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 Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
 Post Date:  08/06/2013 Modified: 07/30/2014
 Date Climbed:   08/04/2013
 Posted By:  dillonsarnelli

 The Journey... 14K+    

The Journey... 14K+
Mountains – All of the tall ones
Distance – A lot
Date – June 2011 thru August 2013
Route – Dillygoat Traverse

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dillon Sarnelli. I grew up in New Jersey and moved to Colorado at the end of 2010. I like chicken, diet soda, beer, and greek yogurt. I say “look at yourself” more than any human should. I’m an accountant, but still think taxes are evil. I didn’t find my mountain wife on top of one of these 14er’s, but am still holding out hope. AND I really hate my snowshoes. That’s probably all of the pertinent information you need on me.

I figured the best way to give you my perspective into this 14er journey would be to take you all along for the ride. So here goes…

#1) Summit of Mount Bierstadt – June 11, 2011 w/ Leonard Madrid, Dana Edmonds and the Rocky Mountain Madness meet-up group.
The maiden voyage… Thanks for having me along Leonard. I still think this was hard!

#2) Summit of Quandary Peak – July 4, 2011 w/ Ian Donahue
I asked the other 475 people on the summit to please move over so I could take this picture.

#3) Summit of Huron Peak – August 13, 2011
A sunrise from the top of a 14er should be on everyone’s bucket list. Unreal.

#4)Summit of Mount Yale – August 26, 2011 w/ Blair Anger
Blair gave me a ring from back east and said he wanted to climb Longs. I literally said “where is that?” He bought a plane ticket. It was on…. until the weather god’s wouldn’t cooperate. This was plan B.

#5) Summit of Longs Peak – September 24, 2011 w/ Emily Norris and Dana Edmonds
I found Longs! Dana and Emily will be back to finish this one any day now. Drank my 1st Dales Pale Ale back at the car. Thanks Brent Fischer.

#6) Summit of Mount Democrat – October 15, 2011 – solo mission

#7) Summit of Mount Sherman – December 3, 2011 w/Rob Jansen (r), not pictured - Jeff Golden, Breanna Dunn and Terry Matthews
Photoshop 101 @ 14K in a WHITEOUT! After responding to a Facebook post, I picked these 2 random guys named Rob and Jeff up in Denver… in a blizzard… and we were off to Fairplay. As we returned to the car the temperature read -13 degrees. The next day I joined

#8) Summit of Mount Evans – December 10, 2011 w/ Mandy Miller (from Guanella Pass)
This was the result of waaaay too many beers at my first 14er happy hour. A mountain goat tried to eat my head and Mandy kicked my a$s on the ascent. Gymtime!

#9) Summit of Grays Peak – December 17, 2011 – solo mission (combo w/ Torreys)
In July there may be 500 people on these mountains. In December, maybe 5, including Ryan Kushner!

#10) Summit of Torrey’s Peak – December 17, 2011 – solo mission (combo w/ Grays)
Kelso Ridge… I’ll be back for you.

#11) Summit of Mount Elbert – December 18, 2011 – solo mission
With a 12:30 PM start, I watched the sunset from the summit. Hiking alone in winter in Colorado in the dark is quite a rush, but also pretty damn scary.

#12) Summit of Humboldt Peak – December 26, 2011 w/ Jeff Golden, Clay Wyatt, Brian Thomas, Nick Gianoutsos, and Matthew Speth
“Is that Longs?” Merry Christmas! What not to do on a 14er…. carry your gear on a sled, right Nick! haha. This would be my 1st official calendar winter climb.

#13) Summit of LaPlata Peak – January 2, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen
The first climb of 2012 and Rob’s 1st calendar winter 14er. Smokin’ Yards on the way home… extra credit! The beginning of one incredible year…

#14) Summit of Pikes Peak – January 7, 2012 – solo mission (from Crags)
The people on the road couldn’t understand why this guy was walking up the mountain and the people on the summit couldn’t grasp the idea that I had no car! No donuts to greet me at the summit on this day. Closed for Winter.

