#1, Mount Sneffels, 14,150'. My first 14er on July 12, 1996. I went up with my Dad's friends Bob Brewer and Larry Witt. I hadn't a clue what I was getting myself into. I had this vision in my mind, likely formed by watching too many movies involving mountaineers, of ropes, pitons and scary cliffs. It wasn't really like that which was good.
#2, Challenger Point, 14,081'. August 10, 1996. Backpacked in with way-too-heavy packs to Willow Lake with Brian Schwertfeger and Larry Dears.
#3, Kit Carson Peak, 14,165', August 10, 1996. Hiked the same day as Challenger Point.
#4, Mount Lincoln, 14,286', June 6, 1997. Backpacked in to a high camp from Quartzville with Brian Schwertfeger and nabbed my first 14er snowboard descent.
#5, Mount Democrat, 14,148', June 6, 1997. Combined with Lincoln but left snowboard on Cameron Point. As we headed back over Cameron and towards Bross a huge crack of thunder and lightning hit and we immediately jumped on our snowboards and high tailed it down to the tent. The snowboards made for an awesome lightning escape.
#6, Blanca Peak, 14,345', July 5, 1997. Julian Dendy and I backpacked in from way low in San Luis Valley the day prior. We hiked up to a high vantage the night of July 4th and watched the fireworks down in Alamosa.
#7, Ellingwood Point, 14,042', July 5, 1997. Combined this summit with Blanca the same day. I think we camped one more night down by Lake Como and then hiked out the next day. It sucked looking down at the car for what seemed like 10 miles in the hot heat of the valley. I vowed to drive up that road as far as I could on future trips.
#8, Torreys Peak, 14,267', August 21, 1997. I believe I had just moved to Littleton, CO to work at TCI Cable where I had Mondays and Tuesdays off. Thus, the next few 14ers were solo trips.
#9, Grays Peak, 14,270', August 21, 1997. Combined with Torreys that same day. Digging the cotton sweatshirt and t-shirt.
#10, Mount Bierstadt, 14,060', August 28, 1997. Solo hike from Guanella Pass.
#11, Mount Belford, 14,197', September 8, 1997. A guy on a cell phone was making a work-related phone call and it annoyed me. I went over to Oxford but have lost that photo I guess. On the way back I was headed to Missouri but the weather looked iffy. However, as I descended, the weather got better so I headed up Missouri Mountain...
#12, Missouri Mountain, 14,067', September 8, 1997. I was on the summit around 4pm. A gorgeous day.
#13, Mount Evans, 14,264', October 6, 1997. Funny story about the red streak...I had my Pentax K1000 35mm camera in my backpack. I had ascended Evans via the west ridge via Mt. Spalding. On the summit of Evans I got the bright idea to descend straight down a couloir on the north face "because it looked shorter". I was solo and I got to a spot that looked very difficult to downclimb with my pack on so dropped my pack down. It bounced and kept on going for another 400'. The camera body got dinged up good and thus the film roll got a bit exposed. This day was a long day because from Evans I drove to Fort Collins to see the band "Me First and the Gimme Gimmes" live with some friends and then drove home to Littleton. It was 3am by the time I got home and I was exhausted.
#14, Sunlight Peak, 14,059', July 4, 1998. After taking the Durango-Silverton train to Needleton, Erica Manteuffel and I backpacked into Chicago Basin the day prior. Committing to getting onto the summit block was a bit scary for me at that time.
#15, Windom Peak, 14,082', July 4, 1998. We combined this peak with Sunlight. On the way down we saw a party using binoculars to watch their friends climb Sunlight Spire. I was in awe and inspired by that.
#16, South Mount Eolus, 14,083', July 5, 1998. We didn't climb North Mount Eolus that day because I wasn't much of a list ticker at that time. On the summit I realized that if Erica and I hauled ass down to camp, packed up and hauled ass down to Needleton, we could catch the last train to Durango that night and eat a big dinner. We moved fast and ran much of the trail down with our heavy packs and got to the train right as it pulled up. Whew.
#17, Mount Elbert, 14,433', September 6, 1998. The highest point in Colorado. I have no real recollection of this trip other than that I know I wasn't solo and we came in from the Halfmoon area TH. By this time I was living back in Los Alamos.
#17, Crestone Needle, 14,197', September 26, 1998. Frank Reeves, John Tegtmeier, Paul Ortega and I backpacked into South Colony Lakes to hike the standard route up the Needle, rappel off the summit to do the traverse to Crestone Peak. We descended the NW couloir on Crestone Peak. That's an ugly couloir and I wasn't impressed.
