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All Peak

Inside the Design: Mt Bierstadt

Inside the Design: Mt Bierstadt

Arguably one of the most popular and well-trekked Colorado 14ers, Mount Bierstadt is visited by over 40,000 people a year. It is easily accessible from Denver and has a beautiful approach. It is also one of our favorite designs. For avid 14er fans, this design is both playful and memorable.

For the design, we wanted to give it a beer label feel. In a state that ranks 2nd behind California with the number of breweries, beer is serious stuff! It should come as no surprise then, that the first thing people think of when they hear the name Bierstadt, is beer!

Bierstadt translates to “Beer City” in German. Interestingly, the peak’s namesake has nothing to do with this sudsy libation. Rather, the peak is named for a famous American landscape painter Albert Bierstadt. He visited Mount Evans in 1863 and, it is thought, climbed a nearby peak (possibly Bierstadt). The mountain was officially named after him in 1914.

Regardless, the beer theme is what we were going for in our design. You could slap our sticker on a beer bottle, stein, can or growler of your choice and it would look like it belonged there. The size and shape are reminiscent of Old-World beer brands. The round scalloped edges should remind you of a bottle cap. The large keg in the center confirms the theme and the umlaut over the stylized Bavarian letters add to the authenticity.  

Finally, there’s a nod to a feature found at the beginning of the trail – the willows. Two willow branches hug the keg design from both sides. The willows are a prominent and unique part of the Bierstadt trail. The common route at Guanella Pass starts above treeline and takes you through the largest willow bog in Colorado.

Anyone that has hiked the trail before 2011 can recall the arduous trek through the dreaded willows. Hikers would get “bogged-down” in the mud, scratched-up, and often end up trailblazing new routes. The construction of a raised wooden boardwalk eliminated these problems and helps preserve the willows from being trampled.

We hope you enjoy your Mount Bierstadt design responsibly!

Side Note: A shout-out to our All Peak Designer Amanda Hamilton, who created the Bierstadt design. Amanda’s originality and artistic aptitude have their fingerprints throughout our catalog.

Sources:

USDA, Forest Service https://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/cs/recarea?ss=110308&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=FSE_003738&navid=110240000000000&pnavid=110000000000000&position=generalinfo&recid=28386&ttype=recarea&pname=Bierstadt%20Trailhead

Colorado Fourteeners Initiative https://www.14ers.org/2018-colorado-14er-hiking-use-estimates/

Armchair Mountaineer https://armchairmountaineer.com/mt-bierstadt

 

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Fireworks O’er America’s Peak

Fireworks O’er America’s Peak

There are many ways to celebrate the New Year around the world. And…there are a surprising number of similarities – family and friends, good food, fireworks, reflection, etc.

In East Asia, many celebrate hope and renewal by watching the sunrise on New Year’s Day. This is typically done in large groups on mountaintops, beaches or scenic valleys.

In Japan (and other mountainous countries of East Asia), large groups will endure the bitter cold to summit a mountain and greet the rising sun. It is called Hatsuhinode, and is Japanese for the welcoming of the first sunrise of the New Year.

 Fuji sunrise

A group around Colorado Springs in southwest Colorado has a similar practice of enduring the cold to hike to the top of a mountain. The group is called the AdAmAn Club (http://adaman.org). Rather than watch the sunrise, the group’s purpose is to light fireworks at the summit at midnight.

The AdAmAn Club was formed in 1923 after a group of 5 men dubbed “The Frozen Five” decided to hike to the top of Pikes Peak to set off fireworks on New Year’s Eve. The five men were Fred and Ed Morath, Fred Barr, Willis Magee and Harry Standley.

So it was, that on December 31st, 1922, the Frozen Five created “fire on the mountaintop” that could be seen for miles around and created quite a stir. Two of the original five, brothers Fred and Ed Morath suggested the name “AdAmAn” for a rule that only one new member could be added each year. The tradition has lasted for over 90 years and the club gets bigger.

Pikes Peak is “America’s Mountain”, one of the 53 Colorado 14ers (peaks above 14,000 feet) and tallest of the southern Front Range at 14,115 feet.  Pikes is named from explorer/adventurer Zebulon Pike, who interestingly enough, did not summit the peak. (Side note: This author thinks Zebulon is such a cool name, that if he had another son, he’d seriously consider naming him Zebulon.)

