World's Top Motorcycle Dealer

World's Top Motorcycle Dealer
Prayer flags above Dingboche. Lhotse and Island Peak in the background.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Finally finished climbing all of Colorado's 14,000' peaks

I climbed Mt Evans in September, 1979 when I used to live in Lakewood, Colorado and then Quandary Peak in 2007. After that I started focusing on climbing all 58 of Colorado's 14ers but being exiled to Lincoln, Nebraska added a degree of difficulty to this idea. I would climb a few each year but there never seemed to be enough time. I realized last year that I could probably complete "The List" this year but then a shoulder surgery in May and another small surgery the end of July almost derailed my plans. 

I decided to gamble a little on the typically nice September weather and booked a flight to Grand Junction with a friend of mine who is new to all this climbing nonsense. We laid out a schedule, were blessed with amazing weather and things went 100% to the plan. We flew out on Monday the 7th, and on Tuesday we summited Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre, Wednesday found us on San Luis, Thursday we made it up Handies and Friday we did the El Diente to Mount Wilson traverse. Prior to this my friend had only climbed Longs Peak so I was quite impressed with his stamina and determination, especially considering he's 60 and lives in Lincoln. 

That left us with Sneffels. We were a little tired after Friday so we slept in on Saturday and whistled up Sneffels that afternoon under a beautiful cloudless sky with no wind. As I approached the top I realized I was not quite emotionally prepared to finish. I seriously contemplated stopping a few feet short of the summit so I wouldn't fully complete the list. Ultimately I decided that was silly and took the final steps. I was left feeling pleased to achieve this goal but also a little sad that this journey is over with. I suppose I will move on to the Centennials (highest 100 peaks in Colorado) and also re-climb many of the 14ers.

This isn't about saving lives; it is just enjoying being outside in the mountains and challenging yourself at times. Colorado has such a wide range of mountains to climb. Some are easy walk ups while a few are pretty challenging (at least for my level of skills) and a bunch are somewhere in between.

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