The 58 Peak Listing

Steph Saunders stands tall on the peak of Mount of the Holy Cross, a 14,005 ft peak positioned within the Sawatch Vary within the Rocky Mountains. Picture by Michelle Wigton.

Think about coming throughout a herd of untamed mountain goats deep within the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains, their children working round because the full-grown adults graze peacefully on the mountain vegetation. Stephanie Saunders had the privilege of seeing such a sight on simply one in all her many hikes up a Colorado fourteener.

Alongside Colorado’s lovely Rocky Mountain vary stands at the very least 58 peaks that rise above 14,000 ft. To locals these are known as fourteeners, and are widespread for excessive hikes. Stephanie Saunders, an area mother of two, is effectively on her approach to mountaineering all 58. This yr she plans to hike Mount Lindsey, making her complete 42 fourteeners.

Saunders began mountaineering fourteeners when she was in junior excessive. Her first was Pikes Peak; she hiked a number of extra together with her dad and was shortly hooked on the elation that summiting can carry, and seeing the sweetness that lies for miles on the foot of the mountain.

It was solely after mountaineering 35 fourteeners, a few of which have been harder, that Saunders realized mountaineering all 58 was an achievable purpose. Yearly for the previous eight years she has taken a bunch of girls backpacking for a number of days and her group hikes one or two — typically even three — fourteeners.

Saunders has her system down for every backpacking journey: grasp packing checklist, particular boots and garments, she runs and lifts weights. Saunders suggests coaching for a fourteener by working at a gradual jog for at the very least 30 minutes.

Mountaineering has each bodily and psychological advantages. “I begin occupied with the mountains I need to climb and it helps inspire me to remain in form all through the winter.” Saunders stated. Mountaineering is a enjoyable approach to keep and form and offers alternative for social interplay between mountaineering companions. Saunders enjoys the friendships she has constructed by mountaineering fourteeners and has seen it renew her thoughts in constructive methods.

Thankfully Saunders has not but skilled any risks or misadventures on her hikes. She at all times packs iodine tablets or a water filter straw so in any case of emergency she will at all times get water. “I attempt to make actually good selections and pay shut consideration to the climate and I make it possible for security is extra essential than summiting.”

For the most effective and most secure hike, Saunders strongly suggests taking a mountaineering buddy with you. The hike itself provides nice alternative to get to know one another, and even essentially the most skilled hikers shouldn’t hike alone. “My favourite is taking individuals who have by no means achieved it earlier than as a result of I prefer it when folks get excited and need to do extra.”

Saunders says that each hike has its personal reminiscences and wonder, and encourages everybody to at the very least hike one. “Go for it. Discover a buddy and make it occur.”

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