The summit is accessible by a cog railway, a paved road and Barr hiking trail. Pikes Peak is only one of two 14ers accessible by paved road. The other is Mount Evans.

Pikes Peak earns the moniker “America’s Mountain” from its’ sheer popularity - hosting tourists, climbers, researchers and racing fans. The Pikes Peak road is famous for the International Pikes Peak Hill Climb motor race, USA Cycling Hill Climb National Championships and Pikes Peak Cycling Hill Climb.

The icy Barr Trail is the eastern route the AdAmAn Club takes to reach the top and is accessible to the public for climbing most of the year. Fireworks in the splendor that is America’s Mountain celebrates the majesty of our great country and gives fitting backdrop to occasion. Happy New Year!

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Mount Elbert, I Do

Mount Elbert, I Do

We were sitting on a couple of small boulders on the edge of the trail, just past the first true false summit on the trek up Mt Elbert, pausing for just a moment to catch our breath.  This was becoming a trend - hike up 20 feet, stop, catch our breath, repeat. Josh said it best, Mt Elbert is a rollercoaster of emotions, luckily we tended to ebb at different points of the climb, so one of us was always feeling okay.   

Little did I know I was climbing for more than just the views. 

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Quit Your Job and Crush Peaks

Quit Your Job and Crush Peaks

It was July. From my office window, I could see the impossibly blue Texas sky and imagine how hot it was outside the comforts of air conditioning. The high was 99 for the day – a typical summer. On days like this, I pine for the cooler alpine climes.   

That’s when I got an email from Spencer Madden (http://mountainobsession.com). It read, “Hey Sherpa Bill! Spence from Mountain Obsession here. I am starting an adventure after quitting my corporate job. I will be down in Sept crushing 14ers.”   Spence did what many of us only wish we have the courage to do. He quit his corporate job and set off on an adventure of a lifetime.  

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Minding Our Trails: A Conversation with Colorado Fourteeners Initiative’s Executive Director

Minding Our Trails: A Conversation with Colorado Fourteeners Initiative’s Executive Director

Twenty-one years ago, when CFI just came into being, there were only two planned trails – Pikes Peak and the Keyhole Route on Longs Peak. Now the organization plans to raise approximately $30 million to keep all 14er trails maintained/restored.   

So when I had the chance to sit down with Lloyd Athearn, CFI’s Executive Director and man in charge for the past 6 years, I took it. Here’s what I learned. 

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Gratitude for Mountain SAR (From the Author of "Exposed: Tragedy & Triumph in Mountain Climbing")

Gratitude for Mountain SAR (From the Author of

With Labor Day now behind us, many Colorado 14er hikers will be hanging up their hiking boots for the year. The summer hiking season has satisfied their urge to connect with nature while challenging their tired legs to again carry them up to the summit of one of Colorado’s 58 14,000 foot peaks. This is also a good time to express our gratitude to a tireless group of volunteers on our various Search and Rescue (SAR) teams across the state.

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Top 10 Reasons to Use a Vacation Home Rental For Your Next Fourteener Trip

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Vacation Home Rental For Your Next Fourteener Trip

I had my first vacation home rental experience when I visited San Francisco for work last year. The experience opened my eyes to the many benefits of renting a vacation home instead of staying in a hotel.  My Hilton Honors will surely dwindle as a result.  

First, the full disclosure…I am not being compensated one iota for my opinions.   HomeAway.com is mentioned below and they were a client of mine in a past life.  I have used their service and think they offer a great selection – as do other similar businesses. I do have friends that now own vacation home rentals, but they aren’t featured here, and I’ll gladly stay at their places anytime they ask me too!  

After countless trips to Colorado from my home turf in Texas, I could kick myself for never considering staying at a rental home before.  The concept is perfect when planning a group trip.  HomeAway.com lists over 9,080 “mountain” home rentals in Colorado alone.  In true Letterman fashion, here are the Top 10 reasons why you want to rent a vacation home the next time you set out on a mountain adventure:  

10. Get a little closer to the mountain or trailhead.  

9.   Home cooked meals:  You can save money by buying and cooking your own food, but someone has to do the dishes.  

8.   You can launder those smelly, damp trail clothes so your buddies don’t have to smell you the rest of the trip.    Most homes have a washer and dryer with detergent available to use.  

