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80,000 Feet of Longs

Colorado man climbs Longs Peak by a different route for every month of a year

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Plenty of climbers ache to bag new peaks and tick mountains off their personal checklist. But it takes an entirely different fortitude to get to know a mountain so intimately that you want to scale it over and over to the exclusion of other climbing options. Some might call it love.

Coloradoan Bill Wright might know a little something about that: This month, he successfully reached his goal of climbing Rocky Mountain National Park’s Longs Peak via a different route for each month of a single calendar year. In the process, he racked up a total of 14 ascents and 80,000 vertical feet (!) of elevation gain while tackling the 14,249-ft. peak—impressive stats for any mountaineer.

Other burly stats include:

Fastest ascent: 1 hour, 56 minutes.

Number of winter ascents: 3.

Ski descents: 1.

Total miles: 220.

All told, he only had one failed summit bid: He tried but failed to climb the Diamond wall…in winter. I’d say that does nothing to diminish his hardman cred. Congratulations on a righteous accomplishment, Bill.

Are you getting a hankering to tackle Rocky Mountain National Park’s most famous peak? Check out a video of a staff attempt of Longs, or plan your own trip here or here. (Just remember: It’s still winter.)

—Ted Alvarez

My Year With Longs Peak

Via The Mountain World