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#32 Mount Sneffels: August 23rd, 2015

Mount Sneffels

  • Height: 14,150 ft.
  • Range: San Juan
  • Route: From Yankey Boy Basin
  • Distance: 7.07 mi. (Parked .5 miles below first parking lot described)
  • Elevation Gain: 3,000 ft.
  • Time started: 8:50 am
  • End time: 1:55 pm
  • Time to Summit: 3 hours
  • Time to Descent: 2 hours
  • Overall Pace: 1.4 miles per hour
  • GEAR (to bring):
    • GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from 14ers.com, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat (didn’t use), light weight puffy coat (didn’t use), lightweight gloves (didn’t use), day pack with water sack (64 oz), snacks.
  • Road Condition: The road is typical with small pot holes and some rocks, but overall it’s a very nice road. My car made it .5 miles before the first parking lot with the restroom, but after that, the road is horrible, and you need 4WD, and even then, it would help if it was lifted.
  • Trail Condition: Walking the road isn’t bad as it is scenic, and you are constantly looking for Mount Sneffels to show up. The flowers are also quite pretty. Once you make it to the actual trailhead, the whole hike is talus. You walk around to the left side of Sneffels before you start heading up into the giant 500 foot scree field. Stay near big rocks to help you get up easier. You’ll then run into another 500 foot gully to your left, but this one is fun! Climb up boulders and right before the top, head to the left to find the “V” notch. Once past that, follow the cairns to the top! Because of all the scrambling, expect it to slow your average pace.

Once we reached Ouray and started towards Mt. Sneffels, we were met with signs of “No Camping” at least not unless you were in a campsite. Poop. Grudgingly, we pulled into “Angel Creek Campground” and set up camp there. Alix talked with our neighbors for a while, who were very kind and offered us left over rice and wine. I was too tired to be social. I finally had 3G and was ready to unplug with an episode of “House of Cards”. I fell asleep half way through the first episode.

Explore 34

Around 3am, I woke up to gun shots! It scared me, but I was so groggy that I couldn’t make sense of it and just fell back asleep. Not too long after I was woken up again, but this time by Alix who calmly said, “Sorry to wake you, but I just got pawed at by two bears, so I’m going to go sleep in my car…”. “WHAT?!” I said back to her. She thought someone was tapping her to wake up and when she looked up, two bears were staring at her. Startled she said, “What the F***!!” stood up and in her girly small voice, told them to “Shoo!” Thank God, they were startled as well and ran off.

I convinced myself at first that I’d be fine, and continued to sleep in my “shielded” tent. I heard a truck drive over and he checked in on Alix. Apparently, he was the one who fired his gun and had to fire five times before they would leave him alone. That was probably the reason they were so skittish towards Alix. With that new information, I took my pillow and blanket and sleepily made my way to my car to sleep the remainder of the morning. The guy who fired the shots was definitely on a high, and patrolled the rest of the night driving back and forth and shining his lights. Alix and I thought he was going a little overboard, but by contrast, I don’t think Alix realized what had just happened to her or realized how lucky she was.

The next morning we casually made our way to the Sneffels trailhead. We had gotten pretty far up, but had to stop a half mile before the first parking lot. Our six mile hike turned into an easy 7 mile hike. If we had a 4WD vehicle, it would have been a 2.5 mile hike, but that just felt like cheating anyway. The road was another horrible road, and I hate walking up roads, but it was at least scenic with a pretty waterfall, flowers and unique mountains. We knew which one was Mount Sneffels because it was the mountain that was lumpy and looked like it had the measles. The name was fitting- it sounded like a sick mountain, and kind of looked like one. Once reaching the trailhead, we had a quick conversation with a couple, and two attractive men passed by us.

