Aspen’s Ted Mahon bags 14 fourteeners in less than 60 hours
For many people, climbing one of Colorado’s coveted 14,000-foot peaks would likely be the high point, both literally and figuratively, of any given day.
For Aspenite Ted Mahon this past weekend, making it to the top of a fourteener was, at times, the most daunting part of his day.
That’s because Mahon had 14 fourteeners to summit in 60 hours or fewer as part of the requirements of the Nolan’s 14 course, which challenges peak-baggers to conquer the Sawatch Range in faster than 60 hours.
While the views from these alpine peaks certainly are rewarding, throughout this particular journey they served more as a sharp reminder of what was to come, Mahon said.
“Getting to some of the early summits and looking north at how far I had to go, … sometimes it’s mentally tough to manage,” Mahon said. “I realized, What did I sign up for here? You do start to question that a little bit.”
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The key is to take it one peak at a time, he said.
And that’s exactly what Mahon did.
In just more than 55 hours, Mahon successfully bagged 14 fourteeners in the Sawatch Range, which consists of Mount Shavano, Tabeguache, Antero, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Harvard, Oxford, Belford, Missouri, Huron, La Plata, Elbert and Massive.
Mahon started at 9 a.m. Saturday and finished Monday after a combination of both jogging and hiking 48,000 vertical feet and more than 100 miles.
Throughout the two-plus-day period, Mahon rested — not slept — for a total of one hour and 45 minutes, he said.
“I laid down for 45 minutes on Saturday night before going up Mount Yale,” Mahon said. “And then an hour Sunday night before heading up La Plata.”
Upon reaching his final peak Monday, Mahon said he was so exhausted that he could hardly process the fact that he had completed the challenge.
“I couldn’t really register a more conscious thought,” Mahon said. “Apart from the relief that all I had to do was get down the mountain.”