#15) Summit of Ellingwood Point – January 15, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen (l), Andrew Knox (r), not pictured - Jeff Golden, Emma McVey, Eric Sangueza, Derek Freed, Clay Wyatt, Karthik Venkatesh and Jodi Nelan (SW Ridge)
This would be the last big trip before tax season hibernation, so we made it count – Ellingwood from the less seldom used SW ridge, followed by a traverse over to Blanca. Como Road lived up to its rep.

#16) Summit of Blanca Peak – January 15, 2012 – w/ Andrew Knox (l) and Rob Jansen (middle) (traverse from Ellingwood)

#17) Summit of Mount Bross – February 19, 2012 – solo mission
Tax season winter recess. SPECTACULAR!

#18) Summit of Mount Cameron – February 19, 2012 – solo mission
Is this really even a mountain?

#19) Summit of Mount Lincoln – February 19, 2012 – solo mission
I met John Young on the descent after he drove his car off the road! Florida drivers…

#20) Summit of Mount Princeton – April 29, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen
Tax season is over!! Time to play.

#21) Summit of Mount Antero – May 5, 2012 – solo mission
Cinco De Mayo pregame…

#22) Summit of Castle Peak – May 12, 2012 w/ Greg Fischer, Jeff Golden and Brian Thomas (l to r)
Rookie trip to the Elks. “Dude, where you at?”

#23) Summit of Conundrum Peak – May 12, 2012 w/ Jeff Golden (middle) and Greg Fischer (r)
No sign of exploding cows!

#24) Summit of Mount Wilson – May 27, 2012 w/ Greg Fischer, Jeff Golden and Rob Jansen (l to r). Bill Wood and Keri Harris (not pictured)
Crampons, ice tools, snowshoes and 75+ mph winds. It’s amazing I’m still not up there. Keri and Bill took their own summit shot @ 13,500.

#25) Summit of Wilson Peak – May 28, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen, Greg Fischer and Jeff Golden (l to r)
Marmots are evil, snowshoes are worse, but the views were incredible!... Happy Memorial Day!

#26) Summit of Mount Shavano – June 9, 2012 – solo mission
My 1st summit cookie. A pleasure to meet you on this day Noel Finta-Johnson!

#27)Summit of Tabeguache Peak – June 9, 2012 – solo mission
This is Rigby. We met on the summit.

#28) Summit of Mount Harvard – June 10, 2012 – solo mission
My legs are starting to hurt. The traverse over to Columbia is huge and impressive.

#29) Summit of Mount Columbia – June 10, 2012 – solo mission
One day short of a year after my 1st 14er. It’s amazing that I ever wanted to climb another after this descent...

#30) Summit of Mount Massive – June 30, 2012 – solo mission (SE Ridge up, W slopes down)
Massive is GINORMOUS! Hitting all 84 peaks (as Rob would say) – (including Point 12,381/South South Massive/South Massive/Mount Massive/Massive Green/North Massive/Point 14,169)

#31) Summit of San Luis Peak – July 4, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen (from West Willow Creek)
The kickoff to the San Juan Slammer! Happy 4th of July!

#32) Summit of Wetterhorn Peak – July 5, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen (from Matterhorn Creek, combo w/ Uncompahgre)
A sunrise like no other…

#33) Summit of Uncompahgre Peak – July 5, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen (combo w/ Wetterhorn)
Kings of the San Juans!

#34) Summit of El Diente Peak – July 6, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen (from Kilpacker)
50 miles later… SAN JUAN SLAMMER SUCCESS! 4 of 4 complete on this 4th of July weekend. Now let’s get down! The Dales back at the car never tasted so good.

#35) Summit of Capitol Peak – July 15, 2012 w/ Rob Jansen, Greg Fischer, Tyler Prince and Dan McCool (l to r)

#36) Summit of Missouri Mountain – July 29, 2012 w/ Andrew Knox and Shannon Novosel (from Rockdale)
The best super incognito way to hit the Belford Group. The Jeep is a beast.

