The Journey Above 14K: The Colorado 14ers

Mountains: All of the tall ones
Distance: A lot
Date: June 11, 2011 thru August 4, 2013
Route: Dillygoat Traverse

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dillon. I grew up in New Jersey and moved to Colorado at the end of 2010. I like chicken, diet soda, beer, and greek yogurt. I’m an accountant, but still think taxes are evil. I didn’t find my mountain wife on top of one of these 14er’s, but am still holding out hope. AND I really hate my snowshoes. That’s probably all of the pertinent information you need on me.

I figured the best way to give you my perspective into this 14er journey would be to take you all along for the ride. Enjoy!

#1) Summit of Mount Bierstadt – June 11, 2011 w/ Leonard Madrid, Dana Edmonds and the Rocky Mountain Madness meet-up group. | This was the maiden voyage. I still think it was hard!
#2) Summit of Quandary Peak – July 4, 2011 w/ Ian Donahue. | I asked the other 475 people on the summit to please move over so I could take this picture.
#3) Summit of Huron Peak – August 13, 2011. | A sunrise from the top of a 14er should be on everyone’s bucket list. Unreal.
#4)Summit of Mount Yale – August 26, 2011 w/ Blair Anger. | Blair gave me a ring from back east and said he wanted to climb Longs. I said, “Where is that?” He bought a plane ticket. It was on. That is until NOAA wouldn’t cooperate. This was plan B.
#5) Summit of Longs Peak – September 24, 2011 w/ Emily Norris and Dana Edmonds. | I found Longs! Drank my 1st Dales Pale Ale back at the car. Thanks Brent Fischer.
#6) Summit of Mount Democrat – October 15, 2011 – solo mission.
#7) Summit of Mount Sherman – December 3, 2011 w/ Rob Jansen (R), not pictured – Jeff Golden, Breanna Dunn and Terry Matthews. | Photoshop 101 @ 14K in a WHITEOUT! Returning to the car the temperature read -13 degrees. The next day I joined 14ers.com.
#8) Summit of Mount Evans – December 10, 2011 w/ Mandy Miller. | This was the result of a few too many beers at my first 14er happy hour. Mandy kicked my @ss on the ascent. Gymtime.
#9) Summit of Grays Peak – December 17, 2011 – solo mission. | In July there may be 500 people up here. In December, maybe 5, including Ryan Kushner.
#10) Summit of Torrey’s Peak – December 17, 2011 – solo mission. | Kelso Ridge, I’ll be back for you.
#11) Summit of Mount Elbert – December 18, 2011 – solo mission. | With a 12:30 PM start, I watched the sunset from the summit. Hiking alone in winter in Colorado in the dark is quite a rush, but also pretty damn scary.
#12) Summit of Humboldt Peak – December 26, 2011 w/ Jeff Golden, Clay Wyatt, Brian Thomas, Nick Gianoutsos, and Matthew Speth. | Merry Christmas and 1st official calendar winter summit! What not to do on a 14er: Carry your gear on a sled, right Nick?
#13) Summit of LaPlata Peak – January 2, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen. | The first peak of 2012 and Rob’s 1st calendar winter 14er. Smokin’ Yards on the way home was extra credit! This was the beginning of one incredible year.
#14) Summit of Pikes Peak – January 7, 2012 – solo mission. | The people on the road couldn’t understand why this guy was walking up the mountain and the people on the summit couldn’t grasp the idea that I had no car! No donuts to greet me at the summit on this day. Closed for Winter.
#15) Summit of Ellingwood Point – January 15, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen (L), Andrew Knox (R), not pictured – Jeff Golden, Emma McVey, Eric Sangueza, Derek Freed, Clay Wyatt, Karthik Venkatesh and Jodi Nelan. | The last big trip before tax season hibernation so we made it count. Ellingwood from the less seldom used SW ridge, followed by a traverse over to Blanca.
