Lesson to be learned – one shouldn’t go from zero adventure to 8 on the strenuous meter in a single day. I’ve always wanted to hike to the top of the TopaTopa bluffs because, you know, they are there. So when Jeff put out the invite and said the trail was 10 miles (which I interpreted as roundtrip, not each way) I jumped at the chance.
Really I knew better, having read the write-up on Homer’s Travels.
The hike in was 6.8 miles with a 1735 ft. gain in elevation. There was rain and I couldn’t remember if my pack had a rainfly so I used my anorak to guard the pack and got soaked to the skin. We camped by some boulders at Chief Peak. We had more rain, freezing wind and our tents were iced.
There were snow flurries in the morning but the rest of the day was clear. 16.7 miles, 2014 ft. ascent, 3573 ft. descent. Got to the point where the smallest incline had me gasping for breath – like Hillary near the peak of Everest. And near the peak is as close as I got, lagging behind Jeff and Kevin who summited.
The hike back was a death march. Not sure how I made it. Feet were ground skinless by my overly stiff Vasque boots.
I wouldn’t do it again for the world – not without being in better shape. But it was worth doing this once.