Conundrum Hot Springs is a 100 degree pool near Aspen Colorado, that is situated in a stunning alpine basin at 11,000 feet. At the hot-springs you stare up at two 14,000 ft peaks (Castle and Conundrum) and a 13er Castlebra.
Our faithful backpacking partners Erik and Steph drove up from Albuquerque to hike back to the springs with us. Our plan was to camp near the springs Friday and Saturday and climb a peak on Saturday morning.
This post is part of a larger series of posts about my climb of Mt Rainier This 3 day climb is very physically demanding, and culminates with a 12-18 hour summit day. RMI stresses that you must come to the mountain in the best shape of your life. I started preparing physically about 8 months before the climb. You need to be able to keep a pace of 1,000 vertical feet per hour for two days in a row while carrying around 40lbs of gear. The old marathon axiom “it is easy until it gets hard” holds true here. That pace should feel pretty easy and relaxed at first. It is much harder at 14,000ft with 6 hours of climbing behind you. I felt my training plan left me well prepared for my climb. I was in good enough shape to have fun almost the entire time. I was very tired at the end, and my feet hurt a lot, but I was not completely exhausted. Continue reading →
It contains a list of the gear that I brought along and used when climbing Mt Rainier. I have updated the post with information about what I used, and what I liked.
37 lbs of gear
I intend to keep climbing difficult mountains so Rainier provided just what I needed, another excuse to buy more gear. I found it helpful to know what other climbers use, so I have included a full gear list here.
I summited the 14,264′ Mt. Evans a couple of summers ago via an easy route (over mt Spalding from Summit Lake). At that time we were with some inexperienced hikers, and I wanted to give them an easy day. I really enjoyed this mountain, and have been longing to return here and summit via my road bike.