#16) Summit of Blanca Peak – January 15, 2012 w/ Andrew Knox (L) and Rob Jansen (Middle).
#17) Summit of Mount Bross – February 19, 2012 – solo mission. | Tax season winter recess. SPECTACULAR!
#18) Summit of Mount Cameron – February 19, 2012 – solo mission. | Why?
#19) Summit of Mount Lincoln – February 19, 2012 – solo mission. | I met John Young on the descent after he drove his car off the road! Florida drivers…
#20) Summit of Mount Princeton – April 29, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen. | Tax season is over! Time to play.
#21) Summit of Mount Antero – May 5, 2012 – solo mission. | Cinco de Mayo pregame.
#22) Summit of Castle Peak – May 12, 2012 w/ Greg Fischer, Jeff Golden and Brian Thomas (L to R). | My rookie trip to the Elks.
#23) Summit of Conundrum Peak – May 12, 2012 w/ Jeff Golden (Middle) and Greg Fischer (R). | No sign of exploding cows!
#24) Summit of Mount Wilson – May 27, 2012 w/ Greg Fischer, Jeff Golden and Rob Jansen (L to R). Bill Wood and Keri Harris (not pictured). | Crampons, ice tools, snowshoes and 75+ mph winds. It’s amazing I’m still not up there. Keri and Bill took their own summit shot @ 13,500.
#25) Summit of Wilson Peak – May 28, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen, Greg Fischer and Jeff Golden (L to R). | Marmots are evil. Happy Memorial Day!
#26) Summit of Mount Shavano – June 9, 2012 – solo mission. | My 1st summit cookie. A pleasure to meet you on this fine day Noel Finta-Johnson!
#27) Summit of Tabeguache Peak – June 9, 2012 – solo mission. | This is Rigby. We met on the summit.
#28) Summit of Mount Harvard – June 10, 2012 – solo mission | My legs are starting to hurt.
#29) Summit of Mount Columbia – June 10, 2012 – solo mission. | Half way there. One day short of a year after my 1st 14er. It’s amazing that I ever wanted to climb another after this descent. 🙂
#30) Summit of Mount Massive – June 30, 2012 – solo mission. | Hitting all 84 peaks, as Rob would say. – (including Point 12,381/South South Massive/South Massive/Mount Massive/Massive Green/North Massive/Point 14,169).
#31) Summit of San Luis Peak – July 4, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen. | The kickoff to the San Juan Slammer. Happy 4th of July!
#32) Summit of Wetterhorn Peak – July 5, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen. | A sunrise like no other.
#33) Summit of Uncompahgre Peak – July 5, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen. | A lot of running involved here.
#34) Summit of El Diente Peak – July 6, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen. | 50 miles later… SAN JUAN SLAMMER SUCCESS! 4 for 4 on this 4th of July weekend. Now let’s get down!
#35) Summit of Capitol Peak – July 15, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen, Greg Fischer, Tyler Prince and Dan McCool (L to R).
#36) Summit of Missouri Mountain – July 29, 2012 w/ Andrew Knox and Shannon Novosel. | The Belford Group from Rockdale. The Jeep is a beast.
#37) Summit of Mount Belford – July 29, 2012 w/ Andrew Knox and Shannon Novosel. | Or as Shannon calls it, Mount Chandler.
#38) Summit of Mount Oxford – July 29, 2012 w/ Andrew Knox and Shannon Novosel. | Life is good.
#39) Summit of Mount of the Holy Cross – August 4, 2012 – solo mission. | I could stay here all day.
#40) Summit of Culebra Peak – August 11, 2012 w/ Jeff Golden, Rob Jansen, Tyler Prince, Ben Shulman, Bill Wood, Marcia McCarroll and Jennifer Bruce (L to R). | Birthday brews at 14K!