#37) Summit of Mount Belford – July 29, 2012 w/ Andrew Knox and Shannon Novosel (from MO over Elkhead Pass)
Or as Shannon calls it, Mount Chandler…

#38) Summit of Mount Oxford – July 29, 2012 w/ Andrew Knox and Shannon Novosel
Life is good

#39) Summit of Mount of the Holy Cross – August 4, 2012 – solo mission (Halo Ridge)
I could stay here all day…

#40) Summit of Culebra Peak – August 11, 2012 w/ Jeff Golden, Rob Jansen, Tyler Prince, Ben Shulman, Bill Wood, Marcia McCarroll and Jennifer Bruce (l to r)
Birthday brews at 14K!

#41) Summit of Crestone Peak – August 18, 2012 w/ David Yarian (l) and Andrew Knox (middle) (Peak to Needle Traverse)
South Colony is spectacular. If you ever need a Crestone Traverse TR, zambo is your man.

#42) Summit of Crestone Needle – August 18, 2012 w/ David Yarian (l) and Andrew Knox (r) (Peak to Needle Traverse)
That final pitch is the real deal.

#43) Summit of Snowmass Mountain – August 25, 2012 w/ Tyler Prince, Rob Jansen, Dan McCool and Greg Fischer (l to r) (S Ridge)
This picture sits in a frame on the desk in my office. I went back and forth as to whether or not to include it, but in the end decided it should be in here. The smiles on our faces say it all. Miss you everyday Rob.

#44) Summit of Mount Sneffels - September 15, 2012
Jeff and Greg’s Finisher. Nice work boys!

#45) Summit of South Maroon Peak – June 23, 2013 – solo mission
TIME LAPSE…. I woke up one day this past June and said it’s about time I get my a$s back out there. Time to finish what I started.

#46) Summit of Mount Lindsey – July 4, 2013 – solo mission
I like to call this the Sangre Slammer. Happy 4th of July!

#47) Summit of Little Bear Peak – July 6, 2013 w/ Brad Stevens (SW Ridge route)
Mama Bear Traverse… check. This one felt pretty damn good.

#48) Summit of Challenger Point – July 7, 2013 w/ Brad Stevens
2 days earlier I missed the right turn in the dark 100 ft. out of the parking lot and ended up at Crestone Lake. Who does that?!?!? Thanks for being a good sport Collin Tilbe. Redemption is good.

#49) Summit of Kit Carson Peak – July 7, 2013 w/ Brad Stevens
Sangre Slammer complete… 4 for 4. Not even thinking about how far away the Jeep is! Beastly effort Brad. Great to have the company on these. Thanks.

#50) Summit of Sunlight Peak – July 13, 2013 w/ Darrin Nicholas, Tyler Prince, Keri Harris, Emily Hendrick, Justin Koback, Bill Wood, Jennifer Saylor, Noel Finta-Johnson, Chuck Earle, Dave Campbell, John Esseveld, Nelson Esseveld, Alex Esseveld and Ethan Chambers (solo from Purgatory TH)
The BIG 5 O…. FTB! What an amazing crew, weekend, climb, hike! This one had it all and I’m still laughing.

#51) Summit of Windom Peak – July 13, 2013 w/ Justin Koback, Keri Harris, Nelson Esseveld, John Esseveld, Emily Hendrick and Darrin Nicholas (l to r) (Dillygoat Direct, a slight variation of the Kansas Direct)

#52) Summit of North Eolus – July 14, 2013 w/ Keri Harris, Darrin Nicholas, Justin Koback, Tyler Prince and Emily Hendrick (l to r)

#53) Summit of Mount Eolus – July 14, 2013 w/ Emily Hendrick, Nelson Esseveld, Tyler Prince, Darrin Nicholas, Keri Harris, John Esseveld, Justin Koback and Alex Esseveld.
When you climb 4 mountains with these guys, you don’t need to ask what’s next. Beer me, Bloody Mary me, Vodka me, ALL OF THE ABOVE. The pamphlets will keep us warm. Weekends like this are why we do what we do.

