While most of us are content bagging just one of Colorado’s 54 (or 58, depending on your criteria) fourteeners, a select few have taken their quests on the state’s tallest peaks to unheard-of heights. From achievements that displayed serious willpower to others that required more niche skills, these are the wildest records ever set on the Centennial State’s 14,000-foot-plus peaks.
At least three dogs have topped every fourteener, and while humans can grip rock as they scoot across the most imposing traverses—like Capitol Peak’s ridgeline—on their tails, dogs must make the walk without the aid of opposable thumbs. But Ellie Briggs says her pup, Loki—the most recent canine to do it—would have turned around if he wasn’t game for such climbs. (Loki was unavailable for comment.)
To summit all 58 peaks in nine days, 21 hours, and 51 minutes, Colorado native Andrew Hamilton essentially hiked a marathon every day. He was able to keep such a quick pace because a cadre of family members shuttled him between trailheads while he caught brief moments of shut-eye.
A Mad Dash
In 2018, Josh Sanders climbed 10 separate fourteeners in one day. During the sprint, the Michigan native gained almost 20,000 total feet of elevation and traveled some 45 miles, reaching the top of the final, record-breaking peak, Mt. Belford, with just 27 minutes to spare.
Three people have nudged peanuts up Pikes Peak using prongs (up to two feet long) strapped to their foreheads. Texan Baxter Williams first completed the task in 1929 to win a bet. In 1976, University of Colorado Boulder student Tom Miller set the record of four days, 23 hours, and 47 minutes.
In Colorado, if it has snow on it, someone will ski it. Enter Salida’s Josh Jespersen, who climbed and splitboarded every fourteener in 138 days in 2017. The former Navy SEAL’s goal, in part, was to raise awareness for Mission Memorial Day, his local nonprofit dedicated to helping veterans stay active.
Sleeping in the Sky
Local author Jon Kedrowski spent a night atop every fourteener in 2011, enlisting Fox31 meteorologist Chris Tomer for real-time weather updates. Even so, Kedrowski still suffered through multiple blizzards and watched his tent get struck by lightning on Mt. Harvard.