One of the best things about Colorado is being outside. One of the most popular things to do is climb 14’ers. A 14’er, if you don’t know, is a mountain greater than 14,000 feet above sea level. Pikes Peak is one, and at 14,115 ft, is #30 in the state. Climbing these mountains is not for the weak of heart or mind! You have to be in good physical condition and prepared for the worst weather conditions and ready for all sorts of challenges.
Boo recently had the opportunity to go on a 14’er climb with his Boy Scout troop. Because of scheduling conflicts he had to go without his dad, but the adult leader agreed to bring him because Boo has proven himself to be a Reliable Scout on many other adventures.
I promptly started to worry. I’m his mom, it is part of my job! I had a very serious discussion with him about safety and weather. I warned him that he could expect the mountain to be 30 degrees colder than where we live. A hat, gloves and a fleece jacket would be necessities, even in August! He humored me. I think he even managed to keep from rolling his eyes. Then the planning meeting confirmed all this and more. I, for my part, did not say “I told you so.”
Departure day arrived. When I dropped him off I could tell he was nervous. I reminded him that the first day was just car camping and the climb to the peak was “just” a hike. I don’t know if my words helped him, but I know I felt better! Still, I worried just a bit.
Saturday morning I got a call.
“Hey mom! Can you guess where I am?”
“Well, I have an idea, but why don’t you tell me yourself.”
“I’m on the top of La Plata Peak! 14,336 ft!”
What a great kid! He accomplishes a mighty feat and his first thought is to say “hi, mom!”
When he returned home on Sunday he was full of stories. He said the scenery was absolutely beautiful and that the pictures he took couldn’t do it justice.
He showed me pictures of how steep the terrain was and told me there were four, very discouraging false peaks. One of the scouts got altitude sickness and needed to turn back with his dad. Boo said it was the toughest hike he’d ever been on.
So let’s hear for the boy! Conquering a 14’er at 13 years old.