4/44/14 II (Four Years and Forty-Four Fourteeners): Nemesis

4/44/14 II (Four Years and Forty-Four Fourteeners): Nemesis

by David A. Lien
4/44/14 II (Four Years and Forty-Four Fourteeners): Nemesis

4/44/14 II (Four Years and Forty-Four Fourteeners): Nemesis

by David A. Lien




4/44/14 II
(Four Years and Forty-Four Fourteeners)

On August 14, 1999, David Lien climbed his first fourteener (peak over 14,000 feet) in Colorado's rugged Rocky Mountains. Longs Peak (14,259 ft.) in Rocky Mountain National Park is the monarch of northern Colorado: the highest peak in the park and the northernmost fourteener in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. During that fateful day, David also experienced his first climbing fatality, and watched as a helicopter recovered the fallen climber's body from its resting place on a ledge 450 feet below. This startling tragedy impressed upon him the potential dangers of the path he was about to follow, and four years later (during August 2003) he summited his 54th Colorado fourteener.

Lien's fourteener quest began as an attempt to climb forty-four fourteeners in four years (4/44/14), which led to climbing all 54 fourteeners and, eventually, the highest points in each of the 50 states and six of the Seven Summit (the highest point on each continent). Then, during May 2006, David tackled the world's tallest peak, Mount Everest. Eleven climbers died on the mountain that year (the second highest-ever Everest death total), including two of his fellow expedition members. David made the difficult decision to turn back at over 25,000 ft. during the team's summit push, a decision that saved his life. To Lien-a former Air Force officer and lifelong hunter-conservationist who's traveled in 28 countries-this climbing/mountaineering quest wasn't just about the summits. To many (maybe most) climbers, summits are an end, but to David they're a means to an end: experiencing the wider, wilder (the real) world, and then using those experiences to help save what remains.

As a result of the breadth and depth of his mountaineering and other outdoors experiences, David has developed a conservation ethic that's compelled him to take a leading role in one of the one of the nation's newest and fastest growing hunter/angler conservation groups, and he's discovered that fighting to preserve and protect wildlands and wildlife is a lot like climbing mountains. Mountain climbing is a metaphor for how we can all make a difference and a model for living our lives: take small, steady steps, always moving upward and onward. Our individual actions, our steps, may seem insignificant in the whole scheme of things, but when combined over time with the steps/actions of everyone else, they'll result in overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds and reaching incredible heights.

In Man's Search for Meaning, holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl says each human's deepest desire is for meaning and purpose, and what really taps into that desire for most of us is a general sense that we're somehow making a difference. It doesn't take a Teddy Roosevelt or Rachel Carson to do it, just each of us as individuals deciding to act, and then collectively we can move mountains.

David has contributed articles, essays, letters, and photos to numerous periodicals, books, and newspapers, including: Everest: Surviving The Death Zone, The Firegrate Review, Trail & Timberline, Whitetales, Fur-Fish-Game, The Backcountry Journal, The Boundary Waters Journal, NewWest, Summit Daily News, The Aspen Times, Vail Daily, Rocky Mountain News, Rocky Mountain Chronicle, The Pueblo Chieftain, The Denver Post, Colorado Springs Independent, The Durango Telegraph, Desert News, Casper Star Tribune, Anchorage Daily News, Outdoor News, Duluth News Tribune.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781432776787
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 12/29/2011
Pages: 354
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.74(d)

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