Flat 14ers?

Um.  No.  No, no, no, no, no.  No.

While hiking Castle Rock yesterday I saw this sign at the
base of the trail, indicating if you hiked the trail 4 times you’d have hiked
the equivalent of a 14er.   

So much is wrong with this photo!  Who’s idea was this, and how did it make it
this far?
  Flat 14ers?  What?  My
MBA is screaming
  “False advertising!”

In what way does this involve climbing?

I get someone out there is trying to encourage people to
exercise, and that’s great, but a sign like this is an outright lie. 
It’s giving people a false sense of achievement.  I’ve hiked 14ers, and they are in no way equivalent
to walking around a park 5 times.
  In distance
  Technically distance wise they’re
the same.
  Comparing climbing a 14er to
walking on a flat trail in a circle?
  No.  That’s like comparing someone who’s walked in
a straight line for an hour or climbing stairs for an hour. Or someone watching
a doctor give an operation and saying you’ve performed one.
  Comparing someone who’s flown a plane from
Los Angeles to Miami to someone who’s done it on a simulator.
  Can the person who used the simulator seriously
say they’ve flown?
  That it’s the same
  Yes, they went through the same
motions, but they aren’t the same!

This sign doesn’t take into account all the factors in
addition to distance that go into climbing a 14er. 
Things like elevation gain, the effects of
altitude, exposure, danger, route finding, fatigue, weight of necessary gear, obstacles
on the trail, etc.

This sign needs to be changed to:  You CAN hike the distance.   

Author: Laura M Clark

Laura has summited over 500 peaks above 13,000' solo, including being the first woman to solo summit all of the Colorado 14ers, as well as the centennials. After each hike, she writes trip reports for each one and publishes them on her blog, which is read by fans all over the world. Author of Wild Wanderer: Summiting Colorado’s 200 Highest Peaks, which is available to purchase on Amazon.

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