Peak(s):  Pennsylvania Mtn  -  13,006 feet
Date Posted:  04/19/2014
Date Climbed:   04/18/2014
Author:  piper14er
 Head and Shoulder above the rest   

4 months after rotator cuff surgery, 20 some physical therapy sessions later I have finally made it back above 13,000 feet. Okay barely over by 6 feet, a short 4.5 miles and 1300 feet, but still above tree line. After hiking below tree line since January, I had the 20-25 mph headwind on this hike. Spring type conditions.

I started some small hikes about a month after surgery, close to home, a sling in place (for my right arm not for climbing of course), immobilized and hikes with trails. Bald Mountain, True Mountain, etc. I did not even start physical therapy until six weeks after the surgery. I could not stand the trails for long and found some bushwhacking to do.

I am at about 75% right now according to the surgeon ( every time you see the surgeon he tells you the recovery takes longer than the last time he told you, 6 weeks, no 2 months, no more like 6-8 month. I am gaining about 10% of my strength back each month.

I finally put on my backpack but did not have much in it so I could test how it might feel, up until now I had used a waist pack, which I don't like.

I quit wearing the sling after about 2 -2 1/2 months, up until then I kept in on for security. I was very careful and slow so as not to take a header or something that could cause bumping or falling on the shoulder. I did pretty good with that and only had a few close calls.

Here is a list of peaks I did that range from 7000+ to 11000+ and that can be hiked with one arm, more or less. There was a good deal of snow on some and not much on others.

4/18/2014 Pennsylvania Mountain
4/11/2014 Stoll Mountain
4/6/2014 10069
3/29/2014 11053
3/23/2014 10350
3/16/2014 Thunder Butte
3/8/2014 9241
3/1/2014 9380
3/1/2014 9083
3/1/2014 9036
2/22/2014 Marys Mountain
2/22/2014 Sheep Mountain
2/16/2014 Bradley Peak (actually had some Class 2+/3)
2/16/2014 9380
2/8/2014 Campbell Mountain (some slabby rock)
2/2/2014 Grouse Mountain
2/2/2014 Beasley Hills
1/27/2014 8980
1/27/2014 8747
1/24/2014 Big Baldy
1/24/2014 8754
1/21/2014 Herman, Mount
1/17/2014 Blue Mountain
1/17/2014 9122
1/13/2014 Bald Mountain
1/13/2014 Lincoln Mountain
1/10/2014 True Mountain

Pennsylvania Mountain

A look back down the road I drove in on.

The end of the road.

The end of the road is reached from Highway 9, 3 miles or so north of Fairplay. Turn left on CR 1, go about 0.6-0.8 miles, bear left, go 0.2 miles bear right (Pearls and CR 1), go 1.4 miles, bear right, go 0.1 miles turn left on the Valley of the Sun Road, go approximately 2.4 miles to a t intersection with Mountain View Road, turn right and go 0.6 miles to the end of the road.

The start.

The ridge.

A cairn ahead.

The "peak".

The bump behind that we just walked over.

An old mine building.

Wood art.

A mining claim corner.

The summit.

A view.

The frozen register with a small flag in the jar.

A picture of Billie Jean and me (which I don't normally do and I hate the term "selfie")

I did not see that the batteries in my GPS had died until after about 0.8 miles. I replaced them. The return track is straighter. The snowshoes in the picture with Billie were overkill for the amount of snow.

Hope to be up to speed soon.

ps I included tracks for 9 other of these hikes besides Pennsylvania Mountain.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15

Comments or Questions

Rotator cuff surgery
04/19/2014 20:42
I'm curious about your experience with that. Looks like I'm headed for that and had some questions. I'll PM.


04/19/2014 22:41
I been nursing a shoulder issue for 2 years and finally went to physical therapy for it and it is much better. But, it would be way to easy to do nothing. It looks like you kept moving in the right direction. Congrats! It looks like you had a rewarding hike.


04/20/2014 19:25
BKS I emailed you

Boston thanks

Chicago Transplant

Welcome Back
04/21/2014 22:41
Great to hear the recovery is going well and to see you back above 13k!


Back in the saddle again!
04/23/2014 04:29
Good to see you're back at it, Al! I know only second-hand that rotator cuff surgeries are not fun, and I'm glad to see you're recovering nicely.


thanks for the welcome back
04/23/2014 13:42
Thanks it was good to be back up high, now I have to whip myself into better shape and get going, I have a lot of catching up to do on peaks.

The rotator as I have come to understand is one of the longer recovery times for this surgery. 6-8 months for full recovery?? I am told.

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