It had been a very long time since I was pushed to my physical limits. Hiking up Mt. Harvard definitely kicked my ass. I felt like quitting so many times. The higher in elevation the more post-holing we encountered, up to our thighs in some areas. It seemed like every other step I took I’d fall through. So much energy is expanded falling and then digging yourself out. I eventually did reach the top, but it wasn’t pretty. #hikingadventures#backcountry#mtharvard#travel#travelnurse#adventuretime#optoutside#arcteryx#snowshoeing
So I am dabbling in winter mountaineering. Yesterday I put on spikes and gaiters to at least try to get on Mt Harvard. I knew going in I’d be doing good just to get onto the mountain, and I was right. The narrow dirt road that leads to the trail head is snow packed. The first 1.5 miles I hiked up towards the trail head had some old tire tracks so it made it a little easier to move through. Beyond that, it was untouched with 1+ foot of snow, and even deeper drifts. I hiked through that for another 1.5 miles to finally reach the trail head. Unbroken trail and high, whipping winds acutely reminded of how alone I really was. Its terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I have to heavily check myself while doing this sort of thing because that tether between fear and excitement can lead to bad decisions. It’s the only place I feel like I’m susceptible to pushing too far. I hiked 1/2 mile in past the trail head. I decided to be happy with that, and I felt it was a big accomplishment to just put my feet on that mountain in those conditions. My ultimate goal would be to make a winter summit attempt. I still have much to learn, but yesterday taught me a little more than I knew before. Success.