Andrew Hamilton finished all the Colorado 14’ers (14,000 ft peaks) in a record time of under 10 days! He used a Ultimate Direction Fastpack, slept very little and had to battle with marmots over his trekking poles.
“Climbing Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks (14ers) has been a significant part of my life. I started climbing them with my step dad Henry Siracusan when I was 11 years old (my little brother Joe was only 3 when he started). As a raft guide in Buena Vista in 1996 and 1997 I loved the views of the Sawatch 14ers and tried to get out hiking as much as possible. Finally in 1998 Joe and I took a couple of weeks that summer to finish our remaining 14ers.”
This summer, from mid-April to mid-August, I had a bone stress injury in my right tibia (reaction, fracture, it doesn’t really matter, treatment is the same) that prevented me from not only running, but really, precluded almost any pain-free, bipedal perambulation. Because I was necessarily relegated to biking for those four months, I had a real awakening with regards to the wonders and merits of it as a means of satisfying, continuous movement in the mountains.
Despite a fairly negative attitude towards biking (at least, as anything other than pure commuting) over the past few years, I actually have a bit of experience with the activity from my college days. In my first 10 years of running (1995-2005), I sustained something like 12 stress fractures. In high school, I was young and healed quickly and as a means of coping, I would haphazardly spend some time cross-training on my mom’s stationary bike in our basement. Soon enough I was back out pounding the gravel and dirt.
In college, however, I distinctly remember having a conversation with the school’s athletic trainer, Bruce, asking him why this particular stress fracture was taking longer than the four weeks of downtime I would typically require in high school. His response?
“Tony, your’e not 15 anymore; your body takes longer to heal now.”
This was a depressing thing to hear at a mere 19 years of age.