Thursday, August 26, 2010

On top of the World - climbing Mt. Humphreys

Climbed 12,633 ft. Mt. Humphreys in Flagstaff, Arizona July 16, 2010.

 Going up was much easier than I had remembered the last time I had hiked it. The last time was in 1999. The altitude had really bothered me, and I had a constant ache in my left arm. I know doesn't sound good. I did make it up alive, but it really was difficult. This time I didn't even have any pounding in my chest when the trail really began it's incline. The trail above the saddle is just a long, long up.

 I can't explain the euphoria I felt when I made it to the top. I really felt good and did feel like I was at the top of the world. We hiked during the monsoon season so we didn't stay on top too long as the clouds were building fairly quickly. When we sumitted in 1999 we quickly signed the climber sign-in log, had a quick bite to eat as there were lightning strikes all around. We didn't stay on top very long then either, mostly because I was being pretty fearful of the lightning. It felt so good to know that I was getting in better shape and could even handle the altitude this time.

There is a sign-in box at the top and we found a summit flag there that someone had left. I was very proud to pose with the flag. Such a thrill. 

The way down however was harder than I had remembered, it seemed to be the never ending death march. It just went on forever. I obviously didn't take enough electrolytes. I was very relieved to finally get to the meadow and know that I was almost to the car. That night in bed as my tired body was aching letting me know that I had worked really hard.