July 18th 2015
Teocalli Mountain – Gunnison County, CO – 13,208 ft (4,026 m)
HARD FAULT – Sober Summit Detected – 0.0% ABV
Fat Tyler goes hiking! Or at least that is what it felt like. After getting all back in shape and my gut fixed last fall (see last post), I all but stopped going outside up until now.
Not to worry though, it wasn’t another health issue, or anything negative. My wife and I were lucky enough to welcome our twin baby boys into the world on November 7th, 2014. They are wonderful, amazing, and (now) healthy awesome dudes.
But they are still babies. I had all these plans to stay in shape still once they came around. HA! The best laid plans, am I right? Literally 100% of their moms time and energy has gone to taking care of them, and any I have left over goes to taking care of their mom. However, they are getting older and, while I won’t say easier, I will say less physically draining.
So here we are, on our way to beautiful Crested Butte to spend a long weekend with another close family of friends (whom also have small children). I think to myself that I really should try and get out on a ‘real’ hike since we are coming all the way down here. I mention it to my wife, and she gives it a huge thumbs up. I mention it to the other family, and their matriarch give her husband a big thumbs up to go with me.
We want to get an early start, knowing that the earlier we can get back to help out with the four kids the better. We pack up and are out the door before 4:30. I was a little more nervous than normal for a few reasons:
- I had forgotten my boots at home. I was going to be doing this hike in my slip-on Vans that have a hole in the bottom because they are so worn down.
- The 4 mile stretch of Jeep trail to get to the TH we wanted to get to. Having upgraded to a 4Runner to accommodate the growing family, I figured it could make it. But I had never driven on anything like that, let alone in the dark.
- I hadn’t seriously worked out in over 9 months. Hiking is 90% mental to me, but I knew I would be sucking breaths more than normal.
Issue 2 ended up being a huge positive. While the miles were very slow going, I had a blast doing it. I always pushed my Subaru to its limits, and had gotten pretty good about picking my lines and knowing when I needed to really lay on the gas. Translated perfectly to the new car, and we made it to the top without a single scrape.
We set out and followed a moderate trail for a little over a mile to the ridge. We left the official trail here and followed a use trail towards the summit for a while. This is when I could feel my conditioning really come into play. No switchbacks, just straight up. I ended up having to stop a lot more to catch my breath than I was used to. But like I said, it’s mostly mental. As long as I could keep putting one foot in front of the other, I was ok.
Eventually we made it to the talus field near the top. This is when I was really worried about my Vans. I had already been feeling EVERY rock and stick underneath me. While annoying, it wasn’t as hard on my feet as I thought it might have been. On the talus though I knew it would hurt, and I would have to play much closer attention to make sure my ankles didn’t twist.
We reached the top, and again to my surprise, my feet felt just fine. We took in the views, including some near by 14ers in the Elks (hello back side of the Bells), waterfalls, lakes, and Mount Created Butte and its ski area. It was amazing, but we knew we should get going quickly to get back to the families.
An uneventful trip down lead to a great rest of the time spent with everyone in wonderful Created Butte.