How to drink your own piss: A Nolan’s 14 story

Summit shot on number 14. From left, some guy, Wade, and Walt. Photo credit: Some hiker on Massive.

Prologue

One morning in May I drank my own piss. One afternoon in June my dad died of cancer. Those two statements are loosely related. I don’t remember July or August, but earlier this month I finished Nolan’s 14, and I find myself unable to write about it without weaving in themes of piss and death. My father’s passing is still fresh on my mind, and like Nolan’s 14 it’s a surreal and difficult thing to experience and process. So I guess what I’m saying is — I wrote a story […]

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Nolan’s 4, or what mountain goats drink

Photo credit: Carl the mountain goat

I’d just left Winfield and was hiking down South Clear Creek Road when I heard the UTV approaching.

“Ten bucks says they stop and ask me what the hell I’m doing,” I thought to myself.

They stopped, I pocketed ten bucks. “I should do crazy stuff more often,” I thought to myself.

“You goin’ to Lake Ann?” the man asked, referring to an alpine lake below the divide, straight south of us.

“No, Huron,” I said, referring to a peak a short climb east of us.

“Huron? That’s a 14er! You’re climbing a 14er at night!?”

“Yes.”

The man’s face was a mixture […]

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In which I sign my first summit register and finally climb Princeton

“I’ll just follow the mountain goat trail up the ridge, it’ll be fine.” – Me

Not fine.

Thanks a lot, goats on Dyer

On Sunday, Sept. 11, a little over a week after my Nolan’s 10 experience ended, I decided it would be a good idea to climb Dyer, Gemini, Sherman, and Sheridan to see if my feet still worked. In case you’d rather not read to the end of this post, I’ll just tell you right now that they worked fine. Here is something useful to do with your time instead of reading the next 1,300 words.

The four peaks I picked are all closely […]

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That was a bad idea

Nolan’s 14 was a learning experience for everyone involved. Everyone had a good time however, and is ready to try it again next year. – Fred Vance, Ultrarunning, November 1999

Approaching Nolan’s 14 I knew it would be difficult and to some extent crazy, but now having attempted it I can say that it’s also pretty funny, too, at least in a black comedy kind of way, like a standup show where the comic dies laughing at his own joke. Was I disappointed in myself for quitting after 10 peaks? Sure. Did I break down and cry on the Colorado Trail the morning after? Maybe. The point is, I can’t […]

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Sure, Nolan’s 14 sounds like a good idea

Along with several other men of uncertain mental state I will be attempting Nolan’s 14 this weekend. We start tomorrow, 9-2-16, at 5am. There’s a little weather on the radar, but when has weather ever been an issue in the mountains? We’ll be fine.

I’ve spent the past six weeks scouting the route and making plans for this very good idea. I really can’t think of any reason why I wouldn’t finish. I have sunscreen, a couple sandwiches, an umbrella, and plenty of high-quality cotton clothing to keep me warm. I also have a fine new RaidLight running pack donated by Rocky Mountain Ultra. (Thanks Adam!)

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