#18, Crestone Peak, 14,294', September 26, 1998. We did the traverse from Crestone Needle and then descended the NW couloir.
#19, Humboldt Peak, 14,064', September 27, 1998. Frank, John and I hiked Humboldt from our high camp at South Colony Lakes before hiking out that day. I seem to recall Paul didn't feel up for another peak after the previous day's traverse. I have no idea why I look like I'm grimacing.
#20, Redcloud Peak, 14,034', October 10, 1998. Erica Manteuffel and I backpacked up to a high camp, setup camp and went to the summits of Redcloud and Sunshine that night. I glissaded down a slope sitting on my rain jacket and ripped a hole in it when I hit a small rock (the snowpack wasn't THAT deep.) That night was a cold night.
#21, Sunshine Peak, 14,001', October 10, 1998. Colorado's lowest 14er.
#22, Handies Peak, 14,048', October 11, 1998. After a cold night at our high camp below Redcloud, we packed up, hiked down to the car, drove up towards American Basin and hiked Handies.
#23, Mount Sherman, 14,036', July 10, 1999. My brother Dylan was on this trip for his first 14er. He, Erica Manteuffel and I met my friend Erich from Denver for this hike. I had met Erich at TCI Cable while I worked there. We went on to Boulder to see the Warped Tour the day after this hike.
#24, Mount Lindsey, 14,042', August 8, 1999. Erica Manteuffel, John Tegtmeier, his wife (Kay) and I hiked the standard route on Lindsey.
#25, Mount Columbia, 14,073', September 4, 1999. Erica Manteuffel and I hiked this together along with Harvard the same day.
#26, Mount Harvard, 14,420', September 4, 1999. A long day for Erica and I after climbing Mount Columbia in the morning.
#27, Mount Yale, 14,196', September 5, 1999. Erica Manteuffel and I hiked Yale via the NW ridge. Focus fail.
#28, Mount Shavano, 14,229', October 9, 1999. Judging by the conditions, the ice ax was purely for looks. Actually, I think we (Erica and I) had a decent glissade down some snow in the Angel of Shavano.
#29, Tabeguache Peak, 14,155', October 9, 1999. We went up and over Shavano and then back over Shavano on the return.
#30, Uncompahgre Peak, 14,309', June 24, 2000. This was the first 14er Allison and I climbed together. Three of her friends from Albuquerque had driven up to meet us in Lake City the night before. I had my white Nissan truck at that time and while we waited until around midnight for her friends to arrive, we just laid in our sleeping bags in the back of the truck in front of the restaurant Poker Alice's. A police officer came up and, assuming we were camping there, asked us to leave. We explained the situation and he was cool about it.
#31, Wetterhorn Peak, 14,015', June 6, 2000. Allison and her friends and I had climbed Uncompahgre the previous day.
#32, Conundrum Peak, 14,060', July 1, 2000. I had run into Mark VanEeckhout at work a week prior after not having talked to him in quite some time. He invited me to go to the Elks over the fourth of July with him and his friend Aron Ralston. I had been looking to gain more experience with some more seasononed mountaineers and this was my chance. We got to Conundrum and I donned crampons for the first time ever and we climbed the Conundrum Couloir. I was super stoked about it. I'm wearing a cotton t-shirt so I'm sure Mark and Aron were thinking, "what's up with this noob?"
#33, Castle Peak, 14,265', July 1, 2000. After climbing Conundrum we cruised along the ridge over to Castle Peak. On the descent we got back down to the 4wd road and I remember a guy walking up the road carrying two tiny terrier dogs, one in each hand. The dogs had these little harnesses with suitcase-like-handles on them so we could easily hoist them. Aron had brought some home brew and for the first time I really gained an appreciation for a cold beer after a big day. I hardly drank any alcholic beverages prior to this.
#34, Pyramid Peak, 14,018', July 2, 2000. Sketchy rock with my sketchy rock skills made for a memorable climb of Pyramid's standard route with Mark and Aron.
#35, North Maroon Peak, 14,014', July 3, 2000.We were staying with two friends of Aron's in Aspen. One was named Brian. Aron had met them while being a Phish-head, following the band Phish all over the world. Brian worked at the Aspen Times newspaper. This is a terrible photo.
#36, (South) Maroon Peak, 14,156', July 3, 2000. Mark, Aron and I had a great time along the traverse with at least one rappel. I recall Aron downclimbing one steep section that Mark and I rappelled. I was pretty blown away at that. From here we descended a snow couloir south of the summit that felt very steep with snow that was very runneled and sun cupped. We descended a lot of it facing in because it was steep.
