Here’s a rundown on plans to open the Fourteeners back up:
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.”
Trails.com has issued its list of most popular (and presumably most downloaded) trails. The downloaded trails are heavily weighted to the Northeast and the New York City metro area in particular with Breakneck Ridge Trail being #1. You might recall my last reporting about being escorted at gunpoint in January 2003 after missing the trailhead and wandering too close to New York City’s water supply tunnel which crosses the Hudson from the Catskills. So, it probably is a good idea to have a map even if the Metro North train actually drops you off at the trailhead (the only trail in the NYC metro area with such specific connections).
Various newspapers including Arizona Central report that 28-year-old Harnish Gowans of Colorado Springs is seeking to be the first person to climb all 54 Colorado Fourteeners in the same calendar winter. His blog is on the Wild Snow website .
He calls is endeavor: The ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã
â54:14:1 projectÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬ÃÂ or ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã
âFourteeneramma GranÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢âÂ¢ Slamma Winta Jamma,ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬ÃÂ
Gowans scheduled his climbs so he will hit the drier eastern mountains before too much snow piles up, then swing over to the southwestern peaks once a settling snowpack has lowered the risk of slides. To do this he quit his job as a bartender and moved out of his house. On his first peak — Longs Peak — he lost two toenails to frostbite. He says his months climbed a 14er when she was 7 months pregnant with him.
Seacoastonline has an article by Lisa Marie Pane (of the AP) on the climbing the Northeast 4000 peaks (the 4k’s) and specifically on her bagging the New Hampshire 48.