Monday, April 29, 2013

First Hike of the Season

As part of our 2013 Challenge, we decided to drop Max off to play at Petsmart and head up to Rocky Mountain National Park (no dogs allowed). We decided to hike up Deer Mountain, which is three miles each way and around 1,000 foot elevation gain. We'd hiked it once before a few years ago and remembered enjoying the view from the top.

Once we drove into Estes Park, we realized there was more snow than we'd anticipated. But, we had just driven over two hours, so we decided to go ahead with our plans. We had snow shoes in the car, but decided not to mess with them. As we began hiking, the trail was snowy,  but it wasn't too bad. However, after a mile or so, the trail looked like this:

There was no dirt in sight, just endless snow. This made hiking increasingly difficult, and if we stepped off the trail just a little bit, our legs would sink up to mid-calf. However, we'd gone so far that we didn't want to turn back, so we kept going. Eventually, the trail took us in a different direction than we remembered to get to Deer Mountain. We didn't want to leave the trail, though, because we weren't sure where to go, and we didn't want to walk in deep snow to get there. Eventually the trail took us to the top of a mountain west of Deer Mountain. The hike ended up being a little over two miles instead of three, but the view was amazing:

We ate a delicious snack of bananas, apples, and peanut butter then headed down the mountain. Although going down was much faster than hiking up, it was also very slippery and precarious. We were sliding all over the place, trying to keep our balance. 

By the time we made it to the bottom, we were both tired from the unintentional agility training, but we were happy to have completed our first hike of the season. Since we've had blizzards every week in April, we'll probably wait a few weeks before heading that far into the mountains again and stick to trails closer to the city.

Here's hoping this is just the first of many great hikes this year!