Let the training begin for Summit for Life | AspenTimes.com

Let the training begin for Summit for Life

It’s been awhile since I’ve hiked the “big hill,” so when my friend asked me last week to go up Aspen Mountain, I was a bit reticent.

But I have grown so bored of Smuggler, the Hunter Creek Loop and Sunnyside that I agreed to go do something different.

I once again became reticent to go when I looked out the window last Thursday early morning and saw it puking snow. But we went anyway.

We didn’t take the typical summer route via the Ute Trail that then follows the Couch chairlift to the top. We went the winter route, which is up the gut.

You forget about that grunt at the beginning, trudging up the Little Nell ski run. It was extra special because a fresh layer of hay had been thrown down and it was covered with freshly fallen snow. Hay is slippery, and so is snow. We had the forethought to bring ski poles for stability but we opted — for some dumb reason — to not put stabilizers on our feet.

But we are mountain women so we were able to deal with it just fine, although the descent was a pain and took longer than I wanted. It takes precision to walk down snow-covered rocks.

About halfway up the ascent, my friend announced that she wants to keep hiking Ajax with me, which I was amenable to. Then I realized there was an ulterior motive: She wants a friend to train with to do the Summit for Life together in December.


It’s not that I don’t support Olympian and liver transplant recipient Chris Klug, whose nonprofit puts on the fundraising event that has participants hiking Ajax at night to raise money for organ and tissue donation.

It’s that I am not really that much of a joiner, especially with foot races. I used to run and train for marathons more than a decade ago and that suited me well back then for what I was trying to accomplish.

Plus, I really hate exercising at night. The one time I did do the Summit for Life several years ago, I sucked wind and hated everyone passing me.

But I do have a hard time saying no and I do love my dear friend. And I also could get my butt in better shape.

So, consider this is an official acceptance to the offer of trudging up the Big Rock for the next seven weeks in the cold, dark mornings. Sounds awesome!

You are on, Kim Allen. Let the training — and the fundraising — begin.

I can already taste that celebratory drink at the Sundeck when the hell is over.