A Photo Journey by Roland Jimenez Featuring Grays Peak in Colorado
“Don’t overthink it…let’s get away into the mountains. Don’t think, just act!”, said my friend Brian. I did think a bit about it, no actually, I thought about it a lot. I thought about the cost, the time away from my family and work along with the idea of going from 500ft to over 14k in less than 24 hours. It had been a rough summer for me so figured something like this would be good for my well being. All I needed was a little nudge and a decision was made. I was all in and there was no turning back.
Preparing for the Hike
For some, especially those acclimated to higher elevations, hiking a 14’er for a total 8.5 miles isn’t much to be concerned with but for me, I was second guessing my abilities. I thought I could try to squeeze in 2 months of training into three weeks but I was fooled and paid for it. I got a total of two neighborhood strolls and one visit to the gym before my trip, not nearly enough to be prepared. However, in the end, I preserved and the rewards were worth every gasping breath I took. From the views to the feeling of accomplishment along with meeting some great new friends, I couldn’t have been happier with my decision.
Gearing up wasn’t as easy as I had expected. I am a gear junky and preparedness is my middle name. Fact is, I already knew that I would be the guy at the trailhead with the biggest and heaviest pack but hey, that’s just who I am. For this trip, I was mostly concerned about the changes in weather after the noon hour. With unseasonably cool temps combined with afternoon summer rains and rumbling thunder, I tried to be prepared for the worst. The high at the trailhead was in the 40s and about 10 degrees cooler at the summit so I opted for a pair of Mountain Hardwear Piero Utility pants for their ruggedness combined with a Thermostatic Jacket. The jacket kept me warm enough at higher elevations while was easy to compress into a small stuff sack one we began to descend. Other items in my day hike pack included a small first aid kit, a Camelbak bladder and backpack, snacks, flashlight, Blister Medic, sunscreen and lip balm, gloves and a rainwear.
“I got a total of two neighborhood strolls and one visit to the gym before my trip, not nearly enough to be prepared. However, in the end, I preserved and the rewards were worth every gasping breath I took. “ACK Director of Brand Marketing, Roland Jimenez