What Altitude Sickness Looks Like.


We had set out to do a 3 day 2 night loop in the Rahwah Wilderness of North-Central Colorado. And it started out like things of this nature typically do. Josh came over the night before and we did a quick bag check, I laughed at the weight of his kit, he scoffed at the weight of mine, and then we hit the sack. We woke up around 7, right when we were supposed to be leaving. This is not unusual. I woke Josh up, and we got our stuff together I kissed my girls and we took off. We stopped at Sonic for a breakfast that never really sat well.

Here begins our bad hike. We drove in Josh’s nice Jeep up to the Rahwah, it’s between Fort Collins and Walden, near the Long Draw reservoir if you’re familiar. It starts at 9000 feet and climbs all the way past tree line topping out around 13000 feet. So not super rough. And we weren’t planning on doing a lot of hiking as we wanted to just take it easy on this trip, hence the 10 miles a day pace. Also this pace would allow us to have the time to do some great reviews for all you lucky readers. However things didn’t work out.

I should have known when we started to have issues with our ability to use our gear. This is weird because I take it with me on EVERY trip. Anyone that has hiked with me knows that it can fill a 3 ounce bladder in a flash.

Later, just before the rain and hail started, we tried to make a video of Josh using his Katydin Hiker Pro, but we just couldn’t get it to work. And mind you, this isn’t hard stuff. It’s just an in line filter. To make things worse, Josh started to get kinda stumbly, and then he dropped his pack, and the mouthpiece fell in the dirt. He sprayed it out and sanitized it with hand sanitizer. This will be funny later.

As the storm was hitting neither of us felt great, so we found a spot and setup camp thinking that tomorrow would just be a long day, as we were setting up Josh started to get faint when he stood up, which you do a lot of when putting up a tent.

This was the temp fix. It’s all the video I have retained, but it puts a pretty good indicator on our frame of mind. We went to bed after, it was 3 pm. Once around 9 pm rolled around we woke up and hiked back down the mountain. We are both from Northern Colorado, and we are both in good shape. I work out 5 days a week. It sucked and it was only after we woke up and were headed down that we realized what was really happening and how dangerous this really was.

We later learned that a severe low pressure system that went right over us. I don’t know if that could be the cause, but it probably didn’t help.