The Aspen Times reports Aron Ralston is the first climber to complete the Colorado fourteener winter solo project (by a count of 54, 59 or whatever). And he’s just the third climber to reach the top of all the fourteeners in calendar winter (from the winter solstice to the vernal equinox). Ralston 45 of the fourteeners in 1998-99. He had climbed all of the Elk Range fourteeners in the 2002-03 season, before the accident in Utah’s Canyonlands in the spring of 2003. He bagged two peaks last winter and the final 12 since this December, including the privately owned Culebra, wearing a 10-pound suit of plate-mail ice because of a storm. Of the 59 climbs, Ralston retreated, or turned back, only once. That was his first attempt on the relatively easy Mount Evans. Boulder resident Tom Mereness is the first climber to complete the list of winter Colorado fourteener ascents (though not as a solo project). Ralston said Mount of the Holy Cross was the hardest peak of them all. “But only because of how I ended up doing it,” he hedged. “The Halo route – it’s 32 miles for one peak, traversing over 11 summits over 13,200 feet.”
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