Got Altitude?

A guide to (mostly) southwestern Colorado hiking

Imagine a hammer. Now imagine that hammer drilling a painful staccato beat into your temples, the drum perfectly matching your heart’s throbbing attempt at escape.

Can’t catch your breath? Normal.

A sudden need to puke? Normal.

That’s a classic case of altitude sickness for you, and the list goes on and on. So why can’t I get enough of it?

I was born and bred on the Front Range of Colorado, but some of my best childhood memories are of the summer trips we took to the mountains. And though I’ve been hiking my entire life, it wasn’t until two years ago, when my brother and I decided to hike our first 14er together, that I really threw myself into this mountain lifestyle.

My current (and admittedly obsessive) life’s goal is to *eventually* solo all 96 of the U.S. 14ers. I know, I know, it’s a lofty goal, but it’s taken in strides. Where most of the fun lies is in the journey – hiking for me is more about learning: what I’m capable of, where my limits lie and just how far I can push them. I may make stupid mistakes along the way, and blunder my way through some of my climbs, but you’ll never grow without picking up a few battle scars along the way.

From that fateful day two years ago, I finally knew what I wanted out of life, and it isn’t watching my days pass by from the sidelines. So I grabbed life by the horns, and after bagging nearly every 14er within an easy day’s drive of where I was living in Boulder, I left my comfortable Front Range life behind, beckoned by the sheer beauty that is the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. The way I saw it, I was left with no other option.

Somewhere along the line, an unhealthy contempt for writing turned into a love of it. So I figured, why not put my two passions to work? Thus, Got Altitude? was born. While the site will chronicle my journey towards summiting every 14er, it’s true purpose is to act as a hiking guide to southwestern Colorado as I find new places to explore along the way. I try to get into the mountains at least 2-3 times per week, though that may dwindle during the winter months.

So join me – learn with me – as I tackle whatever turns life takes me on. I hope it inspires a few of you to get out and explore your own backyards.

Feel free to leave me a comment or message if you have any questions about a particular hike, or if there’s anywhere you want to see featured on Got Altitude? I’m always looking for new places to explore.

A site by Caroline Cordsen