My attempt to climb and ski the Fourteeners in less than 362 days has begun. It started on January 4, 2016 from the top of Mt. Elbert. In a tribute to the 14er skiers and snowboarders before me who have all done an incredible job of climbing and descending these peaks on skis, my goal is to finish these peaks and ski from them all, and do it as quickly and as efficiently as I can. I would love to finish them by the end of May in 2016, but only time will tell.
While I’ll be trying to do what few people have done, I also know that there may be times where I wont be able to ski down every inch of every peak due to conditions and the fact that time won’t be on my side. If that happens I will just do the best I can. My goal is to climb every 14er and ski as much as possible and as much that is safe. But also, the goal is to just have fun and enjoy the journey.
It is finished.
The reality of this entire project really hit me yesterday, the season finally came to an end, but what a spectacular season it was!
For the last five months, I’ve been climbing and skiing Colorado’s highest peaks. I want to thank all my sponsors, friends, family, and ski partners for supporting me through this project. If I were to to it again, there are certainly things I could have done differently – different routes, different dates, different outcomes – but in the end I have given it my all. I am grateful to have accomplished, experienced and pushed myself to the depths of what became one of the hardest personal projects yet.
It’s been a battle, and its been a journey that I will remember for the rest of my life.
It’s summer now and before completely signing off on this project, I’d like to clarify to my supporters what I did accomplish. This was a massive project and included climbing 57 peaks and 19 additional attempts and ski days so if you have any additional questions, let me know.
I am disappointed that after all the time and effort that I’m unable to claim a 14er ski record of skiing every peak top to bottom in one single season. After all, that was my one of my stated goals. That being said, I did climb every peak, some peaks on multiple attempts and even multiple summits. I love the Colorado ski mountaineering community as much as all of you. And that means respecting the guidelines set by those that first accomplished these feats [established by skiing the 14ers]. That being said, there are many gray areas (e.g., what is summit ski descent, length of the ski off the summit, etc.) – These guidelines were basically first put into place by Lou Dawson, Chris Davenport, and Ted Mahon who I have met and the latter two and have even skied with. Ted Mahon said it best to me the other day: “If we loosen the standards then suddenly we won’t have only 15 or 20 people that have skied the 14ers, there will be like 100, and the accomplishment will become watered down and not as prestigious”.
What I learned in attempting to ski all the peaks in short time frame, is that I didn’t want conditions to ruin my fun this season. So for those that have concerns about skiing off the true summit, I skied from the highest point I could. And in 54 of the 57 peaks skied that was the summit. However, I cannot take credit for everything, and I want to respect some of my mentors and heroes in the ski-mountaineering world. In the end the site “14erskirecord.com” is no longer about breaking a record, but in fact it was to “re-cord” the events of my project to see if I could climb and ski every peak in the same season. It was about providing additional resources to my fellow ski-mountaineers and to those that will undoubtedly follow this attempt and continue to push the sport.
I did indeed summit every single 14er peak to the very top. Heck – that part was relatively straightforward – after all – I have over 1000 ascents of the Colorado 14ers by this time in my career, and in all conditions and seasons. (I think I am taking a break from the 14ers after this)! There are so many other mountains in the world to go and try out, and I can’t wait.
Let me clarify some examples:
* Other peaks that people will question in this project due to lack of snow or other reasons were Blanca and Little Bear. While I have skied both of these peaks several years back- for this project when they were finally in good condition in May, I was too busy skiing 12 peaks in succession in the San Juans and Elk Ranges so there was simply no time to get over to them again.
If you have been following my project – I appreciate it. I am grateful for all of the support. I gave it my best and still had a ton of fun in the process. I am thankful for all the people that stepped up to ski with me or provide support: Roger Carter, Jared Kedrowski, Chris Tomer, Garrett Eggers, Ted Mahon, Chris Davenport, Eric Sangueza, Brad Burgtorf, Mackenzie Hoffman, Scott Benge, Torrey Udall, Tara Dactyl, Anna Migl, John Fielder, Mike Craig, Ryan Belanger, Ashley Lucas, Grace Kelley, Mark Dud, Jay Ytell, Austin Porzak, Jordan White, Connor Drumm, Mike Lewis, Chris Jones, Cheryl and Bill Jensen, Bob Pietrack, Bob and Barb Kedrowski, Krista Kedrowski, Zack Wilson, and anyone else that I may have forgotten somehow. Also a shout out to the team at Enerplex (Danielle, Justin, Brad and Rafael) for really motivating me and cheering me on.
#1 Monday January 4 — Mt. Elbert 14,440’ SE Ridge HERE WE GO!
Start 10am, Summit 2pm , Half Hour on the Summit, Finish 330pm.
Ski Descent: South/ SE Couloir, down in 1 hour from the summit.
#2 Saturday January 9 — Mt. Yale 14,196’ W Ridge/SW Slopes
Bitter Cold Blower Powder!
Start 630am, Summit 11pm , Half Hour on the Summit, Finish 130pm.
Ski Descent: E Ridge, SE Slopes down in 1:30 from the summit.
#3: Saturday January 16 – Mount Harvard 14,420’ South Couloir Direct
w Udall, Migl, and Tomer. Migl and I summited at 2pm.
Great weather window and we filmed a Tomer’s trails episode
Start 630am, summit 2pm, finish 6pm.
#4: Saturday January 23 – Quandary Peak 14,265’ East Ridge
Quick easy summit with Tomer. Start 6am, summit 9am, finish 11am.
Nice and Windy but we got it done!