#41) Summit of Crestone Peak – August 18, 2012 w/ David Yarian and Andrew Knox. | If you ever need a Crestone Traverse TR, Zambo is your man.
#42) Summit of Crestone Needle – August 18, 2012 w/ David Yarian and Andrew Knox. | That final pitch is the real deal.
#43) Summit of Snowmass Mountain – August 25, 2012 w/ Tyler Prince, Rob Jansen, Dan McCool and Greg Fischer (L to R). | This picture sits in a frame on the desk in my office. I went back and forth as to whether or not to include it, but in the end decided it should be in here. The smiles on our faces say it all. Miss you everyday, Rob.
#44) Summit of Mount Sneffels – September 15, 2012. | Jeff and Greg’s Finisher.
#45) Summit of South Maroon Peak – June 23, 2013 – solo mission. | TIME LAPSE. I woke up one day this past June and said it’s about time I get my a$s back out there. Time to finish what I started.
#46) Summit of Mount Lindsey – July 4, 2013 – solo mission. | I like to call this the Sangre Slammer. Happy 4th of July!
#47) Summit of Little Bear Peak – July 6, 2013 w/ Brad Stevens. | Mama Bear Traverse… check. This one felt pretty damn good.
#48) Summit of Challenger Point – July 7, 2013 w/ Brad Stevens. | 2 days earlier my dumb@ss missed the right turn and ended up at Crestone Lake. Thanks for being a good sport Collin Tilbe. Redemption is good.
#49) Summit of Kit Carson Peak – July 7, 2013 w/ Brad Stevens. | Sangre Slammer complete… 4 for 4. Not even thinking about how far away the Jeep is.
#50) Summit of Sunlight Peak – July 13, 2013 w/ Darrin Nicholas, Tyler Prince, Keri Harris, Emily Hendrick, Justin Koback, Bill Wood, Jennifer Saylor, Noel Finta-Johnson, Chuck Earle, Dave Campbell, John Esseveld, Nelson Esseveld, Alex Esseveld and Ethan Chambers. | The BIG 5 O. You all took the train? This trip had it all and I’m still laughing. FTB!
#51) Summit of Windom Peak – July 13, 2013 w/ Justin Koback, Keri Harris, Nelson Esseveld, John Esseveld, Emily Hendrick and Darrin Nicholas (L to R). | The Dillygoat Direct, a slight variation of the Kansas Direct. FOR THE PAMPHLETS.
#52) Summit of North Eolus – July 14, 2013 w/ Keri Harris, Darrin Nicholas, Justin Koback, Tyler Prince and Emily Hendrick (L to R). | FOR THE CHICKENS.
#53) Summit of Mount Eolus – July 14, 2013 w/ Emily Hendrick, Nelson Esseveld, Tyler Prince, Darrin Nicholas, Keri Harris, John Esseveld, Justin Koback and Alex Esseveld. | When you climb 4 mountains with these guys, you don’t need to ask what’s next. Where’s the beer… The pamphlets will keep us warm. Weekends like this are why we do what we do.
#54) Summit of Pyramid Peak – July 21, 2013 – solo mission. | T minus 4.
#55) Summit of North Maroon Peak – July 31, 2013 w/ Anthony Wagner. | If at 1st you don’t succeed, try again 3 days later AND when you do, don’t leave home without your 8,000,000 lumen headlamp!
#56) Summit of Redcloud Peak – August 3, 2013 w/ Clay Wyatt, Ben Shulman, and Paige Beilby (L to R). | And then there were 2.
#57) Summit of Sunshine Peak – August 3, 2013 w/ Clay Wyatt, Ben Shulman, Paige Beilby. | This is happening.
#58) Summit of Handies Peak – August 4, 2013 w/ Paige Beilby, Emma McVey, Ben Shulman, Tyler Prince, Kate Binversie, Peter Shelitto, Thomas Robson, Nelson Esseveld, Jeff Golden, Clay Wyatt and John Esseveld (L to R). | FIFTY EIGHT. I always say the journey is as much about the people you meet along the way as it is the mountains. I believe that now so more than ever. Can’t thank you guys enough for making the trip. Now let’s go feast!

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

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