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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Entries Tagged as 'Mountain Climbing'

First/Second Flatirons Trail

May 19th, 2009 · 5 Comments

“What is your favorite hike?” I asked my chiropractor yesterday.

“It’s the trail that climbs up between the First and Second Flatirons,” he replied. The four Flatirons are the very symbol of Boulder.

That was enough to get me there today. I had seen the trail on maps, but assumed that it was only for rock climbers.

The trail does climb steeply from Chautauqua Park for 1,450 feet to the saddle between the First and Second Flatiron. The climb took me four hours this morning, although it was only a 3 mile round trip.
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Posted in: Mountain Climbing

Climbing Mount Kenya

December 25th, 2008 · No Comments

When I lived in Kenya from 1965 to 1968, on a clear day I could see a solitary peak shimmering with snow and ice just 90 miles to the north. I often saw it from my office on the sixth floor of the Jeevan Bharati Building on Harambee Avenue in downtown Nairobi. My office was a block away from the American Embassy, which terrorists destroyed in 1998, killing and injuring thousands of people.

The peak is Mount Kenya, which at 17,058 feet is the highest in Kenya and the second highest in Africa (after Mount Kilimanjaro). The first book that I ever read about Kenya was Facing Mount Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta’s 1938 anthropological study about his Kikuyu people of central Kenya. He wrote it while studying at the London School of Economics, long before he became the country’s first leader upon independence in 1963.
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Posted in: Africa, Mountain Climbing

Mount Galbraith‏

October 14th, 2008 · No Comments

When you set forth to climb a mountain, being too early is always better than being too late. The wind doesn’t usually kick up until later in the day. At least here in Colorado, lightening seldom strikes before noon.

Getting an early start makes sense even when the mountain is close to civilization, like the mountain I tackled today. The trailhead to Mount Galbraith is just a couple of miles west of Golden, home of the huge Coors Brewery. For part of the 4.2-mile lollipop loop up and around the mountain I was within sight and sound of the city.

I like to get an early start on my hikes so that I can capture the beauty that I find there in the golden light of early morning. But maybe I was overanxious today.
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Posted in: Mountain Climbing

Bald Mountain‏

October 9th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Early this morning I went back to Bald Mountain, an easy loop hike just five miles west of Boulder. The only other time I had made that hike was at least three years ago.

Here are two comparable photos that I took of the Rockies from the summit of Bald Mountain with my Canon EOS 50D and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX2 cameras. Each shot is at maximum zoom.
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Posted in: Mountain Climbing, Photography

Windy Peak

October 3rd, 2008 · No Comments

Windy Peak wasn’t this morning. Oh, it is still a peak, and I reached the 9,141 foot summit at 10:30. But it wasn’t windy.

In fact, the weather was warm and mostly sunny this morning. Dark clouds formed in the afternoon, and I could hear distant thunder as I came down the mountain.

Windy Peak is at the end of a six-mile loop called the Burro Trail in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. The park rates the trail as difficult, and it has some steep spots. But because it’s only six miles, I would call it moderate.

Yesterday I called the park to ask when and where the aspens would be at their peak. The ranger who answered the phone said the peak would come today. This evening the predicted rain and wind would take many leaves off the trees.

The best trails for seeing aspens, she said, were Horseshoe and Burro. I had hiked Horseshoe Trail at least three times. I had never hiked Burro Trail, except for a short section on my June hike along the Mountain Lion Trail. So, my decision to hike the Burro Trail today was an easy one.
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Posted in: Mountain Climbing, Photography

Meadow Mountain

September 25th, 2008 · No Comments

When I reached the St. Vrain Mountain Trailhead in the Indian Peaks Wilderness just before 6 this morning, I could see a sliver of the moon. All the stars also shined brightly.

Otherwise all was pitch black. I was glad to have my headlamp to show the way, although I had to use it for only about half an hour. My headlamp is small and lightweight, but it’s bright. I appreciated that not only because it lighted the trail so well but also because it showed any lurking bears or mountain lions that I was not to be messed with.

When I planned my trip last night, I knew it would be a long one. I decided to climb Meadow Mountain rather than St. Vrain Mountain.

For once, I took my GPS with me, even though I still find it a pain to use. But I knew that I would be hiking cross-country, and having the GPS along was a safety precaution.

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Posted in: Mountain Climbing

Deer Mountain

September 16th, 2008 · 1 Comment

Sometimes even a motivator needs a push. After my hard hike to Cherry Lake on Thursday, I was in a couch potato mood this weekend.

But yesterday evening as I sat down in my easy chair I picked up John Fielder’s book Photographing the Landscape: The Art of Seeing. That immediately inspired me to go out and photograph the landscape today. And incidentally to hike.

I went back to Rocky Mountain National Park this morning. But for the first time I hiked to the summit of Deer Mountain.

The hike was easy. Just six miles out and back with only 1,083 feet elevation gain to the peak at 10,013 feet. The cool, crisp, sunny, windless weather couldn’t have been better. [Read more →]

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Posted in: Mountain Climbing, Photography

Mount Chapin

August 13th, 2008 · 10 Comments

Two trails lead from the Chapin Pass Trailhead on the Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. They are the only trails along this one-way, one-lane, dirt road that goes to the top of the park, which is open only for about two months of the year.

I knew that this was where I wanted to go today. But I couldn’t decide which of the two trails to take. [Read more →]

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Posted in: Mountain Climbing

Arapaho Pass Trail

July 19th, 2008 · No Comments

This year the wildflowers are later than usual. So I made one of my favorite hikes later than usual.

Last year I hiked to Arapaho Pass on July 18. This year I waited until July 19.

This was the view last year from the pass, which is on the Continental Divide at 11,906 feet:
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Posted in: Mountain Climbing

Sugarloaf Mountain Trail

July 3rd, 2008 · No Comments

Sugarloaf Mountain is a symmetrical, conical mountain that dominates the foothills above Boulder only 15 miles from my apartment. Yet until today I had never climbed it.

Somehow I had overlooked this great hike. But last night I scoured my trail guides for a hike from about 8,000 to about 9,000 feet, and Sugarloaf fit the bill exactly. I didn’t want to have a long drive because thunderstorms are in this afternoon’s weather prediction.

And I wanted to hike up to about 9,000 feet because that’s where the wildflower are in bloom right now. It’s too early in the season to even think about the 14ers like Longs Peak.

I made sure to get a rather early start, arriving at the trailhead before 8. By doing so I was blessed with a cool and sunny morning and a mountain all to myself.
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Posted in: Mountain Climbing