Colorado is home to 58 mountains that exceed 14,000 feet (4267 meters), which of course makes it one of the most mountainous states in the entire U.S. Over the years, countless climbers and hikers have made it a priority to climb each and every one of those mountains, which have entire websites dedicated to them. But recently, a Siberian husky by the name of Loki topped out on his 58th 14er as well, making him the third dog to ever accomplish that feat.
This past September, Loki — along with his owner Ellie Briggs — reached the summit of Capitol Peak, knocking off their final Colorado 14er. At 14,131 feet (4307 meters), Capitol had proven itself to be particularly tricky. A year earlier, Briggs and Loki turned back due to high winds, and had waited 12 months to return. When they did, they found the conditions were similar, but they pushed ahead none the less. As it turned out, the mountain wasn’t as intimidating as they had thought, and both owner and dog were able to make it to the top without too much difficulty, although negotiating the narrow, 150-foot long final ridge was still a bit scary for both.
Outside Online has the complete story of their adventure, which wrapped up a climbing project that spanned seven years. Briggs and Loki first started hiking in 2012, both new to the sport. But they took to the trail with energy and excitement, summiting Mount Elbert—the tallest mountain in Colorado—not long after. Success on that peak spawned many more tips to into the wilderness, with the duo quickly becoming veterans of the trail. From there, they started taking on other 14ers, slowly but surely whittling each of them off their list. By the fall of 2019, there was just one left, and once Capitol was finally climbed, the dog and his owner were in the history books.
According to Outside, only three pups are known to have climbed all 58 of those mountains. A dog named Diente, owned by Roger Edrinn, first did it in the 1990s. Then in 2014, a German-shepherd mix named Melvin completed the climbs alongside owner Mike Gulsvig. Now, Loki is part of that short list too, which also includes about 2000 humans. The website 14erCanine.org says that eight dogs have completed at least 50 of the 14ers, which accounts for the easy walk-ups. Several of the peaks also require difficult scrambling, which isn’t alway easy for the canine hikers.
As for what’s next for Loki, Briggs says that they may have closed the door on this project, but there will be other adventures. She says, “I’ll keep coming up with things for us to do, as long as he’s willing to climb with me.”
At age 8, I’m sure Loki isn’t quite done yet either. Read his whole story here.