The first section is easy, walking around to the side of Mount Sneffels with hardly any incline. Then we came to a 500 foot vertical scree field. It was day two of hiking in a row, and I didn’t eat much the day before. Unfortunately, ED had convinced me that I was eating too much and that I was going to gain weight. Well- I could definitely feel it. My legs were burning and I kept getting light headed. I told Alix to go up at her own pace and that I’d be taking it slow. We took a break not far up and I had a packet of Scooby Doo fruit snacks (my version of energy chews) and a Apricot Cliff Bar. We passed the two guys a couple of times. They were on vacation for the week, from flat land, but were doing great! I turned on my music as a way to motivate myself and it helped. I slipped a number of times, but a tip: climb the larger rocks towards center-left. You won’t slip nearly as much- just make sure they’re grounded.

Once getting up the first scree gully, we had another skinnier gully of 500 vertical feet to climb. I really like this one! My second wind came, and I think the food gave me the energy to take the lead up. The two guys were right behind following us as we clang to the right wall while climbing up boulders. On our way up, we passed a large group of people that were in their 50’s and late 60’s. I was impressed! Near the top, we located the “V” notch to the left. I was the first one up. It was surprisingly hard! The rest of them made it look easy! But I was wondering how the heck the older crowd made it over!

Sneffles 43

Through the notch we followed cairns up boulders until we reached the summit. Upon reaching the summit, Alix spotted a summit box and had fun piecing out all kinds of things left behind by others including some notes, cigarettes and weed. It was the second summit where I could wear a tank top. It was beautiful, but near noon, and clouds were starting to gather. We enjoyed the summit with Trent and Justin, took our photos, Alix had a snack, and we all headed back down. I was happy Trent and Justin were kind enough to spot us on the way down the notch.

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I love going down, I don’t know why, but I do; so I lead the way back down using the same rock wall to help. Once we made it down the first part, we were now back at the first large gully full of scree. We saw three people slide down the far left side that was just smooth sand and dirt- no thanks. I bet their pants were ruined and their hands, scratched. In the beginning, I stayed near the larger rocks and was slowly side stepping my way down, but I still kept slipping and falling on my butt- even with my new shoes.

I decided I wanted to make this part as short as possible, so despite probably looking really funny, I went down in the same position I came up. Feet first, and hands on the rocks and dirt; almost like a backwards bear crawl. Let me tell you, it worked like a charm! I got down almost twice/three times as fast as the rest. I actually ended up meeting the older group at the bottom. They couldn’t believe I had already been at the summit. Half way down the gully I also ran into the couple Alix and I had met at the trailhead, and I told them that I’d pray for them that the weather would hold off as it was getting late in the day for hiking, and they had a least two hours ahead of them before they were back down in a safe zone. While I waited at the bottom, I talked with a son and mother who had taken her up her first 14er! How special! I was wishing I could take my own mom and dad up a 14er, maybe some day…

Once we were on the road again, I had taken most of the photos that I wanted to take, but Alix was taking footage for her videos so I carried on down without her. I’d just eat and do other things while I waited- no big deal. Not long after arriving at my car, a truck stopped right by me and Alix jumped out the back! Nice! Looking at the clouds, the weather had never turned for the worst and I was happy to think that the couple made it to the summit and back safely. God had answered my prayers again.

I told Alix I’d meet her in town as I wanted to explore the way down. In the morning, on the way up to the trailhead, I was brought to tears because of the beauty before me. I felt like I was transferred to somewhere foreign. I couldn’t believe God’s creation and beauty, it still makes me emotional just thinking about it. I stopped at every turnout to see what was there and I was met with extensive, gorgeous cliffs with lush greens, a rushing creek tripping over boulders and waterfalls deep down below. The cliffs were so large, I couldn’t fit it in the scope of the camera.

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Near the bottom, I spotted a somewhat hidden waterfall. I hiked in and got a photo of the beautiful waterfall, but I knew there was more above it… “How do I get there?” I thought. I looked around me and there was only steep cliffs. With my keens on, I started to climb up it and it was harder and more slippery than I thought. I started to get the feeling like I could hurt myself that wpuld end my journey. Before I could make it all the way to the top, I started to look for a safer way back down. Along the way as I was lowering myself near the bottom, I slipped, but luckily my wrist got stuck between some tree roots which stopped me. I got scraped up, but I was glad I hadn’t fallen. Thank you God.

