Breckenridge’s Christopher Fisher earns fastest known time over Mosquito-Tenmile Range traverse
Perched atop Peak 10, Breckenridge local Christopher Fisher sat exhausted and malnourished.
Fisher had just spent the better part of 15 hours attempting to cover the Mosquito-Tenmile Range traverse in order to claim the fastest known time on the mind-boggling segment which covers 40-miles, 18,500 feet of elevation and 34 different peaks.
He was attempting to break the fastest known time of 31 hours, 10 minutes and 40 seconds set by Lakewood’s Garrison Hommer in September 2021. Fisher was inspired to attempt the traverse not only because of its proximity to Breckenridge, but also the legend of the segment.
“I have lived here for so long it has just been in the backyard,” he said. “It is a really aesthetic ridge; there is nothing like it in the world. The first 30 miles never dips below 13,000 feet making it the longest, highest ridgeline in America besides Alaska.”
Four hours into his traverse attempt back in July, his body started to reject any form of fuel. A few hours later, he says his body started to completely shut down, resulting in some scary moments while looking down upon the town he calls home from the top of Peak 10.
“The first attempt was my biggest effort I had ever put in,” Fisher said. “I wasn’t able to eat any foods since the four-hour mark, which led to a total-body shutdown. I pushed another 14 to 15 hours without eating calories, and that led to a complete downfall by the time I got to Peak 10.”
He said that his heart rate was spiking at 180 beats per minute from the slightest movements and felt like he was breathing through a straw. With the way his body was feeling and with several thunderstorms beginning to roll into the area, he was forced to abandon his mission to complete the traverse.
The decision to not finish the effort was at first upsetting to him, but, after allowing some time for reflection, he came to realize that valuable lessons were learned from the experience and was motivated to try the traverse again nearly two months later.
Many may think that after such an emotional and gut-wrenching experience, the last thing they would want to do is get back up to climb the 34 peaks in under 30 hours, but, for Fisher, it was a non-question.
“After learning some lessons and spending some time up high, I decided it was time to go get it again,” he said. “When your passion is as deep as mine for climbing mountains, you never stop thinking about how you are going to get back out there and when you are going to get back out there.”
Last year, he climbed over 400,000 feet in the month of October in order to set the record for the most vertical gained on foot in a month during the Max Vert October challenge.
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, Sept. 6, he set out again to claim the unsupported fastest known time over the Mosquito and Tenmile mountain ranges. On the second attempt, he was able to fuel his body up until the 16-hour mark, which allowed him to push his body well past the site where he faltered out on Peak 10 nearly two months ago.
Not only did Fisher revamp his nutrition on his second attempt, but he also fixed his pacing after going out too fast on his first attempt.
Besides pushing past Peak 10, he also had several other highlights as he conquered peaks and grew closer to the finish line at the Mount Royal trailhead in Frisco.
He was atop Traver Peak at sunrise, listening to music while continuing to churn his legs forward when “At Dawn” by My Morning Jacket blared through his headphones.
“I was super stoked that turned on while the sunrise was coming up at dawn,” he said. “During the next stretch, I was just super stoked to be there, getting that second wind from the sun.”
Fisher experienced the most emotional moment of his second traverse attempt around Peak 4 between Breckenridge and Frisco. He was hurting pretty bad but realized that he was so close to successfully claiming the fastest known time.
“It was just an eye-opening experience just realizing that, yes, I am hurting — and I hurt really bad — but there is no place I would rather be besides right here doing what I am doing right now,” he said.
He successfully navigated the rest of the Tenmile Range to finish the traverse in a time of 25 hours, 18 minutes and 49 seconds to beat the old fastest known time by nearly six hours.
With Frisco in complete darkness, Fisher was met by his close friends, who congratulated him for successfully accomplishing his goal of finishing the gnarly traverse.
Once he has fully recovered from the effort, he plans on climbing as many peaks as possible during the month of October. The effort will act as a building block for his next big project, which is to climb all of the 13er and 14ers in the state of Colorado next year.
“That’s going to be a big month of staying up high and climbing peaks,” he said. “And, using it as a showcase month for people to get an idea about how I am going to tackle over 600 peaks next year.”
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