Picture a young blond woman in a red dress and high heels. Where is the first place you would expect that? A party? Perhaps a fancy dinner? You guessed wrong. How about the trailhead to Colorado’s Mt. Elbert, the highest mountain in the state?
Erin Ton, 22, climbed Little Bear Peak, her final 14er, in August of this year. Ton had begun her 14er journey two summers earlier when she climbed Mt. Elbert with her father and sister.
Less than a week after completing Little Bear Peak, Ton found herself at the bottom of Elbert, once again, this time in a red dress and high heels. She’d only worn them once before at a college party.
Ton said, “I thought it would be a fun celebration to hike Elbert again, but do it in high heels. It’s kind of a full-circle thing.” Ton flew up the roughly 5-mile ascent in just 2 hours, passing dozens of hikers with proper shoes along the way.
“Personally, it’s symbolic of how far I’ve come, from struggling so much that first time [up Elbert] and now I’m cruising up it in heels.”
– Erin Ton
Ton has now expanded her high heel 14ers to include Mount Bierstadt, Mount Sherman, and Quandary Peak. Ton says she’s not sure how many she will do, but she is motivated and somewhat shocked by the reactions from other hikers along the trail and online. You can follow Ton’s high heel journey on her Instagram.