#5: Thursday January 28 – Mt Huron 14,003’ Northeast Slopes
My brother Jared Pulled me to Summer trailhead on snowmobile. Then I soloed from 9am-2pm up unconsolidated powder and 1ft of depth hoar with 2 ft of powder. Summit 2pm, then skied down and made it 9 miles past Winfield to car on road back to car by 5pm. Long day!
#6: Wednesday Feb 10 – Uncompaghre Peak 14,309’ West Slopes
Twofer with Wetterhorn….broke trail all day solo. Start 230am, summit 9am 30 mins on summit. Skied West face, made it to the pass at 1030am, then headed to Wetterhorn.
#7 Wednesday Feb 10 – Wetterhorn Peak 14,015’ East Face
Lunch break below the face at 1130am climbed SE ridge to summit by 2pm.
Finish 6pm. LONG DAY since local roads were closed and not even snowmobile tracks!
#8 Friday Feb 12 – Culebra Peak 14,047’ West Ridge/ NW Face
Started 530am from the Headquarters. Broke Trail after the Snowmobile track ended above the meadowed ridge….diagonal line through aspens to 4-Way, then broke trail all the way to the large cairn on the ridge. Summit by Noon, 30 mins on top, skied down and met up with two guys (Rob and his friend) It was Rob’s last 14er. Then I skied back down and was at the headquarters by 245pm. The west face/ NW Face powder was good!
#9 Saturday Feb 13 – La Plata 14,336’ North Bowl
Hwy 82 toward Sayres basin to the SW ridge and to the top, descent NW ridge to north Bowl. Start 630am, Summit 1pm, Finish 430pm. Tomer, Udall, Anna Migl, and Scott Benge came along and really motivated me to finish my 4th peak in 4 days since Wednesday of that week!
#10 Saturday Feb 27 – Humboldt Peak 14,064′ South Couloir
Scouted the Crestones and Kit Carson on this trip. The winds were very strong as I managed to make it to the top of Humboldt around 11am. I skied back to my camp in 50 mph winds in South Colony basin, but it felt great to get my 10th peak of the project finished.
#11 Friday March 4 – Princeton 14,197’.
Skied the East/SE face in reasonable coverage. Fun Solo Day in the Sawatch. Saw some goats.
#12 Tuesday March 8 – Castle Peak 14,265′ – East Face to North Couloir
Best summit and ski of the season so far, up to 18″ of powder in places, with a pure ski descent all the way down. Cold blower powder and calm conditions.
#13, #14, and #15 Friday March 11th: Missouri (14,067′), Oxford (14,153)’, and Belford (14,197′).
North Face Mizzou to West Ridge Oxford to West Face of Belford. THREE PEAKS SKIED for the Day in Light winds.
Peak #16 – Sat March 19 – Little Bear – Hourglass Couloir – Humble Pie
#17 and #18 Monday March 21: – #17 Ellingwood (14,042′) and #18 Blanca (14,345′)
Friday March 25: – #19 Columbia (14,073′)
Sunday March 27: – #20 Sherman (14,036′)
#21 Sunshine, #22 Redcloud, #23 Handies. The Triple Day, Skiing all Three! Sunday April 3
#24 San Luis Peak, April 4. 19 Mile Day Solo Mission in the San Juans.
Such a gorgeous day on my 4th 14er in 2 days!
#25 Bross, #26 Lincoln, #27 Cameron, #28 Democrat, Thursday April 7.
#29 Shavano (14,229′) and #30 Tabeguache (14,155′), Tuesday April 12.
#31 Mt. Lindsey (14,042′) Wednesday April 13.
#32 Pikes Peak (14,115′) April 20-21.
#33 Antero (14,269′) April 21.
#34 Holy Cross (14,005′) April 22.
Twofer on #35 Grays (14,270′) and #36 Torreys (14,267′) April 25, 2016.
#37 Mt. Massive 14,420′ Sunday May 1, 2016.
My 6th official ski of this peak in my career.
#38 Evans (14,264′) and #39 Bierstadt (14,060′) Twofer on Tuesday May 3, 2016.
#40 Crestone Needle (14,197′), CINCO DE MAYO SKI, May 5, 2016.
Great view over to Crestone Peak and Kit Carson, all in amazing snow and ski conditions.
#41 Crestone Peak (14,294′), May 6, 2016.
#42 Kit Carson Mountain – 14,165′, Tuesday May 10, 2016.
#43 North Maroon, 14,014′ Thursday May 19, 2016.
#44 South Maroon (14,156′) Sunday May 22, 2016.
#45 Eolus (14,083′) Tuesday May 24, 2016.
#46 N. Eolus (14,039′) Tuesday May 24, 2016.
#47 Sunlight (14,053′) Tuesday May 24, 2016.
#48 Windom (14,082′) Tuesday May 24, 2016.
#49 Wilson Peak 14,017′ – Saturday May 28, 2016
#50 El Diente (The Tooth) 14,159′ Sat May 28, 2016.
#51 Mount Wilson 14,246′ Saturday May 28, 2016.
the third peak of the day as the weather held just long enough to get the third peak skied and get down safely.
#52- Mount Sneffels (14,150′) Tuesday May 31, 2016.
#53- Pyramid Peak (14,018′) Wednesday June 1, 2016. (Sat May 21, Sat May 14).
#54 Longs Peak 14,256′ Friday June 3, 2016.
#55 Snowmass 14,092′ Sunday June 5, 2016.
#56 Capitol Peak 14,130′ – June 4, 2015, June 12, 2016.
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