I was still determined to get up there somehow, so I backtracked my car to the upper road I could see. I used a dead tree like a rope to get up the first small ledge, and then came upon a hidden trail. I followed it through the dense forest and not far back I was met with a very tall, magnificent waterfall! “I knew it!” I just had a feeling there was something spectacular up there. There was a cave with a bucket near the entrance which told me, this was someone else’s paradise. I followed the stream from the waterfall which had carved the rocks into a smooth, colorful surface. It was clear that water had been running through here for hundreds of years. It was my first glance at a natural water slide! I spent a good half hour in awe by the water and rocks and couldn’t wait to filter my pictures to make the colors stand out. There’s so much hidden beauty in these rocks, and it’s fun to bring it out.

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I safely made it down and met up with Alix at a local deli where they kindly let us blog until they closed. Despite having eaten a tomato, apple, yogurt, hot dog, and bran muffin, I nearly fainted in the shop! Luckily they had a couch and I took it easy. Not wanting to sleep in a campground around here due to our recent bear encounter, we slept in our cars at a church parking lot in Ouray. I hadn’t eaten dinner because I wasn’t feeling good, but took my supplements as usual before going to bed. Not too long after, I ended up throwing up. This intense of hiking, this many days in a row has not been good to my tummy. I’m hoping it’ll correct itself somehow, and soon.

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Change of Plans: A Very Big “Duh” Moment

Things are about to really pick up around here!

I was texting a gentleman today who Alix and I had met at the Vail Brewing Company  the night before we left for Harvard and Columbia (yummy beer and fun atmosphere, by the way). His name is David, and he is actually a part of the Mountain Rescue Team in Vail. So as you can imagine, he’s seen some s**t. He was asking me if I planned on hiking in the snow this fall. I was naively hoping that I just wouldn’t run into it, or not enough of it to slow me down too much. Then I realized, “Crap, if I continue the way I’m going, I’ll be hiking the most technical mountains in the snow!!!” Not only do I have little technical experience, but to put snow on top of that, is just plain stupid. I bet some of you were already thinking that before I became enlightened today! I did get a month membership at Vertical Endeavors and climbed as often as I could before I left and I was fairly good at it. BUT, I never got certified to self-belay or clip ropes or anything like that… side note… I should probably go to Sports Authority today and buy a helmet- yup- that’s a great idea.

So with my new epiphany, I’ve spent my day rerouting my course and looking over the class 4 mountains carefully. Here’s the data I have:

  1. Like I mentioned, to get them all done, I need to hike two days, and rest one day until the very end.
  2. I have one, class 1 mountain; seventeen, class 2 mountains; ten, class 3 mountains; and four, class 4 mountains left to climb.

I’ll be heading to the Elk Range this week. There are two class 2’s, two class 3’s, and two class 4’s. After attempting Pyramid Peak, I’ll make my decision if I’m ready for Capital Peak. This mountain has the highest exposure of the 14er routes I’ll be doing, and has the dreaded “Knife’s Edge”.

Google Image of Knife's Edge.

Google Image of Knife’s Edge.

I’ll then make my way to the Sangre De Cristo Range, then San Juan, hopefully climb Longs Peak with Jessica and friends, and finish the remainder of the Sawatch Range which are all class 2 mountains which by that time there may be snow.

So far I’ve been climbing nothing but class 1 and class 2 mountains.This should be a real wake up call! Is it strange that I’m completely floored to climb Capitol?! I know I can’t get too proud, and I know I can only truly do this with God’s grace, wisdom and protection. David was trying to instill fear in me, but somehow it just instilled determination. “Faith Greater Than Fear”, right? I have to at least try! I can always turn around and go back and come back with a buddy. Speaking of which, David also gave me the great idea of trying to team up with some of the people on 14ers.com. This is such a genius idea! Pray for me that I would have experienced hikers to come with me on these class 4 mountains!