7.   Free parking and no extra fees.  You normally have to leave a deposit though, which is fully refundable.  

6.   Tranquility:  No need to battle with the wedding party down the hall for sleep.  A vacation home rental can be tucked away, deep down a mountain road, letting you extend your bond with nature by opening the windows at night and listening to the sounds of the forest.  You may have to contend with snoring from your buddies, but it is a great trade off.  

5.   Amenities:  Often times you can find a vacation home rental with a breathtaking view, fire pit out back or hot tub ready to soothe those achy muscles.  

4.   Praise:  If, as the planner of this group outing, you manage to make it all happen, you may get a pat on the back and hear the following, “Wow, this place is awesome. What a great idea!”  

3.   More room to relax. Vacation homes average 2,000 square feet, while hotels average 400 square feet. ‘Nuff said!  

2.   Price!  When you split the cost of a vacation home rental between a group, you can greatly reduce your cost per person.  

1.   You can store a ton more beer in a full-size fridge than that tiny ice bucket from your hotel room. Colorado has more micro-brews per capita than anywhere else and it would be a sin to not enjoy the multitude of brands and styles.

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Mountain Mommas and Country Roads: Three Hike and Spa Combinations For Mom

Mountain Mommas and Country Roads: Three Hike and Spa Combinations For Mom

What better way to say “thank you” to mom for all she does than to treat her to a spa package.  Although that never gets old, you can change it up a little with a back to nature trip.  Take a country road to a far off mountain trail and plan to soothe those tired bones in natural hot springs.  

Before $200 spa treatments, our ancestors since time-forgotten, found healing and tranquility in natural hot springs…and maybe the occasional mud bath.  There’s something alluring about hot springs. Maybe it’s the raw connection to the earth’s molten core or the airy views of towering mountains that make our personal concerns seem so small in comparison.  Whatever the case, these places occupy a special place in my memory.  

Here are three low budget options to consider...

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All Peak: The Back Story

All Peak: The Back Story

This is a story to give credit to those who play a big part in the creation of the All Peak brand.  Like the third grade teacher that got you to finally read or that coach that got you to try sports without making you hate it, there are people out there that deserve recognition.  

Pre 9/11 (Pre dot.com bust!):  I worked for a small start-up and made my rounds to my client offices in the Southwest. As I got to know one of my clients in the Tulsa office, Woody Lee, it became quickly apparent that he shared my passion for the outdoors.  

Woody wanted more of a physical challenge in his outdoor experience.  He adopted a Navy Seal workout regimen, learned the basics of rock climbing and wanted to see what all the fuss was about with hiking these Colorado Fourteeners.  I had spent time in the mountains but was unaware of this “club” of peak-baggers.  

My first Fourteener attempt was on Blanca Peak in the Sangre de Cristo range.  It was an epic failure (See “Packing For Your First Fourteener: Beenie Weenies Not Allowed” for that story). However, the trip gave me a taste for higher elevation. I was hooked.  

Democrat, Lincoln, Bross and Cameron were actually my first Fourteeners – all tackled in one very long day.  After that trip, with my brother Chris,  the All Peak concept was born.  I wanted a t-shirt to commemorate my effort. I settled for a summit photo and a laminated USGS quad map, courtesy of REI.  

The idea of a t-shirt to commemorate the peaks stuck with me long after the trip. I shared it with a couple of good college friends – Eric Emerson and Derek Neidig.   They liked the idea and quickly added their own skill-sets to the task: Create a brand that can represent the Fourteeners and other popular peaks. Put creativity and design first and serve the laid-back, casual market of climbers and hikers that the brand appeals to.  

Eric is the creative founder of the brand. His style and design come from years with the Fossil brand.  The flavor and imprint he leaves is part trucker-cool, part retro-hip.  His logo and initial designs (Collegiate collection, Little Bear, Long’s Peak, etc.) are the engines that kept the idea alive.  

Derek was our web guy who’s dabbling capacity for html allowed us to get online in a hurry and build our first shop.  His ideas for social engagement and creating a community were ahead of his day. We lacked the time or money to really push our ideas.  

That was 8 years ago. The site and the brand lingered as we all followed our own corporate career paths. A slave to my paycheck and demands on my time forced me to shut down the site. Now the concept is reborn. Finally, I’m able to expand our creative boundaries and do the things that the brand deserves: more designs, more lines, proper commerce and a community to share ideas and promote mountain hiking and climbing.  

In the spirit of the brand and its founding ideals, I wish you safe and happy hiking.  Climb higher my friends!

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