In Mid-June Reinier (the founder and owner of Power Hour 360) spoke to me about taking a group of our members up to the summit of Mount Charleston. We discussed how to prepare physically and also how we could coordinate the planning to be successful.
After this conversation we started promoting and seeking volunteers within our gym, and the interest was high. We started with around 40 volunteers. Between Reinier and myself, our aim was that by the end of our preparation process we would have at least 50% of this number complete the hike.
Our preparation included a local run around the Summerlin area. This was mainly to initialize the aim and the challenge ahead to our volunteers and get everyone together.
I proceeded to send very detailed emails informing everyone about what to wear, carry, hydration and nutrition advice and various other little hints and tips myself and Reinier had gained from our vast amount of experience being in the outdoors and challenging situations.
Red Rock hike was next on the preparation phase. On completing the Cowboy trail, our main threat came from the dry heat and being exposed for a long time, also avoiding the rattlesnakes and cactuses added to the excitement. Everyone made it unscathed and I think this opened up everyone's eyes to how quickly things can change, from being in the comfort of your car then being 2 hours away from any civilization. Our preparation needed to be on point.
For our final preparation hike we headed up to Mount Charleston so we could experience working at altitude and we could feel the effects. We completed the South Loop heading up all the switch backs and taking our final rest at the saddle just below Griffith Peak. Then we headed back down which was quite pleasant especially as the heat started but seeing people just starting to head up what we had already done was a nice feeling.
Summit day had arrived, meeting at our Sky Pointe gym at 4 am everyone was raring to go. Dale had ordered our final volunteers some special Power Hike t-shirts as a memento. We handed these out then we headed up to the south loop carpark.
The best thing about starting in the dark is that you can’t see what's ahead and also it was so nice and cool, I think for everyone this was the best part about starting so early. Sunlight quickly came upon us and we were motoring up to the saddle ahead of time, gliding on through the meadows and we had the false summit in sight, keeping it nice and tight as we had a 45 degree slide beside us we were at the false summit taking our final water break getting ready for that final push.
Once we stepped off with the peak in sight I went into Army mode and opened it up knowing I wanted to be the first to reach the peak, not only was it my first time up there but I also wanted to shake everyone's hand as they reached the summit and congratulate them all. The view from the top was amazing, every day I see the mountain but nothing beats knowing you have been on top of it eating pizza along with your Power Hour Family.
After a well-earned food rest and photo opportunity we then started probably the hardest part, heading back the exact same way we had come up. For a few hours, morale was high and everyone sounded giddy like being back on the school playground. Once we reached the saddle, there we had our last big break, then everyone got serious and the noise stopped, I think this happened about the same time everyone's feet started to ache a little more, the shoulders started to get a little heavier and the heat picking back up as we got lower was all part of completing the challenge.
Everyone completed the hike, which for me was a huge success. We all had our individual challenges along the way but everybody overcame them and left the mountain feeling accomplished and a little tired.
Benny, PH360- Trainer
-“It’s not the size of the challenge ahead, it’s the size of the impact the challenge has on us.”