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Climbing Colorado’s Top 100 Peaks

December 27, 2017
Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone because of Nature
December 12, 2017
Exploring Beautiful Colorado (Part I)
January 1, 2018
 

Endure is a short adventure film that was produced by Hot House Media following my Colorado Centennial Project in order to highlight a mountain endurance lifestyle. The video briefly highlights some of the climbing, hiking, and exploring I did this summer in the Colorado Rockies, but also touches on what it means to dig deep within ourselves and search to uncover the best version of ourselves as we do what we love. I am humbled and honored that people are watching and are interested in this journey, as we all have our own journeys’ that inevitably create situations where we must endure. Learning that endurance translates to all basic human experience and connects us all is the foundation for what I want to continue exploring moving forward. Thanks for watching and supporting.

 
 

Could I really be on the final Centennial peak?

One jagged Mountain is all I have left? I had dreamed of this situation for over 20 months knowing that I’d be in a unique place mentally going into the final climb of the top 100 peaks in the state of Colorado. Little did I know, it would also be the most difficult and technical of the 124 mountains I climbed that summer.

It was September 19th, definitively later into the summer than I had planned on it taking to finish my Colorado Centennial Project. This created a situation where there was a decent to substantial build up of snow and ice on the mountains above 12,000 feet. Snow plus ice combined with lots of class 3-4 and a few class 5+ moves didn’t give me a particularly strong sense of “I got it in the bag.” Yet somehow I knew this was how it was suppose to be. I knew finishing the Centennials wouldn’t be finished without a healthy dose of anxiety, deep fatigue, and some internal doubt. Simultaneously, I knew I was ready, I knew I was fully capable and just needed to exercise the courage to show up and let it rip despite how tired I was and nervous I might be.

It was time.

I was very fortunate to be joined on my last summit adventure with my great friend Lucas who is a good, level headed mountaineer in his own right. We were both filled to the brim with mountain fervor and loved being able to explore the state and climb peaks in new areas we had never been. He and I camped out the night before in Leviathan Basin and got an early start to what would be a 17+ mile day and about 7,000 feet of gain. Swimming through a sea of talus and scree, we made it to the base of the technical part of Jagged just after 7:00am. Seeing far more ice and snow than would be ideal, I still knew it was going to happen today. Focused and subtly exhilarated, I headed up, climbed and descended the final 600 foot stretch of Jagged in just under an hour. Bang Bang! The hard part finished and all that was left of the entire Centennial Project was an 11 mile hike out of Leviathan Basin and back to the Beartown TH where Luc had parked his Xterra. The walk back was tiring, but I felt elated. After having just completed the top 100 peaks in Colorado, 124 peaks total within the project with over 925,000 feet of elevation gain/loss, 1,229.3 total miles, witnessing more natural beauty in 3 months than most would ever see in their lives, I rode wave after wave of gratitude. Yet the most interesting and paradoxical feeling that hit me as I finished what I saw as this momental personal achievement was that this was just the beginning of my mountain adventures.

 
James Hitch
James Hitch
I grew up in Norfolk, Virginia with my parents John and Virginia and my brother Clarke and Sam. From my earliest memories I loved playing sports and being active outside. After graduating from University of Mary Washington, I began exploring trails in my local state park which is where I fell in love with running and self-powered exploration.These local trails and an difficult bout of Lyme disease led me to make a radical change in my life and move out to the Colorado Front Range where I currently live and explore in the vast open spaces of the Rocky Mountains. I currently live in Golden, CO working in the school system, while finding enrichment in pushing personal boundaries, cultivating relationships, and exploring new and wild places. #ColoradoMountainFeverFollow me on Instagram @jameshitch25!

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