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Rocky Mountain National Park

[Revision 5/9.]

In a quest for elevation, we're heading to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Itinerary:

6-7, Fri, 5pm:  meet for dinner, location TBD

6-8, Sat, 9am: Hike to Twin Sisters Peaks. 7.4 miles round trip.   Elevation at summit 11,428' (gain of 2338').

6-9, Sun, 9am:  Deer Mountain Summit, 6 miles round trip. Summit elevation 10,013' (gain of 1083').

6-10, Mon:  fly home

You are encouraged to bring a spouse or significant other that doesn't hike or hikes less.  There are easy hikes, picnic areas, and scenic drives.  Please indicate in the comments section below whether you are bringing a non-hiker/someone who hikes less.  I have the RSVP process set up to ask you; but for some reason, I can't see all the answers.

Altitude Sickness

I'm keeping mileage on the hiking a bit short because of potential altitude sickness.  However, if we find that we don't have any issues, we can look at a map and add mileage.

High altitude sickness (also called acute mountain sickness) occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen at high altitude. How physically fit you are plays no role in whether you get altitude sickness. The symptoms of altitude sickness include: a dull to throbbing headache, loss of appetite, sick to your stomach or nausea, vomiting, and feeling weak or dizzy. It is important to watch for these symptoms in yourself as well as others in your group. If symptoms develop, don’t wait to turn around. The best treatment for high altitude sickness is to go to a lower elevation as soon as safely possible.

Estes Park is at 7200 feet, which will help us acclimate.

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/altitude-sickness-topic-overview

http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/upload/longs_peak_faq.pdf

Hiking Essentials

Keeping well hydrated is very important while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, where elevations range from 7,500 feet to over 14,000 feet. However, there is limited potable drinking water available in the park. Please remember to bring your own reusable water containers and refill them at park visitor centers.

Pack the "Essentials" and be prepared for minor injuries, sudden weather changes or delays.

Always carry:

  1. Map of the area and compass
  2. Extra food and water
  3. Extra clothing, including rain gear
  4. Sunglasses, sunscreen and hat
  5. Pocketknife
  6. Matches in a waterproof container and candle or other fire starter
  7. Whistle
  8. Flashlight with extra batteries and bulb
  9. Space blanket
  10. First aid kit

Please come prepared.  Do not count on Search and Rescue.  Once when we were at Baxter State Park in Maine, we witnessed rangers making a decision to leave a sick person on the mountain overnight who was unable to hike back out (it was already dark).

http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/essentials.htm

Lodging

Jim and I are staying at Estes Park, Colorado, at Saddle and Surrey Motel, 1341 S. St. Vrain Ave, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO 80517.

I think that's it.  I'm really excited about this trip.  I hope you folks can come.

 

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Suggestions, cont'd:
    4. Weather can change quickly in the Mts. Be especially alert for afternoon lightning. Get off peaks, ridges and know what to do/not to do in a lightning storm BEFORE you go.
    5. Never drink directly from a stream, even if it looks crystal clear. If you use a natural water source, filter/purify it.
    6. Even though it's hot here, there could still be some snow at altitude and/or spring melt off. Temps can dip. Watch the weather forecast and pack accordingly.

    June 1, 2013

    • Mary

      Thanks, Lone Star. These are good tips.

      June 2, 2013

  • Suzanne J.

    Gettin' close...gettin' excited!

    May 31, 2013

    • Mary

      Me, too! I'm really looking forward to it.

      June 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If I may make a couple of helpful suggestions:
    1. If you take a GPS, remember to load in your Colorado map!
    2. It's always wise to err on the side of caution and carry bear repellant spray. Bear encounters are rare, especially if you're in a group, but attacks do happen. You need to know what to do/not to do BEFORE you go. I doubt TSA will let you pack this spray in your luggage, so you'll have to buy it in CO once you get there and know how to use it.
    3. IF you plan to camp, bring a bear canister or know how to hang your food. This if not just for bears, but marmots, too. Leave your pack unzipped/open so critters don't chew holes in your pack.

    June 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can't join, have fun guys!

    May 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I plan to be in Colorado later this summer, so I will pass on this trip. I hope everyone has a wonderful time!

    May 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Please confirm if we're backpacking or not.. its not clear to me

    May 20, 2013

    • Mary

      No backpacking. Just day hikes.

      May 20, 2013

  • Heather R.

    I grew up in the rockies! really wish I could go with ya'll. :( Have fun!

    May 19, 2013

  • Mary

    More on altitude sickness:

    http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/altitude-sickness-topic-overview

    It's worth reading. One in five people visiting the Rocky Mountains get it.

    May 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Great info, Mary.Even if you don't get sick, it easy to get winded and harder than usual to catch your breath. However, the views are stunningly beautiful!

      May 18, 2013

  • Mary

    About Non/less hikers - we have three who are coming as of right now. As a contingency, if we end up with one non-hiker who ends up spending time alone because the rest of us are hiking, they will get first choice on non-hiking activities (restaurants, sight seeing, etc.). Also, since I do like long hikes, for future events, I will try to plan as much as possible to have a bail out point for both those who hike less and for those who have a non-hiking SO waiting for them.

    May 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I wanted to know the plans for the friend who doesnt hike much- will they hike with us?

    May 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I will check the tickets tonight and confirm. . I really wanted to do this one :-)

      May 16, 2013

    • Mary

      Hi Deepa - no plans have been made yet for the non/less-hikers yet; however, I think it would be a good idea for those that hike less to hike with us for as much as they can.

      May 17, 2013

  • Suzanne J.

    Mary....any idea how long it will take to do the hike on Sunday? My flt leaves at 7:40 pm but I need a couple hrs to drive and turn in rental, etc. Really would like to hike both days.

    May 13, 2013

    • Mary

      Hi Suzanne - It'll probabably take about 4 1/2 hours with breaks; but, to be safe, I would plan on the hike taking 6 hours (longer breaks, difficult terrain, undulating terrain, etc.).

      May 13, 2013

  • Suzanne J.

    I will plan to do the hike on Sat and might have a friend that also hikes but that is tentative right now. I am flying in on Thurs eve and return late Sunday so not sure can do hike on Sunday.

    May 13, 2013

  • Mary

    Hello everyone. I included more detail in the trip description. Let me know if you have questions.

    May 10, 2013

  • Suzanne J.

    I would like to know more about the schedule since I already had plans to be in Denver that wkend.

    May 10, 2013

  • Sita

    I'd be interested as well. Can you please provide additional information on the duration and the itinerary. Thanks.

    May 10, 2013

  • lynn c.

    I would be very interested. Do you have an itinerary set up and info. for airline bookings and overnight stays?

    May 10, 2013

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