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Tuesday, November 27,2012

From Elbert to Everest

Colorado mountaineer Jon Kedrowski talks Sleeping on the Summits

By James Dziezynski
Courtesy of Jon Kedrowski
Jon Kedrowski on the Maroon Bells traverse.

The New Year’s resolution on Jon Kedrowski’s calendar probably read something like this: Do everything!

Having earned his doctorate in environmental geography in 2010 while simultaneously taking his passion for climbing to a new level, Kedrowski went on to complete a somewhat strange and notable accomplishment: sleeping on the summits of all of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks (the 53 “official” peaks plus the 5 “semi-official” summits for a total of 58) in 2011. (See “Sleepers at altitude” from Boulder Weekly’s Sept. 6, 2012 issue.)

All that work was great training for his May 2012 adventure to Mount Everest, where he successfully summitted the world’s highest mountain. It took two attempts for Kedrowski to reach the top of Everest. He turned back on his first attempt due to foul weather and in hopes of avoiding the massive crowds. In a season where 10 climbers lost their lives on the mountain, patience and judgment contributed to a successful summit attempt and, more importantly, getting down safely.

With a strong global climbing resume and the elusive summit of Gaserbrum II in Pakistan in his sights for 2013, Kedrowski continues to work and play in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. A native of Vail, he has over 400 summits on 14ers. His quest to sleep on the tops of all these peaks was made into a best-selling book called Sleeping on the Summits co-authored with friend and meteorologist Chris Tomer. Released earlier this year, the book includes Kedrowski’s reflections on his adventures, amazing sunset and sunrise photography and notes on the weather provided by Tomer.

Sleeping on the Summits was pounding your body day after day after day, and that more than prepares you for the extended exposure you get at altitude on Everest,” Kedrowski says. “Everest was a 60-day expedition, while sleeping on the summits was a 90-day expedition, making Everest and time away from home seem not so bad.”

Kedrowski and Tomer will talk about Sleeping on the Summits: Colorado Fourteener High Bivys at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29 at the Boulder Book Store.

You can catch up on Kedrowski’s latest adventures on his website at

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