Alan and I went from climbing 14ers every weekend last summer to both being booked and having to schedule stuff months in advance this summer. One workaround, and a cure for mid-week mental doldrums, the Wednesday climb. It is all quite simple, by following these steps:
- Pick something within a 90 minute drive
- Leave town no later 4 PM, confident that afternoon storms have passed through the high country
- Pack light and be walking within minutes of hitting the trailhead
- Begin the race between muscular endurance and sunlight, carrying a headlamp to hedge the bet
We took this approach to Mt Bierstadt, a short 14er and a good test piece for the feasibility of mid-week climbs. Greeted by dramatic skies and occasional sunshine punching through a low cloud cover to illuminate the alpine, we pushed non-stop to the top.
A few hundred feet below the summit, and seemingly the clouds
Viewshed cleaved by shadow
The view from the parking lot, 2.5 hours after we began.
My mental well-being is inextricably tied to my physical endeavors. A run, a ride, or hike clears cobwebs through awareness of the moment. While inevitably a rare occurrence, the mid-week climb will certainly remain on the to do list for the remainder of the summer, as the benefits last well beyond the moments of movement.