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We just got an exciting phone call from alpinist and backcountry skier Aron Ralston.
|Ralston on top of Mount Eolus, the last fourteener of his 7 season solo project. Copyrighted image used by permission of Aron Ralston, use and any publication on web or in print by permission only.|
He’s back today from the San Juan Mountains, having completed winter solos of his last handful of 14,000-foot Colorado Peaks, to become the first person to solo all 54 in winter!
According to the well known one-handed alpinist and backcountry skier, he completed the peaks over March 3-9 and had “excellent weather… stable snow…spring-like conditions on many aspects.”
|Ralston on top of Capitol Peak, several years ago. Copyrighted image used by permission of Aron Ralston.|
More, Ralston was able to use skis to great effect, backcountry skiing from high on all his ascents. In all, it sounds like he did a fabulous job with 14ers Sunlight, North & South Eolus, and Windom. Details probably forthcoming in Aspen Times newspaper tomorrow. (North Eolus is not one of the semi-official “54 fourteeners” but is frequently climbed as a ‘teener to insure the completion of a list.) Aron’s quest is an example of a methodical and well-planned multi-year endeavor that honors the risk and constraints of high-level alpinism. While I also admire attempts at mountaineering speed records, provided they’re done with equal care and forethought, it’s nice to see someone such as Aron bucking our culture’s trend for everything to be fast and furious — he took the time ( 7 winter seasons) to do it right, gaining new skills (and losing a few things) along the way, and no doubt maturing as an alpinist. One can only wonder what’s next! See Article from the early days of Ralston’s quest.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.