Our 2.8 mile (4.5 km) hike started at 8500 foot elevation (2550 meters) and rapidly climbed to 9400 feet (2825 meters). If it hadn’t been for my daughter giving continual words of encouragement, I might still be walking to the top. 🙂
It was quite difficult for me due to two things: 1) I wasn’t used to the altitude and 2) I’m not in that great of shape at the moment. So, I made it by focusing on 75 yards at a time. It was a tough one but well worth it when we got to the top. The wind was blowing quite hard which made it difficult to hold on to hats and things.
If you look at the photo on the top left, you will see a sliver of road on the bottom right. The small green trees surrounding the road are full grown pine trees; i.e. 70 – 100 feet high. It was like being on the top of the world. We could literally see for miles.
We stayed for a little while, but the wind was getting harder and it seemed to be turning colder, so we decided it was time to walk back down.
I had a challenge coming down. As I was trying to find the best route down along the sloping face, I ended up going too far down and missed the turn for the trail. I then had to climb back up to the correct path. I found that incredibly difficult due to the altitude. My daughter and her boyfriend were getting concerned because they hadn’t seen me in a while. He came back down and found me sitting on the side of the mountain trying to catch my breath. How embarrassing! With his help I got back to the path to get off the dome.
After that the hike down was much easier. My daughter and I saw a mule deer and two osprey on the way up which added something special to the hike.
The lesson for the day was that if we are reaching for a big goal (hiking to the top of Lembert Dome for example), sometimes the best way to get there is just one step at a time. Don’t look to far ahead. Keep your focus on the goal but keep your attention on the next step.
Have a great day!