In January I summited California Peak with Zambo. While descending the summit ridge I became dizzy and disoriented. “Zambo, is this what altitude sickness feels like?!?” An extra strength ibuprofen got me back to the car.
Fast forward to March, I attempted Shavano and Tab with Danny. At about 12,500′ in the Angel my head began to pound and my legs stopped functioning on all cylinders. “Is this really happening again?” After some egging, I was able to convince Danny to go ahead and get the summits. I took a nap on a rib of grass as Danny bulldozed upward. 45 minutes later I painfully dragged my sorry self to the summit of Shavano. On the 7 mile descent back to the car I was a zombie and an ibuprofen had no effect. Danny’s good company and sense of humor are the only reason I’m not still crawling back to the jeep.
Peaks: South Signal Mountain (11,248′) – Rocky Mountain National Park, and Signal Mountain (11,262′) – Comanche Peak Wilderness Date: December 27, 2014 Trailhead: Dunraven (7,800′) * Approach: Bulwark Ridge Trail Distance: ~12.5 miles Elevation Gain: ~3,800 ft. Participants: Sam Sala, Dillon Sarnelli Time: 11 hours
*Note: Due to the September 2013 flooding, much of the area around the Dunraven TH is still closed. The Bulwark Ridge Trail is open. See the Poudre Wilderness site for more info. You are permitted to park at the Dunraven TH and hike up the road .3 miles to the Bulwark Ridge Trail #928/Signal Mountain Trail. You are also permitted to hike up the road to Cheley Camp to temporarily access the North Fork Trail #929. The Dunraven TH is still closed in most other directions.
Way back in 2011 I made my first trip into Glacier Gorge and like most folks who exit their vehicles at the trailhead, I was there to see something called Alberta Falls. Don’t get me wrong, Alberta Falls is great. Heck, I even took my family there later that summer, but let’s be serious now. Others may even go as far as the Loch or Mills Lake, also pretty spectacular in their own right. But for those willing to make the 5 mile trek deep into the heart of Glacier Gorge to where the upper plateau begins, that’s where the crown jewel of the park gets real. Names like Longs, Arrowhead, Pagoda, McHenrys, The Spearhead, Chiefs Head, to name a few, scatter the landscape. Believe it or not, but it actually took me 2 years to get past Alberta Falls, a December 2013 summit of Pagoda, and still one of my favorite days in the Park to date. Since then I’ve been itching to get back, which just so happens to bring us to this episode. 🙂