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BY Chris Fisher
On January 6th, 2023, I embarked on a journey to become the second person to complete all of Colorado’s 14ers during a single calendar winter season. Starting with Pikes Peak, I climbed day in and day out.
Finally, on March 18th, 2023, I stood on top of Pyramid Peak with Andrew Hamilton, the only other single winter finisher, to complete the project. This has been the most significant accomplishment of my life so far, and the experiences, skills, and friendships I gained along the way will never be forgotten. Although I broke the record and set a new FKT of 72 days, 12 hours, and 10 minutes, this endeavor was more about the journey than the outcome.
As one can imagine, this was no easy task. Colorado has a notoriously dangerous snowpack, making it challenging to navigate and mitigate avalanche terrain, especially in a bigger than average snow season. I spent a considerable amount of time chasing weather windows and decently safe avalanche forecasts to stay as safe as possible.
Along with the spooky snowpack, I had to learn and sharpen my technical alpine climbing skills. There are several technical summits on the 14er list, and doing them in winter conditions is more challenging than in the summer. I had the joy of using a full bag of alpine skills on many of these climbs, as well as just skinning in and skiing off some of the less technical ones.
There were no shortages of long days out there. I pushed through two 21-hour days, with most days consisting of 12-18 hours of non-stop movement. Because of winter conditions, the approaches to many of these peaks are much longer than they are in the summer. The longest day out there was the Chicago Basin 4-pack, a 41-mile, 12k day out in the Weminuche Wilderness, where I was alone for the most part. After 21 hours and some change, I crawled out of the Purgatory Flats with four more summits under my belt and four of the more difficult ones at that.
There are 12 peaks that are considered the Dirty Dozen. These 12 are the most difficult as they fall under all three categories in winter: severe avalanche danger, technical climbing, and a major slog for the approaches and exits. These peaks are Windom, Sunlight, N. Eolus, Eolus, Wilson, Mt. Wilson, El Diente, Capitol, Snowmass, N Maroon, Maroon, and Pyramid.
Each climb taught me different lessons that I carried on to the next. Capitol was the first technical climb of the project, and I learned a lot about high alpine rope management and skills while climbing with my friend, Matt Randall. We summited together in a whiteout and rappelled off the cruxes while making our way to our skis for the exit. This was the first of many climbs that involved 5th class climbing and rappelling cruxes.
The next big one was the Great Traverse from Mt. Wilson to El Diente. I did this solo, and after five hours, I finally made it across the ridge in one piece before skiing off of the North face on El Diente. After that was the Bells traverse. I had the pleasure of doing this with Andrew Hamilton, and we actually out-and-backed the traverse, using our rope skills and embracing the 40-50 mph winds along the ridge. Eventually, we made it out of there after 21 hours of suffering together.
The Winter 14er project was an incredible journey that culminated in the final climb of Pyramid Peak, which I summited with Andrew. The ascent was intense, with a spooky snowpack that required a lot of effort and time to mitigate the risks and traverse the slopes safely. But the reward of standing on the summit made it all worth it.
This blog provides a brief recap of the project’s highlights, and I will be sharing more detailed write-ups about each climb on my Instagram page.
In addition to my alpine achievements, I’m mainly a trail and mountain runner who has accomplished some significant feats in that arena. In October 2021, I climbed 400,000ft of vert for a World Record, which put my name on the map and opened doors for me. Since then, I’ve been focusing on pursuing big routes in the FKT (Fastest Known Time) scene. For instance, I became the first person to out-and-back the WURL (Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Linkup) in a 66-hour push, and I set a new record on the Mosquito-Tenmile traverse in Colorado.
The Mosquito-Tenmile is a unique ridgeline that is the highest and longest continuous one in the US, except for Alaska. The first 31 miles never dip below 13,000ft, and this traverse taught me a lot about my endurance capabilities at high altitude for such a sustained period. Along with these significant accomplishments, I hold ten other FKTs on routes ranging from one to twenty-four hours.
Looking ahead, I have ambitious goals for 2023 and am thrilled to kick off the year with the Winter 14er project. Additionally, I’m excited to represent the Scarpa Trail running team, and I look forward to accomplishing more of my goals while promoting such an incredible brand.
Last updated 12 October 2018. Effective immediately.
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Please note that certain state laws do not allow limitations on implied warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain damages. If you are a resident of such a state and these laws apply to you, some or all of the above disclaimers, exclusions, or limitations may not apply to you, and you may have additional rights.
16. Reserved Rights. SCARPA reserves the right to do any of the following, for any reason, at any time, without notice: (1) to modify, suspend or terminate operation of or access to the Websites, or any portion of the Websites; (2) to modify or change the Websites, or any portion of the Websites, and any applicable policies or terms; (3) to interrupt the operation of the Websites, or any portion of the Websites, as necessary to perform routine or non-routine maintenance, error correction, or other changes; and (4) discontinue or restrict your use of the Websites.