8 Things That I Am Grateful For Thus Far…

After writing my list of annoyances, it only seems natural to follow up with a list of things that I am grateful for!

1) Quieting the World: It has been so amazing to shut away some of the craziness of the world. I can finally hear myself think! Although, it’s been a little hard for me to be okay with the quietness because I feel like I should be doing something productive when it comes along. But at least for a while, no one’s telling me I should be doing this, or I should be doing that. I do enough of that on my own and it’s the thief of contentment.

2) Connecting with God: Again, with all the demands of us Americans and the constant expectations and need for calculations and strategy, it’s hard to slow down and make time for God. It’s the one thing he wants from us more than anything: A relationship. But so far in life, like most, I’ve been too busy worrying and trying to survive this uptight world. When I get brief moments of connection with God, I know he’s asking me to seek him more, and to worry less. On this trip, I will make an honest effort to building a stronger foundation so I’ll have it when I go back into the real world.

3) The People I’ve Met Along the Way: I have been so blessed on this trip by wonderful strangers. Out of the goodness of their heart, they have helped me several times out of a bad situation. They’ve offered me a window into their personal space and wisdom for my own life. They have freely given encouragement and some have offered their companionship which I have been so grateful for!

4) The People in My Life: I am so grateful for my friends and my parents that have made a continuous effort to reach out to me and offer me encouragement. Not to mention all the support I receive on Facebook. People give Facebook a lot of crap, but I am so thankful for it and for the tidbits of my friends and family’s lives that I get to see from afar.

5) The Revelations: While I’m out here I have found some amazing books to help me process my past. This trip is to also allow myself space for self-forgiveness and to find self-love and I only pray that my insights I gain can help someone else.

6) Strength Against ED: My friends, my family, and my treatment team weren’t so sure that this trip would offer me good help against my eating disorder. While I haven’t been perfect, I know that my symptom use is down considerably, as well as my body checking. Food has once again become fuel vs. an enemy. The thoughts are still there, but they aren’t as strong. Having a strong, able body is of so much more importance.

7) Strength in Coping: I have had a lot of things go wrong along this trip, but I am coping with them better than I would have in the past. Being out in the country doesn’t afford me the opportunity to rush to a grocery store to numb bad feelings. I have to work through them, and I have to deal with them in a different way. I cry, I pray, I process, I blog, I accept and when needed, I figure it out. If I had better phone service, I’d probably reach out more too.

8) My Blog: I am so grateful for this blog. Sometimes it can cause me stress because I get behind, but what it really allows me to do is slow down, and process things. I get to enjoy my accomplishments of the mountains I have climbed and reflect back on all my blessings and the obstacles I have overcome. What I’m most thankful for, is that it’s offered some people hope and inspiration; which was my main purpose of doing this! May it be all for your Glory, Abba!

Already after writing this, I’m in a better mood. I’ve been told many times by therapists to write down lists of gratitude at the end of each day. It really takes commitment, but I think it would be well worth it. First things first though. First, I will work on praying every night, then I’ll take on something new.

P.S. and #9) I’m really happy that my tent has remained waterproof and has kept me dry from this weather this week!

7 Annoying Things About My Journey So Far…

I wouldn’t be real and authentic if I didn’t confess that I was having some major frustrations on the trip so far. They are getting in the way of my full enlightenment process (sarcasm, kind of). This is more for me being able to vent, honestly. Plus, if you ever get the crazy idea of doing something like this, here are some insights.

1) The cold and rainy weather: This has been the biggy. The huge biggy. Arrrrrgggg! This entire week has been highs of 60 degrees and lows of mid 30’s and rainy. Lots and lots of rain and storms and little windows for hiking. Thus sleeping in my tent has not been enjoyable. It’s been really hard to stay motivated to climb when I wake up because I know the summit will be wintery, freezing conditions. Have I mentioned I hate snow and the cold??? Not to mention my climbs got delayed by three weeks upon arrival because of all the snow on the mountains. It’ll be a miracle if I can get them all done by the end of summer.