#37, Little Bear Peak, 14037', August 5, 2000. Aron and I hit it off well on our Elks trip a month prior and teamed up with his friend Steve DeRoma to climb Little Bear's NW face route and then take the traverse over to Blanca Peak. I think that summit of Blanca was my first 14er summit repeat. Aron, Steve and I had taken Aron's rented Chevy SUV up to about 10,200' on the Lake Como road. Much better than the first time I had been up there.
#38, Mount Bross, 14,172', September 29, 2000. Because Brian and I had been weathered off by lightning three years earlier, I returned solo for Mount Bross. This was the first trip I had my first digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix of some sort, on. Obviously, I wasn't adept at using it yet.
#39, Mount Quandary, 14,265', September 29, 2000. After hiking Mount Bross from Kite Lake in the morning, I cruised over to Quandary's east ridge.
#40, Mount Antero, 14,269', September 30, 2000. A solo jaunt up Antero after Bross and Quandry the previous day. I think my Nikon Coolpix had a wide angle adapter thus the barrel distortion.
#41, Mount Princeton, 14,197', March 17, 2001. Frank Reeves, Erica Manteuffel and I hiked Princeton from way down the valley. This was probably my first winter 14er. It was a long day with some postholing and new snow.
#42, San Luis Peak, 14,014', June 23, 2001. Jenifer Hoffman and I backpacked a short way up Stewart Creek to a high camp the previous day.
#43, Mount Massive, 14,421', July 21, 2001. I don't recall who I was with on this trip.
#44, La Plata Peak, 14,336', July 22, 2001. I don't recall who I was with on this trip. Maybe solo?
#45, Longs Peak, 14,255', August 25, 2001. Frank Reeves and I had driven up to Estes Park to stay with some of his family (maybe just friends?). We climbed the north face "cables route". I led the first pitch which was my first alpine rock climb lead. I was pretty damn stoked.
#46, Mount Wilson, 14,246', August 31, 2001. Mark VanEeckhout, Aron Ralston and I met up with their friends Steve Patchett and Bob Graham for the weekend. Mark, Aron and I climbed Mount Wilson but for some reason (I don't remember why) we didn't climb El Diente or Wilson Peak this day. It was probably due to weather. From here we met Steve and Bob and backpacked up to Dallas Peak to climb it the two days later.
#47, Wilson Peak, 14,017', September 3, 2001. After successfully climbing Dallas Peak the day prior, Aron, Mark and I cruised up Wilson Peak and El Diente this day before driving home.
#48, El Diente Peak, 14,159', Mark, Aron and I had cilmbed Wilson Peak earlier this day. We climbed the a nice snow couloir up and down El Diente this day.
#49, Pikes Peak, 14,110', September 15, 2001. Allison and I hiked Pikes from the Crags Campground. We were still not dating yet and this was getting on my nerves.
#50, Huron Peak, 14,003', September 21, 2001. I think this was a solo trip.
#51, Mount of the Holy Cross, 14,005', September 28, 2001. I know I had company on this one but don't recall who, sadly. It was from Holy Cross City over the Holy Cross Ridge summit.
#52, Capitol Peak, 14,130', October 20, 2001. Aron and I had driven up in the afternoon and backpacked into a high camp near Capitol Lake by headlamp that night. Aron told stories of this artist he'd recently seen live, Tenacious D. We laughed a ton on the hike in that night.
#53, Snowmass Mountain, 14,092', October 21, 2001. After climbing Capitol the previous day we had broke camp by Capitol Lake, hiked out and driven around to the Lead King area for a car camp that night. We hiked Snowmass that day and then drove home in a small storm. I got home around 1am Monday morning and Aron still had to drive to ABQ that night. It was a rough work day for us both that next day.
#54, Culebra Peak, 14,047', November 17, 2001. In a blatant disregard for private property, Aron Ralston, Dan Hadlich and I had driven up to the east side of Culebra after work. At 9:30pm, we parked along the dirt road and hopped over the gate of a ranch and headed up. In an all-night push through a storm we climbed over high 13er Red Mountain to reach the summit of Culebra around 5:30am. We had hoped to climb the peak during the darkness of the night but it took MUCH longer than we had expected. We descended in the light of a new day and just walked out through the ranch running when we saw or heard people and got back to the truck around noon. We were lucky to not have gotten caught trespassing but what a memorable way to complete the 14ers!