(Last Updated On: May 25, 2010)
Jarrett Luttrell, Capitol Peak:
Brittany and I first met Jarrett Luttrell on a trip to Chicago Basin, when we successfully skied and boarded Sunlight, Windom, and Eolus. Jordan and Brittany quickly headed back to the Front Range after we departed the train, while Jarrett and I headed to a Mexican joint to get some food and a well-deserved margarita. With only Harvard left before my fourteener quest would be complete, I suppose I was already contemplating what it would mean for me once that goal was complete. Naturally, our conversation turned towards Jarrett’s goal to snowboard all the fourteeners, and what that would mean to him.
What struck me most about that conversation was Jarrett’s genuine desire not just to be the first to ride the fourteeners, but to also “do it right”. “Doing it right” meant a lot of things for Jarrett, but certainly included sticking to the same standards as the skiers. I think he even said something to the effect of “I hope whoever snowboards them all first doesn’t cut any corners, and make snowboarders look bad.” Don’t worry Jarrett, your accomplishment stands tall, snowboarders and Crested Buttians are all proud of you. Congrats!
The following are some questions 14erskiers asked Jarrett after his final descent, Long’s Peak, on 5-16-10.
1)When did you start?
July 1998 was my first 14,000 ft peak. I took a trip to Lake City to look at the San Juans with a Rodger Edrin book. I got chased off the summit by a storm, waited at camp, and then watched the sunset from Uncompahgre later the same day.
January of 2000 was the first one on a board. Quandary of course! But I didn’t get it from the Summit. Halbakken and I also climbed Elbert that week. We made it to the summit at sunset, but we only rode a little bit of Elbert’s NE ridge, and walked out in the dark. I went back later for both of those. I had a couple other marginal successes that year too. Halbakken and I rode the Bell Cord that year, but not from Maroon’s summit.
I guess Handies, and La PLata later that spring were the first ones from the very very tipy top. I think the standards for this project are higher than most people realize initially, there’s always a bit of a learning curve there. I’m still not satisfied with my status on Sneffels. Then again, a lot of people consider the Snake Couloir a summit descent for Sneffels. I guess I won’t argue with their claim. It holds a pitch for twice the vert, and is undeniably the big line.
2) What was your favorite, if you have one?
The Bells over all. For wilderness, and snowboarding: Snowmass. You can make it a great vacation, and take the time to smell the mold. It also has a quick pitch at the top that snagged my base like a carrot peeler. Chicago Basin was also a fun trip. Taking the train and meeting a great crew. Mt Sherman has a great view of Mt Massive across the upper Arkansas Valley. Great place for a sunset.
3) What was the most challenging peak for you?
Capitol. It always stood there waiting at the end of the line. I was lucky enough to get it on-site by going with the only one to go back and ski it again, Jordan. He’s put his time in on that one. On many of the other peaks, the risks were more manageable than I expected. On Capitol, my fears were mostly validated. That thing is pretty nasty for riding. It wasn’t the only nemesis though. I got shut down by the Wilsons several times, and there was never much snow in the Southern Sangres. I failed on Little Bear a few times during the drought years. Quitting for a while. Hard to justify the slog into the Blancas again when there are nice lines right in the backyard.
4) Why did you start snowboarding fourteeners?
It was an attempt to make getting down more fun. I liked applying one skill set to the other. I was probably a better rider then, but I think I have grown in terms of a more objective approach to the mountaineering aspect.
5) What did you enjoy most?
The solitude was nice sometimes, but I really enjoyed meeting the other people out there getting after it.
6) What’s next?
Next is mini-golf!
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