2) Pessimistic People: I can’t tell you how many people look at me like I’m crazy and feel the need to list off every danger they can think of as if I haven’t thought of it before. I can’t help but wonder if they’d be less concerned, and more “That-a-boy” if I were a man. Seriously. So annoying. As if after they list everything off, I’m going to be like, “Wow, you’re right George. I guess I’ll just go back home now.”

3) Hiking by myself: It gets lonely! Thank God I have Spotify to keep me company and that I’ve met others to hike with me along the way. Not to mention, hiking by myself means I have no one to confirm or deny that I’m taking the correct trail or making good decisions. As you all know, there have been quite a few trial and errors thus far.

4) Having T-Mobile: I rarely ever have service or 4G which means I’m always having to dish out a pretty penny for lattes so I can use their “free” Wi-Fi. I also can’t get directions to anywhere unless I have 4G. So I’m often trying to read maps and figure it out myself- a good skill to have, but again, annoying.

5) My GPS Dying: Had to turn back once already because I couldn’t figure out the trail without it. That was a very frustrating day.

6) Not Having an SUV: My car has done okay, but so far I’ve broke a serpentine belt, nearly got stuck in a pot hole that ruined my front bike tire, and I’ve popped my front car tire because of the rough terrain to get to the trailhead.

7) Not Being Able to Shower: It’s been quite the adventure to get in a shower while on the road. I’d be fine with streams, lakes and my portable shower (dripping on me at best), but the weather has been too cold!

That’s all I can think of right now… and I don’t want to dwell on them. I suppose that’s the beauty of blogging. I can let it out and then move on! I know I also have a lot to be grateful for!

Panic Soon Followed by Absolute Clarity

Yesterday I climbed Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln and Bross tallying my total to 9, and 7 of those 9, in 4 days. At first glance, it would seem like I’m kicking some serious butt! I was relaxing in my tent near the Quandary Peak Trailhead and almost falling asleep at 7:30pm. But my thoughts about wanting to plan my next week before I would leave for my bi-annual Bushman family Montana trip wouldn’t let me drift off to dream world. Tomorrow, I decided, would be a rest day. “Maybe I could knock off three more mountains before I leave this Saturday,” I thought.

I had no idea what the weather was going to be like this week, so out of bed I grudgingly arose and luckily only had to drive 5 miles down the winding road until I had 4G (have I mentioned how aweful T-Mobile’s service has been?). Rain, rain and more rain. A little dramatic, but I thought angerly, “No climbing at all this week for me. F*$#, how am I going to get them all done this summer with having to go to Montana for two weeks during prime time climbing?” I started doing the math and I have a total of 47 hiking days in order to climb 55 mountains. I’ve only climbed 5 days! That’s it! I counted them out on the calendar and I would have to do one hike every single day to be done by the beginning of September. The original time frame I would have liked to be done.

I was devastated… “I’ve been telling everyone in one summer”. I was completely deflated, thinking of what everyone had already assumed, “There’s no way she can do that”. “They’re right… another expectation I’m setting for myself that I can’t keep.” The failures just won’t stop coming…

I crawled back into my tent with a sense of defeat. “This can’t be the final outcome. Not yet. It’s too early to say anything. I have to at least try”. I rethought my week and said with determination to myself, “I’ll do five this week. I’ll work around the weather the best I can.” I set my alarm for 2am in the morning. It said there would only be 20% chance rain from 2am until 8am. My new routine will have to be to wake up at 4am and hike, go into town to blog, then move to the next peak that same night and repeat the process until the end of August.

Earlier that day I ran into a lady and her mother at a local coffee shop in Alma. I was telling them about my journey. Somehow whenever I stop and start typing, a conversation arises. I was telling them what I was doing this summer and as our conversation continued, I shared my faith and how I wanted to spend time with God.

