blazebo wrote:who the (BEEP) would walk a paved road up a mountain?
Maybe someone with mobility issues (crutches, joint issues, etc.) or visual impairment (e.g. blind). An injury or worsening condition may nix many 14er options, but not 14er desire for a summit view.
Paralyzed Man, Glen House, Will Climb Pikes Peak In His Wheelchair
Mountain States Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America
National Sports Center for the Disabled (rock climbing)
Devil's Advocate: At what altitude does pavement become an issue and according to who? Why not move all the trailheads down to the nearest highway or put boulders in all the trails to up them to at least Class 3? Aren't there many 14ers which have been modified to make them more accessible for even able-bodied folk? Ledges cut? Via ferrata? Cairns? Train tracks were put over Rollins Pass (CO) and Eiger (Switzerland) has a train inside the mountain and viewing windows on the north face. Is it just a matter of balance?
Disclaimer: I admit when walking up from a parking lot in the Maroon Bells that I didn't always avoid the pavement or shoulder on the way to the trail.