The National Forest Foundation invited Elsie Weiss, an 11 year old ski mountaineer who is quickly shedding the “aspiring” part of her title, to guest blog about the importance of Fourteeners – and stewardship of these special peaks.

The Fourteeners of Colorado are a huge part of my life.  I have climbed and skied ten and I am pursuing climbing all of the Fourteeners in Colorado.  Every time I step onto the summit and see peaks all around me – see a great expanse of wilderness ready to be explored - I am more and more intrigued to go climb more Fourteeners.  I love the challenge and the sense of accomplishment that I feel when I get to the top.  I want to be able the take my friends on the Fourteeners and for them to have a great experience on good, solid trails.  Hiking these majestic peaks is a challenge every time and I want to keep that feeling on the trails.

The Fourteener community in Colorado is one of the coolest communities out there.  Everybody is going for the same goal of summiting.  The summit of a Fourteener is a very unique and special place that needs to be preserved.  We all want to share the experience with our friends and let them feel the thrill of summit. 

The nature around us is a huge part of climbing the Fourteeners.  We have all seen cool wildlife and we want to keep seeing it.  Everybody knows that if we don’t respect wild animals then we may never see them again.  After we summit a peak we feel good about ourselves but also feel the urge to put good into the world.  We want many people to enjoy the peaks.  Every member of the Fourteeners community is ready to take action so we can keep summiting and enjoying the mountains that surround us. 

We live in a beautiful world that goes beyond the Rocky Mountains and the shores of North America.  After climbing, whether we make it up to summit or not, we all have a new respect for the Earth and everything on it.

The NFF is grateful to Elsie Weiss for being a guest blogger, describing her incredible experiences, and speaking to the power of the Fourteeners community. Would you like to join Elsie as a Find Your Fourteener campaign Trailblazer? Learn more at
National Forest Foundation