Mark Udall joined a pretty exclusive club around this time last year, one with fewer than 1,300 members. He summited the last 14er on his list, Culebra Peak, and became one of a select few to have climbed all the mountains in Colorado higher than 14,000 feet.
It was a rare feat, but for Udall, it made perfect sense. The Rocky Mountains, as he has said, are in his blood.
His cousin Tom Udall—who is also running for an open Senate seat this year—drove up from Santa Fe and the men climbed the state’s southernmost 14er together.
It wasn’t the first mountain the two climbed together—in 1989, when Mark Udall was leading expeditions for Outward Bound, where he worked for 20 years, he ran into Tom, who had just lost a congressional race. That time, it was on a 23,000-foot peak in Argentina.
“We were descending the peak after two weeks on the mountain with all these supplies. I probably had a 120-pound pack on my back,” Udall recalled, describing the physical and mental fog he experienced. “And there’s a guy waving at me and he looks very familiar to me, and we meet on the trail and it’s Tom.”
It would be good to have a hiker in the US Senate.