14er Peak Perspectives: Three Generations of Hiking the 14ers

Sara started it. The youngest member of the Wille family set a goal to climb all of the fourteeners in Colorado - mountain summits that rise over 14,000 feet. Did Sara realize the poetry in her declaration? For three generations family members had been hiking those same trails, thinking about climbing them all, but she would be the first to succeed. Her determination kept the family motivated to plan trips into the backcounty where they experienced the beauty and challenges intrinsic in the natural world: temperamental weather, shortage of daylight, gear malfunctions, tricky navigation, and jaw dropping beauty. Together they experienced hard lessons along with the many hidden and unexpected gifts along the way.

Four years after setting her goal, Sara sat on top of the final ascent, Mount Lindsey, elated with the accomplishment of summiting the 58 peaks on her list.The accomplishment begged the question for all of them: What would be next? During that four years, family and friends ventured into the backcountry of Colorado studying maps and gaining an intimate understanding of the state and designated public lands. Together, they spent time hiking (obviously) and camping in areas that were overrun with peak baggers as well as places that were quite pristine. The broad swath of experiences gave them an appreciation of the challenges and opportunities that our public lands offer to all Americans.

The next step for the Willes is to protect those public lands, lands that they, admittedly, have taken for granted. Together they have started a movement, Women for Wild Lands, to inspire Americans to “get noisy” and work to protect our public lands so future generations can follow in their footsteps and find their own adventures. They hope that you will be inspired and “get noisy” too. Join Julie for stories from their adventures throughout Colorado!

Tea, donated by Two Leaves and A Bud and Paradise Bakery cookies will be offered during lecture.

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