Where was my time with God going to fit in with this new routine? I prayed to God to help me not to get caught up in meeting expectations. I begged him, “Please Abba, I want to put you first. Help me stay focused on you. You are my prize. You are greater and more precious than any accomplishment, and I might not get the time like I do now, again. Help me spend time with you”.

2am came and my alarms started going off. Snooze-snooze-snooze- shut off! I decided only half awake, I’m not going to rush this process. When I get done, I get done. I wouldn’t even enjoy this hike. I’d be too afraid of mountain lions and I’d be frozen and possibly stuck in the rain. I will keep my original plan and this will be an off day.

I ended up waking up at 10am! Of course I thought, “Wow, lazy bum”, but immediately gave myself grace. Well you climbed 7 mountains in 4 days! Maybe you needed it! After all, I said I was going to work on being kinder to myself. I reached to my “bedside” and grabbed my “Jesus Calling” book. It shocked and awed me. This is what it said:

“I AM  YOUR FATHER-GOD. Listen to Me! Learn what it means to be a child of the everlasting King. Your richest duty is devotion to Me. This duty is such a joyous privilege that it feels like a luxury. You tend to feel guilty about pushing back the boundaries of your life to make space for time alone with Me. The world is waiting to squeeze you into its mold and to crowd out time devoted to Me. The ways of the world have also warped your conscience, which punishes you for doing the very thing that pleases Me most: seeking My Face. Listen to Me above the clamor of voices trying to distract you. Ask for My Spirit to calm your mind, for He and I work in perfect harmony. Be still and attentive in My Presence. You are on holy ground.”

Romans 8:15-16; Exodus 3:5

I knew I had come to the right decision today to slow down. I have faith that one way or another, it will happen, but when it does, it will be for the glory of God in His perfect timing. Today, was a beautiful day of letting go and of surrender, and it felt so good to do so!!

Can I pack a house?

Oh my goodness- creating a packing list is hard work. I can just see myself fighting with the doors to keep everything I need in. I’m definitely a rough’n-it kinda girl, but packing light is not one of my best qualities. I’ve looked at several websites and books to see what they had on their lists.  Combine their list with my overly imaginative brain, here’s what I got and maybe it’ll help you in the future when you chafe after your camping dream:

