Chris Fisher Sets New FKT for Colorado’s 14ers in Single Winter Season
On March 18th, 2023, athlete Chris Fisher achieved a new FKT (fastest known time) by becoming the second person ever to climb all of Colorado’s 14,000ft peaks in a single winter. With an official time of 72d12h10m, Fisher beat the original record set by Andrew Hamilton by nearly 12 days. Only a handful of people in history have climbed all the winter 14ers in their lifetime, let alone in a single winter season.
Fisher completed his Calendar Winter Colorado 14er project with the climb of Pyramid, alongside Andrew Hamilton. Despite a spooky snowpack, they safely mitigated the conditions and even had a few minutes to soak in the views at the summit before rappelling down cliff bands and skiing out. Other tough climbs included the Maroon Bells, which he climbed a few days earlier.
Throughout the project, Fisher navigated Colorado’s notoriously dangerous snowpack on a big snow year, chased weather windows, and climbed multiple days back-to-back to safely reach the peaks. The project was filled with challenges and at times, it seemed doubtful that Fisher would succeed. Nevertheless, his dedication to the project and passion for the mountains led him to success.
Throughout the long journey, hundreds of 14er hikers and climbers watched and discussed his Garmin GPS tracker progress on the 14ers.com forum created specifically for his FKT attempt. It has been viewed 37,000+ times and has more than 440 posts as of March 25th. Several members of the group drove out to help celebrate with Chris when he reached the trailhead after his last ascent.
In total, Fisher covered 611 miles, including snowshoeing, skinning, downhill skiing, and ridge walks in ski boots. He gained and lost just under 253,000ft of elevation and spent 15 days and 16 hours hiking over the course of 36 days. Two days were 21 hours long, while most were between 10-18 hours. He also explored many new areas he had never visited before, including the Elks, Sangres, and most of the San Juans.
Chris is no stranger in the world of record-breaking achievement. In 2021, we broke the world record for the most vertical gain in a month. During October of that year, he logged 400,246 feet of elevation gain by running up and down mountains in Colorado and Utah – setting the stage for this winter 14er attempt.
Unique among FKT awardees, prior to this winter project, Fisher had only climbed 30 of the 14ers in the summer, and none of the technical ones. He believes he may be the first person to climb all of the 14ers in winter before doing them in the summer first, which he says is “pretty cool.”
Fisher expressed his gratitude towards everyone who supported him throughout the project, including his friend Erin Ton, who played a significant role in supporting him throughout the majority of the project and climbing 27 of the peaks with him. He emphasized that the project was more about the journey and growth of becoming a more skilled mountaineer, and the skills, experiences, and friendships he was able to forge throughout the project mean the world to him and will outlast any record put in the books.
Chris Fisher’s Calendar Winter Colorado 14er project was a monumental achievement that will go down in history. His dedication to the project, passion for the mountains, and impressive physical endurance enabled him to climb all of Colorado’s 14,000ft peaks in a single winter season, setting a new FKT and cementing his place in Colorado history.
Alex is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.
Anywhere I could fine a gear list?! A lighter pack link?? This is amazingly crazy great job!!