This was my first Summit. It was big and scary to me! To most of you, especially to my father, Aaron Johnson (You may know him by his ugly green and blue hat), this is just a walk in the park.
I climbed Estes Cone June 21st, 2003, and it was a great experience. We had the unusual benefit of climbing in flawless weather; aside form the wind and cold air on top.
The route is very basic, and the trail is hard to lose. We were in a group of 9 people. 5 people immediately blazed up, and left another beginner and myself in the rear trying to catch up. My dad and Ellen, better known to you all as mtnhiker13, were kind enough to stay behind with us and help us get to the top.
The first half mile of the trail was steep, then levels out, then you lose some elevation, then gain some, then lose some, then gain some. Eventually, you get to a section of the trail which at the time I referred to as hell. This section, for a beginner like myself, was rough. The trail was narrow, and covered with rocks. I think I gained 2 feet every step I took. I was panting as gasping for air when all of the sudden, I was at the top! The summit really sneaks up on you.
Once I signed my first Summit Log, I turned around feeling like the Queen of the Universe. Then I saw Longs Peak. If you are trying to find a place to take a great picture of Longs Peak, I recommend this hike. If you are trying to feel very small, I would also recommend this hike.
This was a perfect choice for my first summit, and a beautiful stroll for those of you who are more experienced.