I was training for a hike up a 14 thousand-foot high mountain. As part of that training, I did a test run on May 6th up Bergen Peak (It was more fun when I did it a couple of years ago with Angie Undem Kennedy!), and I made it… but on the last few miles, my legs and my feet were hating me with a great deal of conviction.
Bergen hike has an elevation gain of 1,895 feet, and the round-trip route I took was 8.3 miles long. Max elevation was 9,169 feet.
Bierstadt has an elevation gain of 2,850 and is 6.9 miles out and back, but with a max elevation of 14,060 feet.
So Bierstadt is a tougher elevation going up; the air will be considerably thinner and only 1.4 miles less than what I did yesterday.
Except this one didn’t feel right. I was tired and felt worn out within the first couple of miles. I wanted to make sure something wasn’t wrong that would make doing a 14,000-foot hike dangerous, so I checked with my doctor.
Sure enough, there was an issue: My blood pressure was too damn high. The doctor warned me that the big hike was out of the question. The first order of business: Get the blood pressure under control. It turns out that high blood pressure runs in the family, but my family doesn’t spend much time at 14,000 feet, so the big hike is off.. for now.