If you go

What: How to climb a 14er/high-altitude hikes

When: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: REI Boulder, 1789 28th Street

More info:

T onight at the Boulder REI store, the Fourteeners Initiative will offer a clinic on climbing a fourteener.

Many of you already know how to do this. Yay!

Some of you aspire to do this. Woohoo, you can do it!

And others repeatedly do dumb stuff in the mountains all the time and never seem to learn.


How do you know which category you’re in? Well, if you’ve done one of the following several times, you might be in that last category (and therefore should go to the talk tonight and pay attention, jibroniseph.):

Overestimate your abilities

Here’s what you think: “It’s OK that I haven’t done any hiking this year, I can do a fourteener, whatevs, it’s chill.”

Congrats, you’re well on your way to the kind of magical thinking that will get you up about 1.2 miles of a fourteener.

But be thorough. Also think magically about: your technical skills, not the lack thereof, if you’re climbing a harder route; your Prius, which is surely high enough clearance to get you to the trailhead; food, which you don’t need if you want a mystical Mayan spiritual starvation experience (you read about that once and it sounded sooooo trippy!).

Do not think magically about that time you tried to summit your sofa and crashed through the living room window.

Bring a partner to blame it on

This is easier with couples, but you can do it among friends, too.

First, impress your mate with your incredible knowledge of the mountains.

Then, drag mate on a hike that’s way too long and too hard for both of you.

(That’s what she said.)

Next, when the going gets tough — which was right away, but mate didn’t dare say anything to aggro, starving, faux-spiritual hiker — fight with your mate mid-trail when mate whimpers, “I want to turn around” or “We started too late” (see below) or “I have a blister from these faux-Mayan flip-flops you made me wear.”

We totally couldda had that summit if he/she weren’t such a wuss.

Start ridiculously late

You know you’re supposed to start up a fourteener early — the consistent afternoon thunderstorms in the mountains can leave you exposed to lightning above treeline. And fourteeners are well above treeline. You told your mate that so you’d look smart.

That’s why you got up early — 9 a.m.

Brau, it’s a weekend. Like you’d get up before 11 if it weren’t a special occasion.

Nine. Whatever. You’re all good, because you did that first thing — overestimating — so you’re sure you can hit the summit by noon, anyway, because you’re totally fit from your Mayan starvation plan and tubing the Boulder Creek and lifting at the rec, braus.

“It’s fine.”

Say ‘It’s fine’

Try one of these phrases when doing something that will probably have rescuers out looking for you:

“We’re starting up the mountain at 1 p.m., but it’s fine — we have flashlights.”

“I’m really, really tired. And hungry. And nauseated and dizzy. But let’s keep going, it’s fine. There’s got to be a Starbucks.”

“Those guys coming down the mountain said storms are rolling in, but it’s fine –the Mayan fast makes you impervious to lightning.”

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