BOULDER, COUNTY, Colo. — A Colorado man is celebrating a record-breaking adventure in mountain climbing — ascending 57 of Colorado’s tallest peaks in 31 days.
Joe Grant broke the record by biking from mountain to mountain and climbing each peak with no help.
Grant, 33, has been backpacking and climbing most of his life. He lives in the settlement of Gold Hill, in the mountains about 10 miles northwest of Boulder.
He eventually transitioned to long-distance running — just the kind of training needed to set a 14er self-supported record.
“The 14ers have been climbed in many different ways,” Grant said. “[Self-supported] was just a style that I identified with most.”
Most everything Grant needed was on his bike, including specialized clothes and a sleeping system that included a sleeping bag and waterproof cover.
Getting enough sleep was a challenge for Grant because of unpredictable mountain weather.
“I got a lot of bad weather,” Grant said. “It was monsoon season, so it would rain in the morning and then it would move to thunderstorms in the afternoon. [That] presents a number of difficulties with safety and knowing when to go up the mountain.”
Before his 1,500-mile adventure, Grant hadn’t seen more than half of Colorado’s tallest peaks. He has been busy sharing special moments from his journey on social media, showcasing some of the most beautiful sites of Colorado.
“There’s times when you feel completely elated and absolutely blown away by how beautiful things are, and it’s sort of a near-spiritual experience,” Grant said. “Then there are other times when it’s just absolutely miserable and you’re in a snow storm or hail.”
The previous self-supported 14er record was completed in 34 days. Grant said he tackled Colorado’s tallest mountains to promote local self-powered adventure, and to encourage people to get outside and see all that Colorado has to offer.