  1. Crappy Blanket.  LOL, great number 1, right? Why this? To keep in your car to cover up anything left behind.  The crappier the blanket, the less likely your vehicle will be broken into. I asked the 14er community on 14ers.com how often a break-in occurs and they said just as often anywhere you go.  Many of them had parked their car thousands of times and never had any issue.  One poor guy had 4 break-ins but it sounded like they happened back in the 70’s and 80’s when it was an issue.
  2. Stun gun/flashlight.  This was more for my parents then myself.  I was willing to sleep with my ax under my pillow, but giving my parents a little bit more peace of mind was worth the $24.99.
  3. Pocket knife. The one I got (off eBay of course) has 11 different attachments- including a hammer and bottle opener haha! Nice!
  4. Ax. I’ll be doing a lot of back country camping so I’ll need an ax to cut the already rotting wood on the ground- DO NOT cut down wood from a tree- it’s too alive and it won’t burn well.  If it does, the water content will have the fire spitting at you out of spite.
  5. Whistle. I wonder if my sparkly whistle I got for a coaching gift will suffice….
  6. Signaling mirror. Also doubling as my mirror to check for unsightly eye boogers in the morning.
  7. Backup fuel. Gas can in my trunk just in case for on the road, and extra fuel cans for my stove.
  8. Extra batteries. I’ll try first hand to catch that energizer bunny!
  9. Empty plastic quart size water jug. Geniuses gave me the idea that it works double for a light if you wrap your headlamp around it. Plus if my water supplies starts to get low, I can find water from a stream and start the purifying process so it’s done when I need it.
  10. Headlamp. Best thing ever for keeping your hands free at night.
  11. Maps and trail head directions. I’m not getting anywhere without these!
  12. Compass. I’m actually not quite sure how much this will be of help to me since I’m so directionally challenged…
  13. Space blanket. Coolest thing ever!  If you’ve ever seen a person finish a marathon, you’ll often see them wearing one of these shiny blankets.  It helps absorb your own body heat and can save your life.
  14. First Aid Kit. More specifically; bandages, ointment, Advil, Excedrin, AM/PM cold medicine, duct tape,
  15. Lighter and waterproof matches. Can’t underestimate the need for waterproof matches- between rainfall, accidental spills or slips in a stream, make sure you have them.
  16. Waterproof container. Keep your electronics safe in here.
  17. Fire starter. For emergency survival fires.
  18. Extra days of food supply in your day pack. You never know when you’ll need extra food- it could be for you, or someone else on the mountain.
  19. Treatment system for water in wild. A lot of people will have a pump. I prefer the water treatment tablets. Plus I’m one of those weirdos who loves the taste of chlorine (lived in pools my whole childhood).
  20. Insect repellent. From what I’ve read, I guess the bugs can be quite a problem- especially the flies when you stop moving. From my own personal experience, I can say I don’t remember the bugs ever being bad- or maybe they were so bad God wiped it from my memory…
  21. Insect fogger. I can foresee buzzing and biting flies ruining my camping experience, so I will be investing in an insect fogger to spray around my campsite to keep the tyrants at bay.
  22. Overnight pack. This is going to be a larger pack that can hold your tent and sleeping bag.  I’ll need this for the times that I don’t camp right by my vehicle- which I anticipate will be often.
  23. Day pack. Just big enough to bring food, extra clothes, first aid kit, and a water bladder built in for my day climbs.
  24. Pack cover. After reading “14er FAN CLUB” I now realize the importance of a pack cover. It covers your overnight pack so everything isn’t soaked when you finally make it to your camping destination.
  25. Tent. As of right now, I have a cute little 2 person tent that I got at Target that has made it with me everywhere so far- and I’m able to set it up by myself. I’m thinking I might need a more heavy duty tent- ESPECIALLY when it rains. Last fall I discovered that my tent leaks… no bueno.
  26. Sleeping bag. I also bought a Target Sleeping bag that I’m not sure will hold up to the mountains. It has kept me warm even on nights where it snowed!  The key? Pull your sleeping bag over your head. Right now I’m planning on keeping it, but I need to see how well it’ll pair up with my overnight pack.
  27. Stuff Sacks/pillow case. Exactly what it sounds like. Stuff and compact everything. Mostly my clothes.  These stuff sacks will double as my pillow.
  28. Blow up mattress and pump. Oh yes, that’s right. This princess will get luxury whenever possible.
  29. Food. Since I’m still recovering from an eating disorder, when, what and how much will be carefully planned out with my dietitian.
  30. Stove.  I’m planning on eating gooood up in the mountains! They have all kinds of dehydrated food packs you can buy, but you won’t be enjoying it without a stove or fire.
  31. Bear canister. NEVER keep your food with you in your tent- unless you plan on snuggling with a bear. Put your food in a bear canister and use a rope to tie it up high in a tree away from your campsite.
