Paul Ryan is facing a mountain of criticism by his naysayers in Colorado.
A left-leaning advocacy group questions whether he’s really climbed close to 40 14ers in our state. And they want the republican VP nominee to prove it.
“It’s great to be here in Colorado,” Ryan told an applauding audience in Lakewood, Aug. 14.
Paul Ryan recently told the group he’s climbed 14ers here for over 20 years.
“Yeah?" Joanne Schwartz, Executive Director of Progress Now Colorado, said. "Prove it."
But it’s what Ryan said in 2009 that has critics questioning his mountain-climbing math. Ryan reportedly said he’d climbed nearly 40 of Colorado’s 58 14ers.
“It was only yesterday that the campaign decided to refute that number and come out with a new number,” Schwartz said.
Now, the campaign says he climbed 28 peaks, 38 different times.
“The revised number again is still incredibly high and very worth asking, you know, whether or not it’s truthful,” Schwartz said.
Progress Now Colorado is questioning the truth because Ryan shaved an hour off his marathon time, and also made some factual shortcuts at the GOP convention, according to some analysts.
“If he says he’s done them, then he probably has," professional mountaineer Jon Kedrowski said. "But it would take a significant commitment on his part to do so."
Kedrowski has climbed every Colorado 14er several times, and even wrote the book on them entitled “Sleeping on the Summits.”
He says it’s entirely possible to have made 38 climbs in 20 years – even in less time.
“Democrat, Lincoln, Gross and Cameron, which are four 14ers on a ridge that you can circle and do in a period of 6 to 8 hours. So that would be a way to get numerous 14ers done in one day,” Kedrowski said.
Progress Now Colorado is having its day making fun at Ryan’s expense. The group posted pictures on its website that shows people on various mountain summits holding signs that say “I climbed a 14er with Paul Ryan,” next to an empty chair.
If Colorado’s 14ers were a challenge for Paul, fending off his critics might be another mountain to climb.
Kedrowski says there could be some evidence of Ryan’s climbs by looking through registers that people sign on the mountain summits, although he says people don’t have to sign them.