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Hiking and climbing some or all of Colorado’s 54 14,000 foot peaks is a hobby for some locals and visitors and a rite of passage for others. Human powered mountain travel is a great way to explore places of incredible beauty while challenging you to find untapped reserves of strength and resourcefulness. Some 14ers are “walk-up” hikes that involve continuously steep terrain, scrambling across talus slopes, and the occasional snow crossing. Others require more advance technical skills, equipment, and the experience to travel safely in a very exposed and changing mountain environment.
Seasoned mountain climbers know to start early. Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the Rocky Mountains and are difficult to escape when traveling above tree line. If you are planning on hiking or climbing one of the 14ers make sure to bring along the 10 life-saving essentials: waterproof rain gear, extra clothes and food, map and compass or GPS unit, a headlamp, sunglasses and sunscreen, fire starting kit, and a first aid kit. In winter and early spring an ice axe and crampons may be required for many routes. Most importantly let someone know your travel plans. Altitude sickness can affect anyone, especially those who traveled here from lower elevations, so remember to carry a lot of water and drink often.
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