Original Radioactive Jam

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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Thin Air

Working a couple weeks in Utah for a certain unnamed former employer (they're like, shy, okay? Leave 'em alone), I decided to do a little weekend mountain climbing. I had two criteria: day trip, and high altitude. One of the tallest in the area proved to be Wheeler Peak in eastern Nevada - 13,063 feet.

I know we're not talking Everest, or even half-Everest. But I've lived in Florida for decades, where anything taller than the local Mt. Trashmore qualifies as impressive. The guidebook said the Wheeler Peak summit trail was rated "difficult." The trail started at 10,000 feet, covered five miles, took six to eight hours to complete. The last stretch before the summit was "brutal." So of course the Idiot inside my head said "Yeah! That's the one we want!"

At 13,000 ft. I wouldn't need oxygen, but I'd likely notice a difference from say, Florida - roughly 20 ft below sea level - or even central Utah at ~4500 ft. Anyway - bla bla-bla bla bla - here's a view from the top.

@13,063 feet. I'm looking north, so you're looking south. I think. I might have been a little light-headed, in addition to the self-inflicted absence of hair.

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