10/02/10- La Plata 14,336′ (My 10th 14er)
Every time my alarm goes off at 2:30 am I wonder why the heck I like hiking 14ers this much. I slowly wander around feeling groggy, getting my gear together and getting dressed. Bradley sits next to my backpack, half asleep, wondering where “we” are going and if he’s going to get fed. I hate leaving Bradley to go on hikes, but lately his legs have bugged him on long hikes and I think maybe hiking seven 14ers and summiting five is enough for him.After throwing all my stuff in the car and forcing food down I left the house around 3 am and headed for Silverthorne to meet Katrina.
One day earlier, Katrina had called Andrew to see if we wanted to do a 14er, he told her about my plans to do La Plata. I didn’t really tell her the full story until the drive…
On the 14ers.com, one of the girls decided to put together a Girls Hike. All the girls interested in going voted on which one we wanted to hike and which weekend. We voted on a separate website, so no boys would find out and tag along. I figured it would be a fun way to meet new girls and just try something different.
Katrina and I got to the trail head early; when everyone arrived it ended up being 16 girls total. Lots of different ages and experience ranging from having hiked all the 14ers to having hiked only one before.
Before the hike, I worried that I was going to hike too slow and not be able to keep up with all the girls. I’m use to hiking with the same guys that are in great shape and I’m always slower than them. Andrew gladly stays at my pace when we hike together but I can always tell that I’m the slower one and I never see any improvement in my hiking. The best part about this particular hike was that it didn’t matter if you were first or last! However, I didn’t have any issue staying with the group and I proved to myself that all the hiking I had done the past summer had helped me get stronger. Oh, and that I reeeeally should stop comparing myself to my guy friends, will I ever learn?!
Walking to the summit I felt like I had a huge smile on my face; I had just hit 10 summits (my goal for the summer), I had proven to myself that I’m stronger than I thought I was (I’m way too competitive with myself), I realized why putting the effort into waking up at 2:30 am and going to do a hike with a bunch of girls I didn’t know was awesome AND again I was reminded how great my life is living in Colorado. I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else in that moment in time; about 100 yards away from the summit, walking over scree, tired, cold and soo hungry.
We stayed on the summit waiting for the last girls. The last girl to reach the summit had heart problems and was a little slower to get there, the fact that she was there at all was nothing short of amazing. All 16 of us made it to the summit, took lots of ridiculous photos, chatted and then parted ways.
This hiked turned out to be another great experience for me. All of the girls were awesome and I was once again reminded just how great my life is, around 14,000 feet.
14ers.com trip report written by Otina who put the whole hike together.