What if by climbing a mountain you could experience a day in the life of your best friend as he fights a complex life-threatening disease? You would know the same shortness of breath after walking a few steps, the same fatigue, dizziness and throbbing neck veins that your friend lives with every day, symptoms of a destructive disease that currently has no cure.
Beginning on July 10, 2009, Matthew Moniz and a core team of five climbers will do just that. The team plans to climb fourteen of Colorado’s famed 14,000 foot peaks, commonly known as the “14ers”, in a short fourteen days to cover a total of 36,846, vertical feet and 65 miles. This breath-taking endeavor will give each of the climbers a first-hand sense of a typical day in the life of a patient with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH).
Congratulations to the team for summiting Mt. Bierstadt (14,060 ft) and Mt. Evans (14,264 ft), peaks number 13 and 14. The day started early with a summit of Mt. Bierstadt at 8:32 am and the climb was completed at 11:55 am MDT on Mt. Evans.
The team will be featured on the CBS news tonight at 6:00 pm MDT in Denver. Congratulations again for an amazing feat!
After a much deserved rest day yesterday, the team started out at 6:10 am for Mt. Elbert. At 14,443 feet, Mt. Elbert is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains and the second highest peak in the contiguous United States. The weather was downright cold at 31 degrees. Coincidentally, about 132 climbers from DishNetwork were on the mountain as well celebrating their company Mountain Day.
The team summited Elbert at approximately 10:10 am MT bringing the total to 12 fourteeners in 7 days. The final ascents of Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans are scheduled for tomorrow.
Today is an epic day - three mountains in one day. A three-fer, if that is is even considered a word. Due to predicted bad weather on Thursday, the team opted to consolidate and go for Mt. Missouri (14,067 ft), Mt. Belford (14,197 ft) and Mt. Oxford (14,153 ft) for a combined total of 14 miles (round trip) and 7,500 vertical feet. A day like this rivals one on Elbrus or Aconcagua.
The team started out at 2:50 am MDT. Mt. Missouri was summited at 7:15 am, Mt. Belford was at 10:30 am MDT. A call from the team indicated that the weather is cold and unstable with a lot of wind, but no lightning. The team will take a brief rest on Belford before gathering energy to head to Mt. Oxford.
The team summited Mt. Oxford at 11:39 am MDT. Weather holding steady. Congratulations on a big day!
I will update as I hear from the team here and via Twitter on the home page.
The team summited Mt. Antero this morning at 11:11 am MDT. Mt. Antero stands at 14,269 ft. The team had a great day with beautiful weather and everyone is energized and ready to tackle the remaining peaks. There were even three guest climbers summiting their first fourteener. Congratulations team and keep up the great work!
July 13 - Peaks 6 and 7: Tabegauche Peak and Mt. Shavano
This morning the team set out at 3:00 am for peaks 6 and 7 for a combined total of 5,600 vertical feet and 11.25 miles round trip. Mt. Shavano, 14,229 ft, was summited at 7:30 am and Tabegauche Peak at 14,155 ft was completed at 9:15 am. The team is camping tonight with Mt. Antero on the agenda tomorrow.
July 11 - PEAKS 3, 4 and 5 - Mt. Democrat, Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Brosse
7/11 - Summited Mt. Democrat at 8:30 am. Link to map here. (It wouldn't embed correctly so no image this time! Turn on "satellite" and "terrain" for best view!)
Today the team tackled Mt. Lincoln (14,286), Mt Democrat (14,148) and Bross (14,172). Started this morning 6:15AM and not a minute too soon. The team had great weather but typical capricious Colorado weather thunderstorms started just as they were heading back to out basecamp.
New guest climbers have been joining the team each day! Many kids have come out in support and climbed with Matt. They've even had people who have seen the story drive out to climb! They are taking our first and only rest day tonight and tomorrow in lovely Poncha Springs.
A grueling Monday is scheduled with Mt. Tabeguache (pronounced tab-a-wash) and Mt. Shavano on tap. Those two are 5,600 vertical feet and 11.25 miles round trip. A 3AM alpine start with head lamps is planned as some unstable weather is predicted.