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Here we go again … Paul Ryan caught in mountain climbing fib?

Sep 6, 2012, 10:48 AM EDT

paulryanmountains2 Getty Images

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.

  1. mybrunoblog - Sep 6, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    While speaking about his mountain climbing experiences Congressman Ryan told a local tv reporter “Obviously, I have regrets for my syntax but not for the point, because everyone who was there knows exactly what I was saying”.
    Later at the same event Ryan praised small business owners for building their own businesses by themselves.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 6, 2012 at 3:50 PM

      Well stated Bruno. Now…let’s see Ryan’s spreadsheets (like Rick says)!
      And while you are at it…let’s see Mitt’s tax returns for the last 10 – 15 years.
      Just do NOT…under ANY circumstances…ask to see my school transcripts OR my birth certificate.
      If so…I will be outraged. Outraged I tell you!

  2. dowhatifeellike - Sep 6, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Most of the 14ers have a registry in a container at the top where you write your name and the date of your climb. It shouldn’t be too hard to get a few people to check them on their climbs.

  3. dowhatifeellike - Sep 6, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Many of the 14ers are pretty accessible for the average person, but if he’s done 30 different peaks he’s done some tough ones, requiring some serious climbing gear.

  4. bigdicktater - Sep 6, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I wonder if Ryan could see Russia from the top of those peaks? Sheesh, what a turd!

  5. skids003 - Sep 7, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Hey Rick, why don’t you ever write any articles about your buds past, like why he or his wife aren’t lawyers anymore, or school backgrounds etc. Or the Vice Prez plagiarizing his way through law school? Oh, I’m sorry, this is MSNBC, you’d get fired.

    • dowhatifeellike - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      How about because those have nothing to do with sports or recreation?

      • skids003 - Sep 7, 2012 at 12:22 PM

        About like half his articles do?

  6. manchestermiracle - Sep 7, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Didn’t the Republican leadership just a few years back advocate creating their own reality? Isn’t Ryan just being a good toady and following the party line? And whether or not he actually climbed those mountains, what does that have to do with him being the Republican VP candidate? Did anyone actually expect a politician, any politician, to suddenly stop lying about everything, especially their personal accomplishments? Too bad most voters in this country don’t maintain this level of skepticism in regards to every single thing that comes out of a politician’s mouth, no matter which side of the aisle from which they hail….

  7. chiefagc5675 - Sep 7, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    I think as a young catholic boy Ryan got confused and started calling masturbation mountain climbing. I guess fourteener’s were really good. So he’s 43 which would make 38 a very low lie.
    I would guess 342 would be more likely for the economist failure’s total.