Dror Baron: Rocky Mountain National Park (8.2003)

You may recall our stated goal: to ascend without oxygen bottles nor professional guides a peak of prodigious height. Well, OK, there might have been some overshoot in that goal as specified here. But, yeah, we aimed for a 14,000 foot mountain. And the natural candidate was Longs Peak, a rather tall specimen popular with climbers. But when we got to the visitor center at Rocky Mountain National Park, the staff revealed that a typical climb begins around 3:00 AM in order to beat the afternoon thunderstorms on the way back. The conclusion was obvious: who would have any interest in climbing up a mountain whilst dreadfully sleepy? After all, the whole point is to carry on with jokes and merry conversation all the way up!

We rapidly compromised on the Twin Sisters trail. With a vertical increase of over 2,300 feet in 3.7 miles, this route seemed perhaps not as ambitious as we had wanted, but still potentially entertaining.

The way up was fairly uneventful. We had probably over-trained all week with various steep inclines in different parks, and ascended without too much effort. Indeed, the steep 3.7 miles took roughly 1.5 hours.

We reached an interesting point on the trail when we saw the last trees. The dividing line is quite clear, with trees below and exposed rock above.

As always in these locations, the local residents kept us entertained.

The view on top was notable!

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