There’s something about big mountains that seems to pull at all of my adventure strings. The feeling of being at the absolute top of something is such an accomplished feeling and late last year I had a itch to scratch so I grabbed a friend and set off on my second 14er – Mt Democrat. It was November and that time of year Colorado, USA isn’t the most ideal place to ride high above the clouds. At altitude snow and quickly cooling temperatures can really throw you a curve ball but with Native American summer weather conditions abound I wasn’t going to miss one last big mountain ride for the season.
Shorts and a light jacket kept us warm and the crunch of the snow beneath our feet was actually a boon as it covered the rough rocks making our path at times easier. Reaching the top I came to the realisation that these trips feel like the real “enduro”; pushing through the pain just for the thrill of adventure. (Maybe “adventure biking” sounds a little better?) One reaches a point where the pain fades, numbness sets in and you continue to push. Lungs filled with what feels like only half of their capacity, shoulders aching, and yet this is what I live for. There’s something about enduring through the pain and keeping positive with motivation – all just to see what’s up there at the top of the biggest mountain peaks.
Yep, we’d conquered another 14er and a long rewarding descent from the very top of Mt Democrat was all ours. However, that’s only a small part of this story (or discussion).