I'm less than nine months out from open heart surgery. I had a defective Aortic valve replaced. I'd hoped that, after the surgery, I'd be able to hike and bike like I could twenty years ago. That doesn't seem to be the case. At least not yet. Is it the beta blocker I have to take the rest of my life, or something else? I don't know.
Yesterday I made an attempt on Taylor Peak. I'm not sure my cardiologist would approve. I know the ladies I worked with at cardiac rehab wouldn't. They seemed to think I should spend the rest of my life doing laps around the mall. To make a long story short, I didn't make it. After hiking up Flattop and over the shoulder of Hallett, and losing quite a bit of elevation, I found myself at the base of Taylor and looking up a very long, steep slope to the summit. I was already feeling very tired. I decided it might be too much for my heart.
I new I would be pushing my limit, so, to increase my chances, I used my lightest day pack and I wore trail runners instead of boots. I decided to take along a pair of regular straight grip trekking poles, thinking they might help too.
The trail runners worked fine. They caused me no problems and probably helped. I normally use cane style, T-grip trekking poles, but I thought straight grip poles were probably better for uphill. I think I was wrong about that. I think cane grip poles are better for uphill too. I don't know why so few people use them. In my opinion they are far superior to the more popular straight grip poles. Especially my new Leki with the ergonomic grips and clamp style locks.
Taking my full size SLR camera didn't help, but I just can't deal with not having all the control it gives me. I'd rather not take a camera at all than to take less.
OK, I've rambled on enough.