#54) Summit of Pyramid Peak – July 21, 2013 – solo mission
T minus 4

#55) Summit of North Maroon Peak – July 31, 2013 w/ Anthony Wagner
If at 1st you don't succeed, try again 3 days later AND when you do, don't leave home without your 8,000,000 lumen headlamp!

#56) Summit of Redcloud Peak – August 3, 2013 w/ Clay Wyatt, Ben Shulman, and Paige Beilby (l to r)
And then there were 2….

#57) Summit of Sunshine Peak – August 3, 2013 w/ Clay Wyatt, Ben Shulman, Paige Beilby
this is happening.

#58) Summit of Handies Peak – August 4, 2013 w/ Paige Beilby, Emma McVey, Ben Shulman, Tyler Prince, Kate Binversie, Peter Shelitto, Thomas Robson, Nelson Esseveld, Jeff Golden, Clay Wyatt and John Esseveld (l to r)
Can’t thank you guys enough for making the trip. You guys are incredible. It was an honor to share #58 with this group. Thank you all. Can I say look at ourselves?

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”


Thanks for reading.


  • Comments or Questions

Congratulations!     2013-08-06 12:31:00
You are right! this is not the end, not even the beginning of the end!
This is nothing and this is everything!

Awesome accomplish!


Nice     2013-08-06 12:33:44
Great look back. That summit shot on Pyramid Peak really makes me hanker for some BACON!


Congratulations!     2013-08-06 13:18:05
Absolutely fantastic, Dillon. Love the way you went through your journey in pictures.

And as you said - it's far from over...


Congrats Dillon!!     2013-08-06 13:20:24
From the first time I met you on Shavano, I had no doubt you would rock the peaks!! You are and always will be the Wonder Boy! Way to go!!!


Awesome     2013-08-06 13:41:43
Congrats Dillion! Great report and thanks for the journey!


yay!     2013-08-06 13:54:13
Last week when you posted it, the shot from N. Maroon hit me hard. There were several more of these that did the same. Nice work, Dillon! You got a helluva lot more than some summits.


Thanks     2013-08-06 14:04:25
I know more about you (chicken, diet soda, etc) than you know about me but like all folks on this site we share the love for the mountains. Congratulations on all of your summits and thank for taking us along on the journey with you!


Mountain wife     2013-08-06 14:18:14
might be waiting for you on the top of some 13er.

Colorado is a hell of a lot nicer than New Jersey - nice work.


This is awesome!     2013-08-06 14:27:18
Nice way to encompass the whole journey. I love it. Way to go Dillon.

As for the mountain wife, I agree whole-heartedly with Brian. Better start looking on those 13ers soon!


Nice presentation ...     2013-08-06 15:05:50
and Congratulations! Thanks for posting. Happy trails!


BOOOOM     2013-08-06 15:09:47
What an awesome and unique way to look back on the journey. Nothing but the summit shots and a few words. I even learned a few things about your 14er-ing that I didn't realize before. It was a pleasure to share those summits with you and I look forward to many more -- as long as trees aren't involved.


Amazing Journey!     2013-08-06 15:13:18
The pic for each peak is stellar! Big congrats man!! May you get addicted to more lists!


Love the style     2013-08-06 15:20:29
And even more happy to have shared a handful of these with you, cyberbuddy. Congrats.

Trainer Keri

FOR THE PAMPHLETS!!!     2013-08-06 15:22:02
And it was a helluva awesome pic at 13,500!!! AWESOME report...I love the pictures!!! Great times...which is definitely the reason to climb these things with awesome people


Nice work     2013-08-06 15:44:16
Happy you decided to include the Snowmass Pic.


Awesome!     2013-08-06 16:06:21


Cool     2013-08-06 17:58:21
photo recap of your journey. Nice job, and thanks for sharing. And agree with Fire, the Snowmass picture deserves to be here. Rock on man!