17. WARNING: SKIING, CLIMBING, MOUNTAINEERING, TRAIL RUNNING, HIKING, WALKING, AND RELATED ACTIVITIES, ARE POTENTIALLY LIFE THREATENING, HAZARDOUS, AND DANGEROUS. By purchasing or using any SCARPA equipment in any manner, you agree that you are: (1) personally and solely responsible for: (a) learning and knowing the limits and capabilities of the equipment and yourself, (b) the proper use of and techniques for such equipment, (c) making responsible, sound decisions in changing situations, and (2) assuming all risks and accepting full and complete responsibility for any and all damages and injury of any kind to yourself or others, including death, paralysis, and serious injury, which may result from or is related to your use of any equipment manufactured by or purchased through SCARPA, its partners, Websites, or retailers. In addition, YOU AGREE TO ASSUME ALL RISKS AND ACCEPT FULL AND COMPLETE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY AND ALL DAMAGES AND INJURY OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING DEATH, PARALYSIS, AND SERIOUS INJURY, WHICH MAY RESULT FROM OR IS RELATED TO YOUR USE OF OR RELIANCE UPON ANY MATERIALS OR INFORMATION PRODUCED BY SCARPA, ITS PARTNERS, AND/OR THAT IS CONTAINED IN ANY SCARPA WEBSITES, CATALOGS, PUBLICATIONS, OR OTHER SCARPA MATERIALS. Resources like the SCARPA Websites and publications can provide useful information and tips, but they are no substitute for good decision making, safe and appropriate use of equipment, or professional instruction for the numerous hazardous situations in which you may choose to use SCARPA products.
18. Disclosure of Your Information. You agree and SCARPA reserves the right at all times and without further notice to disclose any information that SCARPA deems necessary to comply with any applicable law, regulation, administrative or legal process or governmental request. SCARPA also may disclose your information when SCARPA determines that applicable law requires or permits such disclosure, including exchanging information with other companies and organizations for fraud protection purposes. You agree that SCARPA may disclose any information we have about you (including your identity) if SCARPA determines that such disclosure is necessary in connection with any investigation or complaint regarding your use of the Websites, or to identify, contact or bring legal action against someone who may be causing injury to or interference with, either intentionally or unintentionally, the Websites, SCARPA’s rights or property, or the rights or property of the Websites’ users, including SCARPA’s customers. You acknowledge and agree that SCARPA may preserve any transmittal or communication by you, including emails, through the Websites or any service offered on or through the Websites, and may also disclose such data if required to do so by law or SCARPA determines that such preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to (1) comply with legal process, (2) enforce these Terms, (3) respond to claims that any such data violates the rights of others, and/or (4) protect the rights, property or personal safety of SCARPA, its employees, users of or visitors to the Websites, and the public.
19. Indemnity. YOU AGREE TO DEFEND, INDEMNIFY AND HOLD SCARPA, ITS SUCCESSORS, AND ASSIGNS, AND ITS AND THEIR DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, CO-BRANDERS OR OTHER PARTNERS, HARMLESS FROM ANY DEMANDS, DAMAGES, LOSS, LIABILITY, CLAIMS OR EXPENSES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND JUDGMENTS OF ANY KIND OR NATURE), MADE AGAINST OR INCURRED BY SCARPA BY YOU, ANY PERSON OR ENTITY ACTING ON YOUR BEHALF, AND/OR ANY THIRD PARTY RELATED TO, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR IMPROPER USE OF THE WEBSITES, YOUR BREACH OF ANY OF THESE TERMS, AND/OR ANY OTHER VIOLATION BY YOU THAT CREATES LIABILITY FOR SCARPA. This provision may be unenforceable or inapplicable within the State of New Jersey.
20. Applicable Law; Dispute Resolution; Arbitration; Class Action Waiver; Miscellaneous Provisions. By visiting or using any SCARPA Websites, you agree that:
(1) All matters relating to these Terms, and/or your access to or use of the Websites, including all disputes, will be governed by the laws of the United States and by the laws of the State of Colorado without regard to its conflicts of laws provisions.
(2) In the event of any controversy or dispute between SCARPA and you arising out of or in connection with these Terms and/or your use of the Websites, SCARPA and you shall attempt, promptly and in good faith, to resolve any such dispute. If we are unable to resolve any such dispute within thirty (30) days, then either party may request that such controversy or dispute be mediated. The mediation may be conducted in person, through the submission of documents, by phone or online. If conducted in person, the mediation shall take place in Boulder, Colorado. If the dispute is not resolved through mediation within a reasonable time (not to exceed sixty (60) days from the mediation request), then the parties shall be free to pursue any right or remedy available to them under applicable law through binding arbitration as described below.
