On July 31st, around 8 o’clock in the morning, Andrea Sansone took a few final steps down the trail along Chicago Creek. Having descended 3,000 feet from the towering Mount Evans, she stepped into history as the new record holder for the most 14ers climbed in 24 hours. Battling exhaustion of a kind I cannot fathom, she managed to make it up and down twelve different fourteeners in a single day, creating a new 14er record that can only be described as nothing but impressive. Here’s the details on Andrea’s record-breaking climb.
The Previous Records for Men and Women
Andrea set out to beat the overall record for both men and women. Previously the record stood at eight peaks for women and eleven for men, which meant she would need to climb twelve to claim the spot. Specifically, she needed to ascend and descend at least 3,000 feet on each peak to satisfy the common requirement in Colorado that defines a ‘true’ ascent. Between each group of 14ers, her dedicated support team helped nurse her wounds and drive her to her next trailhead and get her on her way. Check out the full route map below.
The New 14er Record Route
The route was carefully assembled after considering all 53 named and ranked peaks. They needed to select a group of 14ers that were all near each other, was relatively easy and short to climb, and would cooperate with the weather conditions on the day of the record attempt. The final list of 14ers that she climbed in order is:
- Mount Columbia
- Mount Harvard
- Mount Oxford
- Mount Belford
- Missouri Mountain
- Mount Democrat
- Mount Lincoln
- Mount Bross
- Grays Peak
- Torreys Peak
- Mount Bierstadt
- Mount Evans
One thing that stands out about the route selected is that it passes directly by Quandary Peak, but left the peak out in favor of some of the paired fourteeners on the list. However, should someone attempt to beat this record, it would make sense to do the same route, with the addition of Quandary Peak between Mount Bross and Grays Peak.
High's and Low's of the Trip
Andrea’s boyfriend, Andrew Hamilton, shared updates and information about the climb on the 14ers.com forum throughout the day. He’s no stranger to 14er speed records, having set the record for summiting Colorado’s 100 centennial peaks last year in 22 days, 16 hours and 54 minutes.
Concerning Andrea’s climb, he wrote, “[W]e got soaked coming down the road [between Buckskin Gulch and Mt. Democrat, 14,155 ft.] in the ATV, and I figured Andrea would be freezing, but she is staying so positive it’s awesome. She is in high spirits mainly because we were crushing our splits,” Hamilton reported.
More 14er Records
Congratulations to Andrea and her entire team for a spectacular 14er accomplishment. While it won’t be the last time someone sets out to break a 14er record, it is definitely one of the more memorable attempts. Here are some other articles and stories about recent fourteener and thirteener climbing records in Colorado. Safe travels on the trail!