Even if you’re not from Colorado, you are likely familiar with the amount of large mountains that engulf the state. Specifically mountains that reach 14,000 feet in elevation and above.  There are 89 mountains that are 14,000 feet or higher in the United States, over half of those (53) peaks are in the state of Colorado. Even more outstanding is that there are at least 600 additional mountains that range anywhere from 13,000 feet to 13,999 feet in the state of Colorado. People have long enjoyed climbing these peaks, and many people set goals to climb all 14ers in their lifetime. Some people, however, are just not satisfied with simple goals. In the case of adventurer Justin Simoni, he is taking it to an extremely different level. On Friday, July 25th Justin set out on a challenge that will consist of not only climbing each 14er in colorado, but doing so self-powered, and self-supported. In laymen’s terms, he is doing it all himself, non-stop until each peak is reached.
Tour 14er
Photo: http://longranger.justinsimoni.com/
So how is he getting around? It isn’t like each 14er is within close proximity to the next. In addition to hiking, Justin will be cycling from trailhead to trailhead, via pavement and dirt, with everything loaded on his bike.  Justin’s goal is to beat the fastest known time (FKT) of the fully self-supported “tour 14er”. The FKT was set in 1995 by Roy Benton at 37 days and 12 hours, and is believed to be the only other person to attempt and record this adventure. Justin has been living in the Denver area since he was 18, an artist and a cyclist. He has been trying to make ends meet while still having the freedom to do what he loves. In 2011 Justin attempted the Tour Divide, but did not finish. In 2012 he came back and was the first single speeder to cross the line with a time of 23 days, 5 hours. Between his cycling hobby and active colorado lifestyle, he seems to be the perfect fit to take on this challenge. Justin started in Golden at the American Mountaineering Center at 4:00am on Friday, July 25th. He has planned out a route where he will head in a clockwise direction with Pikes Peak being the first 14er. From there he will head south to summit the Crestone Peak and needle, by far one of the most difficult portions of his journey. Tour 14er Justin will then head  across the San Luis Valley towards the San Juans to tackle 14 peaks. From there he will head north through Gunnison, and eventually over Pearl Pass in between Crested Butte and Aspen to take on some iconic 14ers such as Maroon and Pyramid peaks. He then will head south from Aspen to tackle the Collegiate Peaks range and Mt Elbert and Massive. Breckenridge and lastly Rocky Mountain National Park will be his final stop before finishing his epic journey in Denver. Each few summits will be in between a resupply point of Justin’s choice, truly adding to a once in a lifetime journey. He will likely be visiting some very unique mountain towns, as well as camping in the middle of nowhere. Justin’s route planning has to be very well thought out to include these towns and making the most efficient way from A to B to avoid wilderness areas where bikes are not allowed. Not to mention the hazards that mother nature, and a busy tourist season in Colorado has to offer. For more information on the rules he has adapted check out his website full of awesome content. If you’re interested in following justin’s epic journey check out Trackleaders.com. This is likely more dangerous than any bikepacking event out there, we wish him the best of luck, and hope he comes out of this journey with plenty of stories to tell.


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