LOVELAND – For the last 24 years, Jim and Tyler Powell have trekked around the state of Colorado climbing every 14,000 foot peak in our state. They completed their final climb on Monday.
Technically, there are 53 "official" fourteeners, meaning a mountain with at least 14,000 feet of elevation and at least 300 feet of "prominence" or separation from nearby peaks.
Jim and Tyler added two more of those mountains to extend their list to 55 14ers.
Jim is a photographer from Yuma and Tyler is a firefighter in Fort Collins. Their high-scaling adventures started on July 8, 1990. Jim brought Tyler and his siblings on a family camping trip to the Barr Trail of Pikes Peak. At the time, Tyler was 10 years old.
Out of Jim's three children, Tyler truly took a liking to climbing. All it took was one trip up and he was hooked. Tyler continued to follow his father on every climb since.
"Throughout the years, there were periods of time where life got in the way," Tyler explained.
Between studying at CSU, going through the firefighter academy and random injuries here and there – there were stretches of time where Jim and Tyler's schedules simply didn't line up.
Regardless, the two kept moving forward and climbed whenever they could.
What makes their story extra special is the fact that the two never completed a climb without each other.
Tyler's friends also loved climbing, but Tyler made it a point to never climb a fourteener he had never climbed without completing it with his father first. Tyler even went as far as waiting for his father at the top of each mountain before reaching the summit.
From the beginning, Jim and Tyler decided they would complete each climb without the assistance of ropes. They're happy to report they achieved their goal.
On Monday, July 28, 2014 Jim and Tyler summited their final fourteener – North Maroon Peak, which is ironically 14 thousand and 14 feet, although one of the "unofficial" 14ers because it's too close to Maroon Peak. These peaks are in the Maroon Bells near Aspen, often described as the most photographed mountains in North America.
Tyler plans to tackle the Centennial list of mountains next.
(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)