Mooney Seven Charlie Foxtrot

Today is a big day: we are crossing the Continental Divide! Neither of us has ever flown ourselves above 10,000 ft, or used oxygen. We’re crossing Marshall Pass (10,845 ft) and planning to cruise at 14,500 ft, using a portable oxygen system per the regulations (and common sense! Special thanks to Mark Sanford for lending us his system). We take off from Boulder around 8:30 am, before the mountain winds kick up and solar heating causes turbulence. First we head due south, leaving Pikes Peak (14,110 ft) to our left and Thirtynine Mountain (11,548 ft) to our right. The scenery on the snow-capped mountains is breathtaking. While the Mooney struggles to climb, we turn plug into the oxygen system at 10,000 feet, and instantly feel more awake!

After Waugh Mountain (11,710 ft), we turn West towards Salida, Colorado. The Mooney has made it to 14,500 ft, but only barely — even with the throttle…

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