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Attitude for Altitude: A Smorgasbord of Adventures Above 14,000 feet

Tue, 2020-08-25

The August Mountaineers meeting will feature a talk by Michael Altherr entitled “Attitude for Altitude: A Smorgasbord of Adventures Above 14,000 feet.”

The highest point in the contiguous 48 States is Mount Whitney standing at 14,500 feet. It is approximately 1/2 the altitude of the tallest peak on earth, Mt Everest. So, no big deal, right? Yet, there are only approximately 75 named points of prominence in the lower 48 above 14,000 feet: 58 in Colorado, 14 in California, and 2 in Washington State; and climbers are drawn to these prominences like Ulysses to the sirens.

The 14ers provide a plethora of entertainment for both the aspirant and experienced mountaineer under conditions of modest oxygen deprivation. One can enjoy all aspects of climbing from technical rock and snow couloirs, to modest walkups, and ski descents. This presentation will focus on considerations necessary to successfully climb a 14er, where success is defined not by tagging the summit benchmark but by safely returning to your favorite microbrewery to enjoy a fresh pour at the end of the day. The presentation will also feature the personal anecdotes of several Los Alamos Mountaineers’ on 14ers in the lower 48, illustrating the right attitude for the altitude.

Altherr, a former Mountaineers president, has been a club member since 1993. He summited my first 14er in 1974 at the age of 19 after hitch hiking from Chicago to Colorado Springs.

The Mountaineer's monthly meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of every month. When held in person, that take place in the planetarium of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), 2600 Canyon Rd, Los Alamos, NM 87544. Recent meetings have been held electronically. To register for this meeting, go to

Based on the success of recent electronic meetings, the Mountaineers are considering simulcasting future in-person meetings.

View PEEC's recording of this talk!

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