While climbing any of the Colorado 14ers brings with it inherent risks, from exceeding your physical capabilities to altitude illness and summer lightning storms, most deaths have occurred on a small number of peaks. Knowing the difference between an “easier” 14er from one that has seen many fatalities may save your life.
Between 2000 and 2017 most fatalities on Colorado 14ers have occurred on the following peaks: Longs Peak, Maroon Bells (Maroon/North Maroon Peaks), Capitol Peak, Crestone Needle, Snowmass Mountain, Little Bear Peak. Most of these are steep, 3rd to 5th class peaks with loose rock and lots of exposure. Most are among the least-climbed 14ers in Colorado, which makes the number of deaths even more sobering.
If you are just beginning to explore Colorado’s 14ers, stay away from Longs Peak, the Elk Mountains and most of the Sangre de Cristo Range until you have sufficient mountaineering experience. Alternately, consider hiring a mountain guide who knows the routes and can significantly increase your margin of safety.
REALITY. Climbing is inherently dangerous! People die on Colorado 14ers every year.
NO GUARANTEE. CFI’s goal is to provide you with education and perspective. Our videos do not address all climbing risks. Viewing the videos does not guarantee your safety!
YOUR RESPONSIBILITY! Be fit. Get educated. Be aware. If you choose to climb, you accept and assume the inherent and other risks. You remain responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your adventure!