  32. Bear spray. I pray you will never need to use one of these!  Fortunately I found out it’s not a small stream like I once thought (thank God).  It’s actually a wide range fog that will spray the bear.
  33. Bell. To hook onto your day pack or overnight pack to ward off bears.  If they can hear you from a distance, they’ll most likely go the other way.
  34. Nylon cords. One to tie up your bear canister, and keep others handy in  your day pack for just in case. I’m planning on trying to camp near a stream where I can tie up my cooler to keep my perishables cold. Not sure if it’ll work- but I’m going to try!
  35. Binoculars. Check out the wild life and spot future pitfalls or ever-helpful cairnes (Piles of rocks made by people to help identify the proper route to the summit and back.
  36. Pot, pan, bowl, coffee cup (this should almost be #1 on the list), silverware, knife, water bottle, oven mitt. Gourmet all the way.
  37. Collapsible sink or container. Another genius idea so I can wash my dishes, or ME.
  38. Satellite messenger. I’m still currently looking into these. They’re kind of expensive, but they put your loved ones’ minds to rest.  It tracks your coordinates and sends updates to family and friends.
  39. GPS. I’ll be using my MotoActive watch which tracks my path, elevation gain, distance, pace and plays music!  I’m not sure how reliable it will be so I’ll also have another GPS system- just not sure which one yet…
  40. Computer. How else am I going to keep in touch with you?
  41. Computer charger. How else am I going to keep in touch with you?
  42. Phone and phone charger and a really tough phone case. 14ers.com even has a link that tells you how well your cell phone works on the summits by phone company!
  43. Toilet paper, soap, tooth brush, tooth paste, shampoo, conditioner, hair brush, ponies, bobby-pins, mascara and eyeliner. Most of these things will be biodegradable- no worries!  I’ll be living the “No trace left behind” philosophy during my journey. As for the makeup- I’m still a bit of a girly girl and I’m proud of it!
  44. Solar charger? External charger? Still researching these so I can still have a charged computer, phone, and gps while I’m in the mountains.
  45. MiFi? Also trying to figure out what exactly this even is… I plan on making weekly stops into town for laundry, phone calls and blogging; but there may be a way that I can still blog and upload videos while I’m up in the mountains!
  46. Books. Jesus Calling, and a couple others I haven’t decided on yet. These will be crucial for entertainment on days I get rained in and am too far away from town.
  47. Quick dry towel. These smaller sized towels (usually used for cars) work wonders for drying yourself off after a quick dip in a stream.
  48. Hiking boots and Keens. Keens for the later summer months when most of the snow has melted and good hiking boots for when you know you’ll be running into some snow.
  49. Crampons and ice pick. In the book I was just reading, they only had to use these once out of all the climbs they did!  But it’s still a good idea to keep them handy.  They’ll be that much more important for me because I’ll be hiking in June.  Hiking season doesn’t technically start until July 1st.
  50. Snow pants. Hopefully I won’t need these very long!
  51. Hat, light weight gloves, infinity scarf, and heavy gloves. Sometimes the weather on the peaks or at night can drop to 40 or lower so it’s smart to pack these along. Why an infinity scarf? Because ones that drape around your neck could get stuck on a rock and choke you or through you off balance to your ending doom.
  52. Raincoat. I have lost countless raincoats- where they go, I have no idea.  ARG.  I guess I’ll be buying another since it sure sounds like it will be unavoidable.
  53. Light weight puffer coat (but still very warm). They sell these great coats that you can stuff into a small bag but keep you very warm.  Again, had one of these and gave it away… hopefully I’ll find another soon!
  54. Light weight coat. I’ll be bringing me my NorthFace light weight jacket for those slightly chillier days and beautiful sunsets.
  55. Swimsuit and towel. This sun bunny definitely plans on getting some sun on the rocks!
  56. Sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses. A nice glow would be nice- however, I’m going to avoid being crispy-skin cancer runs in my family- yikes!
  57. Moisture wicking long underwear, long sleeve shirt, tank top and bras. Greatest invention as far as clothing goes. Now I don’t have to be cold and sweatyTrust me, I will be “glistening” by the time I reach those peaks!
  58. Smart Wool socks. And lots of them!  To avoid blisters, you’ll be smart to wear 2 pairs of socks.
  59. T-shirts, pants, underwear, and a sweatshirt.  Depending on room, I’m contemplating 7 shirts, 2 tank tops, 3 yoga pants, 1 pair of sweatpants, 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of wind repelling pants, 14 pairs of underwear (thongs don’t take up much room) and a sweatshirt. Watch for my Etsy store! I’ll be sporting my “Faith>Fear” clothing I personally made. Besides the great message- you’ll be supporting my journey!

Well that’s all I got for now…  leave a comment if you think of something else that I’ve forgotten-please!