April 10 – Annnnnnd, They’re Off!

Packing caches at Fritz's. Fuel? Check. Vaccuum-packed, fresh-roasted, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee? Check. Everything else is ultimately superfluous.

After sorting and resorting the gear the crew packed up the caches and drove halfway around Colorado strategically placing them.

Burying the biggest cache of the trip, the Cottonwood cache.

The team's 14th and final fourteener, Mt Massive (14,421ft) seen from downtown Leadville.

At the trailhead with Mt Shavano (14,229ft) in the background.


April 9 – Fourteen 14ers: Getting Sorted

Finalizing plans over tacos, enchiladas and margs at The Grill.

Greetings from cyberspace. Guest blogger Trey Cook here, organizing (or not) cyber-transmissions from the Fourteen 14ers crew while they’re out gallavanting in the snow.

So as you can see I’m a bit slow out of the gate here but y’see we had this huge snowfall that hammered the valley right about the time the Ripper started hitting me with these emails and…

Anyway, no more slacking. I’m on it. (Until the next dump anyway).

So the crew all convened in Leadville on the afternoon of the 9th and began the first step to every expedition … getting sorted.

Stage One: get mentally sorted, which of course means a few rounds of everyone’s preferred spirits.

Stage Two: now that everyone is thinking a bit more creatively, it’s time to play with … ahem … I mean, sort gear.

Seventeenth and final stove check.

Two hours speculating route and planning caches. The route got more intesting as the tequila bottle got more empty.

Backcountry Master Chef, James Healy. Believe it when I tell you there is finely-calculated method to this madness.

These are the entire contents of Zach's pack. Oops, sorrry. Read that wrong. This is the gear that didn't make the final cull. (Bold move leaving that rubberband behind but that's the kind of gutsy call this team will have to make to be successful).