was supposed to hit 90+ in Boulder, and climbing in that kind of heat is the opposite of fun -- we don't need another heat exhaustion incident like the one we had in Yosemite a few years back.  Thus, Brian and I decided to head to higher, and therefore cooler, ground in the Park.  It was off to Estes Park for us.

Our plan, once we arrived, was to hike to the summit of Flattop Mountain, elevation 12, 324 feet (a total elevation gain of 2, 870 feet).  The plan was to leave Estes Park, pick up our pals after their day sweating it out in Boulder, and go for fro yo.  We had plenty of time to take care of all of that, especially considering how quickly we were moving toward the summit - I think we've got our hiking legs under us now.  Atop Flattop, and after making friends with a few of the many marmots and pikas we saw along the way, my partner in crime decided we shouldn't call it a day just yet.  Only 0.7 of a mile separated us and the summit of another iconic RMNP sight, Hallett's Peak.  Off we went, and within about 20 minutes, we had officially turned the day into Double Summit Sunday.

The view from the top of Hallett's Peak was impeccable.  There was so much to see, including Flattop below us and Long's Peak off in the distance.  Both Brian and I mentioned how great it would be to stay up there for hours and watch the sun set from there.  We had pals waiting, however, and I had fro yo on the brain, so we took off in the direction from which we had come.  Wanting to make it back to the trailhead in just over 90 minutes, we ran as much of the trail as we could, stopping only for rocky/uneven sections of the trail.  I survived unscathed for about 9 of the 10.5 total miles we put in that day, but with just under one mile left to go, my ankle gave out (at least I think that is what happened), and I took a little tumble.  My ankle was fine, but my right hand was jammed into a rock protruding from the trail.  While that likely stopped me from hitting my face or scraping up the better part of my entire right side, my hand was in kind of rough shape.  My attempts at convincing myself that it was 'just a scrape' failed miserably as I watched my hand swell.  Brian suggested we stop at urgent care to have the ol' paw examined, and I, still wanting to play it cool and really wanting fro yo, told him I would be fine.  About 10 minutes into our drive home, my plans had changed, and my burning desire for fro yo was replaced by a very real need for ice and ibuprofen.

I was pretty much useless for the rest of Sunday night, operating with only one functional hand. Brian was awesomely helpful, going so far as brushing my hair and putting it in a ponytail.  By the time I went to bed, I was convinced I would be off to the doctor in the morning, but luckily the swelling subsided slightly and the pain became much more tolerable.  I'm convinced I avoided any serious damage that would require medical attention, but I do believe it will still be a few days before I can test out the new climbing shoes - the fatty hand isn't good for much just yet.

one of my all-time fav pics
summit selfie on Flattop Mtn. with Hallett's Peak in the background
oh yeah, we summited that guy too :)

My 'I have a wounded paw' sad face
Bear Lake in the background 

Aside from the wounded paw, Sunday was phenomenal.  Here's to many more great hiking adventures.

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