There is nothing quite like standing on top of a 14,000 foot peak, otherwise known as a “Colorado fourteener.” The awe-inspiring views and the feeling of being on top of the world among dozens of Colorado peaks will take your breath away, literally. And you can’t help but feel incredibly grateful.
Top of Castle Peak in the fog
I started hiking fourteeners with my Dad when I was 14 years old, and I remember something about each and every experience. Over the years, I’ve collected many different memories in the Colorado Rockies. I’ve been surrounded by loose, scary boulders the size of school buses on Snowmass Peak, wondering how the heck we were going to get ourselves, and our dog, to the peak. I climbed Castle Peak in the spring with my snowboard strapped to my back and glided back down the mountain on my board.
Among the boulders on Snowmass Peak
When we reached the top of Mount Massive a few years ago, there was so much fog that it was hard to know whether we were on top of a fourteener or at the beach in San Francisco. For a few minutes we were upset that couldn’t see the view you long for when you climb a fourteener—but a few moments later we watched as the fog slowly drifted down the mountainside and away from the peak. I’ve climbed two fourteeners in one day—Mt. Belford and Mt. Oxford (and you can climb a third peak in the same day if you head over to Mt. Missouri). It’s a wonderful feeling when you reach the top —you revel in the silence, the solitude, and the high-altitude bliss.The list of adventures goes on and the stories are always fun to share…
Right now it’s the dead of winter in Colorado, however, and most of us are not out checking-off 14,000 foot peaks (unless you’re Chris Davenport). But reading through the recently published Colorado’s Fourteeners, Third Edition: From Hikes to Climbs (Fulcrum Publishing, 978-1-55591-746-3, $22.95), has gotten me amped-up to start planning my summer and deciding which fourteeners I’ll tackle this year. Whether you’ve never climbed a fourteener or you are a seasoned climbing veteran, Colorado’s Fourteeners is a book every hiker should have in his or her backpack. In the newly revised edition of this best-selling guide, mountaineering legend Gerry Roach includes everything you could possibly need to plot out your hike, with detailed route descriptions, topographic maps, GPS coordinates, trailhead information, and much, much more. And there are dozens of color photographs of the peaks, which helps give some perspective on what you are getting yourself into.
As a way to help our readers get through the long Colorado winter, we are giving away a copy of Colorado’s Fourteeners, Third Edition: From Hikes to Climbs! To enter the contest, send us your best Colorado fourteener story—whether it’s a tidbit about your favorite fourteener, your scariest incident on a fourteener, a funny fourteener story, or any memory you may have. We will pick our favorite story from the bunch and one lucky reader will receive a free copy of Colorado’s Fourteeners. Send us your story by commenting on this post, or email firstname.lastname@example.org by February 24!
Click here for more information on Colorado’s Fourteeners.