Officials are becoming concerned as the number of climbing deaths on Colorado 14ers have already surpassed record numbers in 2017.

Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo shares his thoughts with KOAA TV on this issue.

Colorado mountains have already taken the lives of 11 hikers statewide. This includes deaths at Long's Peak, Mt. Princeton, Challenger Point, Maroon Bells and a shocking five on Capital Peak alone.

Sheriff DiSalvo believes that these numbers are skyrocketed because of simple inexperience and lack of preparation on hiker's behalves. Also, officials are discovering that many hikers are leaving the designated trails to take shortcuts and that's when they run into problems.

One of my 'bucket list' items was to conquer a 14er, but I am having second thoughts now. This article, combined with my fear of heights, makes it almost impossible for me to be able to do that. For crying out loud, I can't even make it up the first part of Mt. Garfield!

So, my advice is to be over prepared and over cautious. And please be careful.

From rei.com website here are The 10 Essentials to best be prepared for your 14er.

  • Map & compass
  • Sunglasses & sunscreen
  • Extra clothing for warmth
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • First-aid kit
  • Matches or lighter (fire)
  • Basic tools/repair kit
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Emergency shelter

It is better to be safe than sorry. Weather on top of these 14ers can change in an instant. The website also plans out a full training program to get your body in peak condition to handle the elements.

The bottom line is do not take a 14er for granted. The results could be disastrous.

 

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