Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pike's Prep




Introducing our Pike's Peak Team - Leon and Heather Kelly, Marc and Lisa Kohli, Geri Johnson and Kathy Edwards.

As it turns out that you don't just decide to walk up a 14,000 ft mountain one day and do it the next. These endeavors take planning, tons of gear from REI, and hard work to pull off.

Leon is a natural, so for him it's mostly throwing some stuff in a backpack and going on a walk.

Heather, Geri and Kathy have been working diligently with personal trainers to prep for the altitude and long walk.

Lisa and I decided to take up running and did some altitude training while in Kenya :-)   Lisa, Geri, Kathy, and I also did a few test hikes with the backpacks in Eagle Creek and Morgan Monroe State Forest.

Luckily we have three organizational experts making sure that we have enough food, have accommodations booked for Barr Camp, all the right clothes, and a ride back down the mountain.  One of the critical organizational decisions was to pack the packs on Monday night.  This was great for a few reasons - it gave us an opportunity to make sure that we had everything that we need while we still had time to go to REI and pick up more gear (which of course we did).  Luckily too, Geri was able to identify a missing rain jacket in time for it to be shipped.  We went to bed Monday confident and excited for a test-hike on Tuesday.


You can imagine our sadness and disappointment when Kathy, shortly after waking up developed a severe pain in her back.  The poor thing could hardly walk back from the coffee store without assistance. Despite therapy with multiple medications and the Kelly's magic heat compression device Kathy won't be able to hike :-(  Geri, not wanting to leave her girl behind alone has decided to abort as well.

Geri, Lisa and I had an uneventful test hike (pictures above) - traveling about 5 miles over 1000 feet of rise, which is about 1/2-1/3 of what we'll do tomorrow.  The gear was working well and only required a few tweaks.

We start tomorrow morning at 0530, ugh.

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