Posted by: vikingsinspace | October 24, 2011

I.2.01.05.04. Climb the Sand Dunes

Date Accomplished: Summer, 2003

The Great Sand Dunes

Being born and raised in Colorado, I knew about the Great Sand Dunes since I was young.  I don’t remember when I first visited, but I was fairly young, maybe seven or eight.  I don;t quite recall how, but on that visit I entered the park already on top of a Sand Dune (albeit a very small one – it may have simply been ground level but was standing next to a sandy valley).  My only real memory of that trip was that I got on my side, and like a kid would naturally do, I rolled down it.  I got sand everywhere.  But the worst part, was the difficulty of climbing back up the sand dune.

Remembering the difficulty of that climb, I never attempted to climb any of the Sand Dunes on subsequent visits to the park.  The thought never occurred to me that the climb I made as a child was made overly-difficult due to the natural impatience and excessive expenditure of energy any child would exhibit.  After returning from a year’s time abroad in England, I found the opportunity to visit the Dunes again, and decided to finally make a climb up one and not be stopped by my silly experience when I was younger.

It wasn’t an easy climb, but it was certainly a lot easier than I remembered it.  With the way the sand works, I found it to be easier to try to walk on top of the sand, with my feet essentially at a 45 degree angle, rather than to try to dig into the dune and create footholds.  The climb was made a little more difficult by the fact that I had just returned from living at sea level for a year, and hadn’t acclimated to the elevation by this point.  Sadly, I did not bring a camera, and have no pictures of the Dunes from my other trips.

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