Thursday, August 23, 2007

On Top of the Rockies

Ryan and I had a blast hiking Mount Massive with two of Ryan's friends, James and Travis. Mount Massive is the third highest point in the contiguous United States, at 14,421 feet. It is 12 feet lower than Mount Elbert, the highest point in the Rocky Mountains, and 84 feet lower than Mount Whitney. Some guy arriving at the peak after us declared to everyone "Well, you are now 50 feet lower than Mount Ranier!" What a dork. He was so wrong and I wanted to "bump" him off the mountain.

Despite how high it is, you can hike it in about 7 hours from the trailhead.

We started in Leadville, CO, which is the highest incorporated city in the contig. U.S. at 10,152 feet For perspective, athletes complain that Denver is so high, and Denver is at about 5,280 feet. I hung out in Leadville for almost 3 hours while Ryan and friends did some off-roading. I was pulled over by Officer Joe for traveling three or four seconds without turning my headlights on. He gave me a "huge break" in his words and didn't ticket me.

In this picture I took from the road, you can see Elbert on the left and Massive on the right.

Here are some more pics:

On our way up, pointing to Massive:

We are only a few minutes from the top here:

Part of our awesome view (click for bigger view):

In this picture, you see we were actually there. Above my head to the left, behind the peak in the foreground, is Mount Elbert (see above). Above Ryan's head to the right, with the snow on it, is La Plata Peak, 14336 feet (8th highest in contig. U.S.).

Ryan's friends were good hikers and kept a good pace. It was a lot of fun. The view at the top really was breathtaking. Thanks to Ryan for inviting me.

Oh, check out this panoramic picture of the view from the top I made by stitching some pictures together. It's a really large picture, so it may take some time to load.


Lindsay said...

Great pictures. Thanks for sharing. I told Ryan I was jealous of all the kid-free, work-free time he got, but now I'm also jealous of the great hike. Next year, I'll be hiking one of those 14ers.

KC said...

I don't know if I'm more annoyed that I couldn't go or that you kept using the word contiguous.

Rob said...

Hey at least I abbreviated. Google can tell you what it means, KC.

Ryan said...

Thanks for posting these pictures, Rob. You should have posted a picture of your speeding ticket just outside of Price Canyon, too. I'm anxious to see the rest you took. It was a blast.

Casey, I was sad you couldn't make it, but when we were hiking, I was glad because I'm not sure we could have carried you the last 2 miles up the mountain. There were no chair lifts up there.

Yes, Lindz, we'll hike another one next summer. You will love it. Bob, we need to plan another trip on a day when you and whoever else wants to can spare the time.

debora said...

Plan on me for the hike next year. Wow! great pics Rob. When I see pictures like that it reminds me of grandpa's favorite hymn, "How Great Thou Art". Thanks for sharing.
Speeding ticket? Hmmm, like father like son I guess.