Intermittent foot paths allow passage through the "dreaded willows." Bierstadt's peak, in the upper right, as seen in the morning light.
On Saturday August 21, my wife and two of my sons and I hiked 14,060 ft. Mt. Bierstadt. For my wife and my youngest son, the goal was their first 14er. For my oldest son, his third ascent up Bierstadt, it was to support us while enjoying the outdoors and physical activity. My first climb of Bierstadt (also with my oldest son) was in August 2010, just one month before a cycling crash down Squaw Pass. Thus, my prime motivation was to see if I was back to baseline and could climb it again.
Nearby lake on left side of trail.
Hiking together at the higher altitudes.
Taking a break before the final push. People on the summit are barely seen as faint linear images on crest in the right upper corner.
View from the other side of the mountain.
At the summit.
The path down. The parking lot is beyond the lake seen in the left upper quadrant.
There may be another reason for the adults to climb, recently expressed nicely by Mark Sisson:
The comfortable plateau we’ve achieved – with all good intention – can seem less satisfying. Where did the peaks of life go? Do we make space for exuberance or adventure anymore? In seeking to live vitally, we inherently value more than the necessities of survival, more than the elements of comfort. It’s a mark of thriving, I think, to test the scale and dimension of existence – in whatever way fulfills us personally. We can choose to prioritize the role of awe, adventure, and uncertainty in our lives. The fact is, the power of intermittent euphoria (IE) can fill a deep – and deeply human – well.