Climbing a Fourteen Thousand Foot Peak (14er)

One of the exciting elements of living in Colorado is the volume of peaks over 14,000 feet. There’s 53 or 54, depending on how you count. I’m sure there are purists that desperately care about how high a peak rises above its saddle…I’m not one of those.

The real estate above tree line (roughly 11,000′ here in Colorado) is a very strange place. It’s been said that it is never summer above 11K…my experience confirms this!

The video attached above is a short “gear guide” for what gear I use to make my ascents. I am sure there are many other items that folks like to take…just as there is gear some speed demons (or knuckleheads) might leave at home.

What I have found interesting is this set up is basically what I take on all of our trips. Sleep system, food system, clothing and hygiene system. Basic stuff.

Just as most mountaineers do, this system has been developed to suit my needs based solely on my experiences. When taking first timers up the “big hills”, there tend to be a lot of questions. This can be one of the funnest parts of the trip…just like the hero stories after a successful trip.

The Things You Miss

This past weekend we spent within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park camping and snowshoeing. It was a truly excellent time. What strikes me is the number who chose not to attend.

You see, we only had about 20% of our troop attend. I’m sure that sports events wiped out the weekend for some of our guys. But why doesn’t everyone come on the outings? They are tremendously fun, we see incredible stuff and learn about the amazing wilderness…non stop.

As you can see from the above photo, the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Astronomy, photography, nocturnal nature, fire building, fellowship and on and on.



A week or so ago we invested a bunch of new scouts in our troop. The official ceremony is called “investiture” and is run by the Committee Chair, the Scoutmaster but mostly the Senior Patrol Leader.

I love all the ceremonies as they bring the history and tradition of the 100+ years of scouting with them. I like to think that Baden Powell himself participated in similar events. The best part is feeling that you belong to something greater.

A Scout is Brave

Last week I delivered a Scoutmaster Minute based on the Chardon, Ohio school shooting. I told the guys that the news was horrific but to watch the news in the next few days as you would see stories about people being brave.

Sure enough, Frank Hall the assistant football coach was hailed as being the hero for chasing the shooter out of the building.

Nobody knows what they will do when the pressure of a bad situation occurs. It’s why we practice skills like first aid with every merit badge and every advancement. When the time comes, I sincerely hope that my scouts all exercise bravery.

A Scout is Brave.


The standard investiture ceremony includes the line “one of my greatest duties of a Scoutmaster is to welcome new members to the troop.”  That, indeed, is true.

Last night we added nine to our Troop which is now in the low 50s of total members. This is a great size. At once both big and small enough to acomplish advancement and outings.

There are troops in the area that manage more than 100. I can only image the challenges they have.

The part of scouting that I enjoy the most is working directly with the “dudes”. They are so much more capable than society would think. They are tough, they are thoughtful, they are hard working.

Indeed, the greatest duty of the Scoutmaster is welcoming new members.

The Blue & Gold

Starting last week and ending this past weekend the local Cub Packs had their cross over ceremonies. Our Troop was able to attend and participate in the banquets with kids coming to our Troop. It is certainly an honor to be a part of another person’s “right of passage”.

We work hard to be the “boy led” troop that is prescribed by the BSA. In that respect, our boys managed the aspects of tying on the new Boy Scout adornments as well as being a part of the flag ceremony.

Another added benefit from the night was the oppurtunity to chat with some of the parents and leaders from the Pack and other Troops that were represented. The scouting community, especially the leadership, is full of like minded people that care about future generations.

This was certainly an uplifting experience.