(3) BINDING ARBITRATION: In the event of any dispute arising under or relating to these Terms your access to or use of the Websites (including products or services sold or distributed by SCARPA through SCARPA Websites), such dispute will be finally and exclusively resolved by binding arbitration. NEITHER YOU NOR WE SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO LITIGATE ANY CLAIM IN COURT OR TO HAVE THE CLAIM DECIDED BY A JUDGE OR JURY. DISCOVERY RIGHTS, SUCH AS EACH PARTY'S RIGHT TO THE EXCHANGE OF PREHEARING INFORMATION OR PREHEARING TAKING OF SWORN TESTIMONY, MAY ALSO BE LIMITED IN ARBITRATION. All disputes will be resolved before a neutral arbitrator, whose decision will be final except for a limited right of appeal under the Federal Arbitration Act. The arbitration shall be commenced and conducted under the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and, where appropriate, the AAA’s Consumer Arbitration Rules, both of which are available at the AAA website www.adr.org. The arbitration may be conducted in person, through the submission of documents, by phone or online. If conducted in person, the arbitration shall take place in Boulder, Colorado. The parties may litigate in court to compel arbitration, to stay proceeding pending arbitration, or to confirm, modify, vacate or enter judgment on the award entered by the arbitrator. The Federal Arbitration Act and federal arbitration law apply to these Terms.
(4) CLASS ACTION WAIVER: Any arbitration or proceeding shall be limited to the dispute between us and you individually. To the full extent permitted by law, (a) no arbitration or proceeding shall be joined with any other; (b) there shall be no right or authority for any dispute to be arbitrated or resolved on a class action-basis or to utilize class action procedures; and (c) there shall be no right or authority for any dispute to be brought in a purported representative capacity on behalf of the general public or any other persons. YOU AGREE THAT YOU MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST US ONLY IN YOUR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PURPORTED CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING.
(5) You hereby irrevocably waive, to the fullest extent permitted by law, (a) any objection that you may now or hereafter have to such jurisdiction and venue and (b) any claim that any such arbitration proceeding has been brought in an inconvenient forum. Note that the preceding provision regarding venue may not apply if you are a consumer based in the European Union, however, in all cases, the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods shall not apply in any dispute arising out of or related to these Terms;
(6) Any and all claims arising out of or related to these Terms must be brought by you within one (1) year after the cause of action arises, or such claim or cause of action is forever and irrevocably barred. Claims made under the separate terms and conditions of purchase for goods and services are not subject to this limitation.
(7) No recovery may be sought or received by you against SCARPA for damages other than your out-of-pocket expenses, excluding attorney fees.
(8) A printed version of these Terms and of any notice given in electronic form shall be admissible in any mediation or arbitration proceeding based upon or relating to these Terms to the same extent and subject to the same conditions as other business documents and records originally generated and maintained in printed form. All headings in these Terms are for convenience or reference only and shall be ignored in construing these Terms.
(9) SCARPA’s failure to enforce all or any part of these Terms or respond to a breach thereof by you or any other party shall not in any way be construed as a waiver or a relinquishment of any right granted SCARPA hereunder of the future performance of all or any part of these Terms, and your obligations set forth in these Terms shall continue in full force and effect.
(10) If any provision in these Terms is held invalid or unenforceable under applicable law, the invalid or unenforceable provision will be modified to the minimum extent necessary and deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that most closely matches the intent of the original provision and the remaining provisions of these Terms will continue in full force and effect.
(11) These Terms contain the entire and final agreement regarding SCARPA Websites and their Content, and supersede any prior or contemporaneous communications between you and SCARPA regarding the Websites.
(12) Any offer for any feature, product or service made on the Websites is void where prohibited. If you choose to access the Websites from outside the U.S., you are solely responsible for complying with applicable U.S. and local laws. Although the Websites may be accessible worldwide, not all products or features provided or offered through the Websites are available in all geographic locations, or available (legally or otherwise) for use outside of the U.S. SCARPA reserves the right to limit, in its sole discretion, the provision and quantity of any product or feature shown on the Websites to any person or geographic area.
(13) All rights not explicitly granted in these Terms are hereby reserved by SCARPA.
(14) By continuing to use the SCARPA Websites, you hereby agree and intend to be bound by these Terms.
SCARPA North America, Inc. (“SCARPA”) appreciates the difficulties that individuals with disabilities face and has supported disabled athletes and groups for many years. SCARPA strives to comply with all applicable laws and guidelines so that our website is accessible to individuals with disabilities, including W3C’s WCAG 2.1 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) accessibility standards up to Level AA.
SCARPA has taken and continues to take a variety of steps to ensure the accessibility of our website. The site is built to comply with WCAG 2.1 accessibility guidelines, including media content tagged with titles, alternative text, and descriptive information, and font sizing is supported and may be controlled through the browser.
If you experience any difficulty using or accessing any part of this website, please call us at 303.998.2895 or email us at [email protected]m and we will work with you to ensure that you have full access to the information in which you are interested and which is available to the public on our site, and can purchase our products, if desired.
Please contact us at 303.998.2895 or [email protected] if you have any feedback to share about the accessibility of this website.