Sep 6, 2012, 10:48 AM EDT
What with all the sub-three hour marathon running, how did Paul Ryan find time to scramble up 38 of Colorado’s tallest mountain peaks? Well, somehow he did, says Paul Ryan.
Release the spreadsheets! I’m not one, but serious mountain climbers say that they record an account of every peak they’ve ascended. That’s why various message board posters and Twitter folk are asking Paul Ryan to release documentation that he actually climbed 38 “14ers” (mountain peaks) in the Colorado Rockies, as he claimed in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Other reactions? People are actually climbing 14ers and taking pictures of themselves at the summit with signs mocking Ryan. (Note the empty chair).
Our story begins when Mitt Romney first picked Ryan to be his running mate. At the time, state Colorado Party Republican chairman Ryan Call told a reporter that Ryan told him he has “climbed nearly 40 of Colorado’s 53 fourteeners, or mountains above 14,000 feet in elevation.”
Actually Ryan has claimed to have climbed 38 fourteeners … and some of them multiple times, for 30 unique fourteeners total. Who is he, Jeremiah Johnson? That’s a lot of mountain climbing. From the 2009 article in the Journal Sentinel:
Ryan: “My mom was very outdoorsy … We spent our summers doing backpacking trips in the (Colorado) back-country, you know, Snowmass Lake, Capital Peak, spent all our summers doing that … went all over White River National Forest, just the whole Elk range. I mean I’ve climbed every fourteener in that range and the three around there … So I got into climbing fourteeners when I was 12, with my brother, Stan. My mom got us into that.”
Question: “How many fourteeners have you climbed? Or how many times?”
Ryan: “38. I think that’s my last count.”
Question: “Those are just climbing peaks that are 14,000 feet?”
Ryan: “I’ve done it 38 times. … I’ve done 38, but I think the number of unique peaks is something like twenty … no, no it’s like thirty or something like that. I counted it up a year or two ago.”
Question: “Most of those in Colorado?”
Ryan: “All of them are in Colorado.”
The Romney-Ryan campaign has addressed the issue with a writer for The Atlantic.
Meanwhile, on the Supertopo.com message board …
40 14’ers is serious lifestyle climbing and a lot of hiking. This guy is pathological. — Riley Wina.
Riley is right. To have climbed forty and not be a resident means that you would have had to devote entire summers to climbing fourteeners. — Rick A.
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