The allure of a 14er summit beckons to people from all walks of life. To some it’s simply a thing to do during summer break, to others it’s the realization of a lifelong dream. Colorado’s mountains are tools used to achieve personal fulfillment, escape the doldrums of urban life, seize the vitality waiting untapped in the alpine or feed a fragile ego. Whatever brings them to the base of the mountain, most 14er hikers fall into one — or a combination — of the following categories.
I respect the right of everyone to spend a day in the mountains free from annoyance and fear, just like I enjoy the right to hike with my four-legged adventure buddy. So, how can the gun-toting dog hunters and Susie’s gaggle of mountaineer pugs coexist? Like most raging debates in the hiking community, it really doesn’t have to be that hard.