exquisite

Christian Murdock/

The Gazette

Visitors take in the views of the San Juan Mountains from the Oh! Point lookout near the summit of 12,800-foot Engineer Pass while exploring the historical Alpine Loop. Engineer Pass begins outside Ouray and runs east 30.9 miles, 27.2 miles unpaved, to Lake City.

Colorado has no shortage of high country challenges established by and for the state’s fittest of the fit. Now it has another.

Durango’s Scott Simmons is believed to be the first to tag 13 summits above 14,000 feet in the San Juan Mountains in one single push. He logged 157.14 miles and 58,949 feet of elevation gain in 104 hours, 58 minutes, as reported by the Durango Herald.

Simmons told the paper he initially set out to accomplish the feat in 100 hours. That plan was spoiled by a needed rest before summiting Wilson Peak, he told The Herald.

“I knew I couldn’t be the fastest at it,” he said, “so I might as well be the first.”

Simmons, 48, said he envisioned the challenge as something of a southwest version of Nolan’s 14. That challenge — which has seen one record after another this summer — requires one to link 14 14,000-foot peaks in the Sawatch range in less than 60 hours.

Simmons, known for his competitive streak on snow, told The Herald he previously intended to link the summits on skis before deciding to lace up his running shoes.

He told the paper he fully expected his time to be beaten.

“I’d like to see someone put a fast time on it and hear the stories,” he said.

Contact the writer: seth.boster@gazette.com

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