GETTING TO THE TOP IS OPTIONAL; COMING DOWN IS NOT.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
What a beautiful day and what a relief after all the above normal temperatures. I didn't start hiking until 12:40 PM and even at that hour it was still cool (82) with a nice breeze. I had looked at Bell Pass before, but it's a long hike and rated difficult. Today, I said I would go as far as I could and then turn around when I got tired.
But you know how it is...the closer one gets to the top, the more one wants to go "just a little more." This is not a loop trail, so I was fully aware every step towards the top would have to be retraced. And of course one of my favorite quotes by I don't remember who is: "Getting to the top is optional, coming down is not."
The breeze was prolific and even though I was sweating a lot, I had plenty of water, blister protection on my feet, sunscreen applied before I got to the trailhead, good snack bars, and my hiking hat. So, I just kept going and I DID IT! I got to the top of Bell Pass where I enjoyed stupendous views of the valley thousands of feet below. WOOHOO!
This was the hardest hike I've done in my hiking career for two reasons. The last 1.5 miles was extremely steep and of course very rocky. As hard as it was going up (I was stopping to rest every 5-10 minutes), I think it was perhaps more difficult coming down. I found it hard to maintain my balance and because of the steepness, it was hard to control momentum. My butt, hips and toenails were screaming for mercy before I finished the first mile coming down.
This was also difficult because of the length...I don't recall having hiked 8 miles in one trip. I was very glad to get to the bottom and off the trail.
However I feel good I preserved and I burned a load of calories...1598 to be exact. Total hiking times was 228 minutes.
Warm Up/Cool Down: 53% maximum capacity
Zone 1 = 03 minutes
Hiking Up: 75% capacity
Zone 1 = 18 minutes
Zone 2 = 61 minutes
Zone 3 = 41 minutes
Zone 4 = 01 minute
Hiking Down: 73% capacity
Zone 1 = 30
Zone 2 = 74
Zone 3 - 03