Thru-hiking the Colorado 14ers
I’ve been thinking that someone should thru-hike all of the Colorado 14ers. I’m glad to see that Junaid is planning on doing it. Follow along for his 2013 attempt at 14ersthruhike.com
It’s a logical and ambitious goal. In an adventure world filled with contrived objectives and self-promotion, linking these peaks is a great close-to-home expedition. I especially like three things:. 1) Lots of people bag the 14ers, even in a single season, but no one has walked between them all. 2) Walking between them is much harder (for various reasons) than driving between them. 3) It merges distance power-hiking techniques with an adventure sport that isn’t thru-hiking.
This link-up has been on my mind since my Colorado Trail hike in 2008. As a thru-hiker, it seems like a no-brainer. I had no inclination to do the hike myself though. I’m not much for death-marching. The difficulty of this hike/scramble/climb definitely put it in that category for me. It also requires accepting a level of risk that I’m not willing to tolerate.
Instead, I’ve been telling strong hikers that they should attempt it. It’s one of worthiest hiking 1sts that I’ve thought of. I believe that I even suggested to Skurka that he do it when I saw him at Backpacker in 2011.
Junaid’s proposed route is well worth viewing in Google Earth. It will surely be revised further. His research and field observations are going to include some of the United State’s best hiking routes. Some of them will be little known. Section hikes of his path will be amazing.
I’m very interested in how he will deal with private land issues. Finding a legal way to thru-hike the 14ers is difficult verging on impossible. I’ve also wondered about what style people will use on these attempts. What would unsupported mean? Walk to Post Offices to pick up and drop off climbing equipment? How possible would that be? How about partners on the few technical sections? Free solo?
If you’re interested in Colorado’s 14ers, don’t miss 14ers.com
This is cool. I came up with an idea while hiking the PCT last year to bike tour between the trailheads of the Cascade Volcanoes, the glaciated composites anyway, and climb them. The idea is to work north from Lassen to Mt. Baker with a bike loaded with mountaineering gear, stash the bike and climb the peak. Then cruise downhill to town for resupply. I have not researched the feasibility of it but that’s the idea, it’s fun to think about.