Well done sir     2013-08-06 18:11:04
Congratulations on completing the 14ers! Great pictures!


Bravo!     2013-08-06 18:57:11
Thanks for letting us share in your journey. Glad to know ya!

Also, thanks for posting just enough pics to appear popular, but not needy.



Great Job     2013-08-06 19:12:31
Awesome pics and nice work in such a short amount of time .... never leave home without your 8,000,000 lumen headlamp!


FTB, lol     2013-08-06 19:49:52
Nice job, Dillon.


#boss     2013-08-06 19:53:56
Dillon you are truly an inspiration. Seeing somebody do such incredibly painful and dangerous things, while having a smile on his face the whole time is so awesome to see; you bring such a positive energy! And the freakin stats that you put up are insane. You're a 14 Thousand Foot Athlete, that's for sure. Can't wait to see what you do next


Congrats!     2013-08-06 19:58:12
”I like chicken, diet soda, beer, and greek yogurt.”

Yeah, not sure we'd make for good partners. At least as far as food's concerned. Nice work!


Awesome work!     2013-08-06 20:05:28
My wife and I hiked Culebra on the same day as your group. Nice job getting them all done!


A great goal accomplished!     2013-08-06 21:54:10
Such a great way to show us the whole journey, Dillon. Congrats on knocking them out in decent time, leaves plenty of time for lesser( only in elevation) peaks.

Needed to put the Snowmass pic up there, it deserved to be right where it is.

Hope to connect for a climb once I'm back on the saddle again


nice presentation     2013-12-16 05:35:26
Congrats on finishing. I think I was on the same car with you as you took the train back to Durango on Mon 7/15 (maybe?). I heard the talk and it brought back memories of the 14er excursion. Hope you enjoyed it, but now you got hundreds of 13ers to climb.


Huge Congrats Dillon!     2013-08-07 08:42:28
Way to finish them off in style, and I love the TR concept. Cheers!


Amazing Journey!     2013-08-07 08:53:35
What a way to document an achievement and memories that you'll carry for the rest of your life! Thanks for sharing.

Chicago Transplant

Congrats!     2013-08-07 10:49:45
Congrats Dillon! Nice way to recap with all the summit photos


You forgot one.     2013-08-07 11:00:36
What about that lovely day we spent bushwhacking through snowdrifts and puddles in the LCW? Or does that go on a different list?

Great recap. Well done. And congratulations again!


Props to you...     2013-08-07 11:33:13
This was a great report to look back on your journey. Loved the group finisher photos. Congrats Dillon!


Yeaaaahhh Boy     2013-08-08 11:11:21
Loved this TR and the pic for each summit. Congrats again, super happy that you reached your goal.


THANKS!     2013-08-08 22:38:23
hey all, just want to say thank you very much! Looking forward to many more adventures with ya'll! These comments are pretty awesome. I'll try to hit you up individually and say hey!

Somewhat of a Prick

Dude...     2013-08-09 09:26:25
This TR really got me. I can't WAIT for that feeling.

Lady McClimbsalot

Wow...     2013-08-09 15:47:35
There are tears in my eyes. Not only for your great success, but seeing what a bond you and Rob had. There is no other feeling than a well-earned summit with someone you love and care about by your side. This is SO inspiring I want to FREAK OUT!!!! Congratulations times a million. If you feel the need to re-do any of the hard ones, let me know!


.     2013-08-18 19:41:24
Awesome man! I think I ran into you on a couple of these. I was wondering why you seemed to disappear for about a year in there.

I totally dig the format - 1 picture per peak and a short description. I intend to use the same layout here in a couple weeks myself


Say what?!     2013-09-12 19:33:40
I didn't see this until now! What a kick ass page. You rock, Dillon, and congrats my friend.


Beautiful!     2013-09-19 22:50:36
Just saw this now! FANTASTIC journey sir. What a great keepsake (do only grandmas say that?!) Hope to get to climb with you soon!

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