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Colorado 14er Academy

Climb a 14er the safe and sustainable way.

So many of you have asked for advice on climbing your first 14er (or trying again after turning around). Well, your wish is my command!

Colorado 14er Academy teaches you everything you need to know to hike a 14er and come back alive. While this course will definitely increase your chances of getting to the top, my #1 goal is for you to be safe out there!

This online course covers:

πŸ—» How to choose the perfect 14er for your first climb

πŸ—» The 10 survival gear essentials you need to carry on every hike

πŸ—» The most common 14er emergencies β€” and how to prevent and survive them (falling, getting lost, storms, etc.)

πŸ—» Why 60% of visitors to the Rockies get altitude sickness, and how to decrease your risk

πŸ—» A 14-week workout plan to get you 14er fit in time for summer, plus my Beginner and Absolute Zero training plans

πŸ—» Tools and templates to take the guesswork out of trip planning

πŸ—» ... and much more.

I've thrown everything I've learned in 20 years of climbing Colorado 14ers and teaching hiking and mountaineering skills into this course to dramatically increase your chances of reaching the summit!

To ensure that every student receives tons of individual attention, enrollment in this course will close at midnight on Wednesday, May 29. So don't get left out in the rain. Jump inside now and get ready to climb that 14er ... and blow your own mind.


This is the perfect course for you if ...

  • You're climbing your first 14er and want to dramatically boost your chances of success
  • You are excited about climbing Colorado's mountains and want to learn to do so safely
  • You want to get in shape for mountain hiking


And not so perfect for you if ...

  • You are an experienced 14er climber looking for advanced skills
  • You want to climb technical routes
  • You're already super confident in your skills and fitness level

Your Instructor


Sarah Maurer
Sarah Maurer

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a fitness coach who helps hikers get in the best shape of their lives for big peaks.

I started my Colorado hiking career as a backpacking guide in the Mummy Range. Since then, I've climbed forty Colorado 14ers as well as big peaks in Turkey, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico and the USA. I started my blog Miss Adventure Pants in order to help adventurous souls just like you climb your mountain ... and just maybe blow your own mind.

If you’re struggling to get fit for hiking (especially at sea level), I totally feel you! I did NOT grow up anywhere near a mountain. (Ahem, Cleveland.) As a kid, the only place I had to hike was grandma’s cornfield. And I never had that slim, athletic body that I thought was a requirement for climbing mountains.

Happily, learning how to train, eat right, and carry the right gear has made a huge difference for me. And as an instructor for the Colorado Mountain Club, I've helped dozens of students become safe and confident hikers, scramblers, and mountaineers.

I've thrown everything I've learned in 20 years of climbing and teaching into this course to dramatically increase your chances of reaching the summit! Thanks so much for checking it out. And I can't wait to see you inside.


Class Curriculum



Miss Adventure Pants really helped a ton with my summit climb on Orizaba. Her aerobic workouts and heavy pack training were especially useful. I could, in real time, feel the positive effects of many long hikes that had built up endurance and stamina. I'm no speed demon and pretty average at this stuff but building up little by little, following her training plans, was ultimately a core part of reaching the top. Mentally and physically her blogs and guidance were a great boost to get me up the mountain. Pretty euphoric about the whole thing. Whew!

β€” Peter, Pico de Orizaba

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I train to climb a 14er if I'm out of shape or overweight?
Absolutely. In fact, it's a great goal to help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals. To climb a 14er, you need to be able to ascend 2,500 to 3,500 feet while moving at a moderate pace β€” and have enough energy left over to get back down. That's challenging but doable with a few months of training. To help you along, I've included a detailed, 14-week training plan in the course. For those of you who need a bit of extra help getting started, I've also included my Absolute Zero Training Plan (which starts with simple walking workouts), and my 8-Week Beginner Training Plan, which helps you reach solid hiking fitness in just 2 months.
How long do I have access to the course?
Once you purchase the course, it's yours forever! Revisit the course page any time to review lessons and download resources. You will also have access to any course updates and future bonus material at no additional cost.
What is the format of the course?
Most of the lessons are text-based. This means you can easily review concepts and check specific details without watching an entire video again. I've also included a few videos that show you how to use your online mapping apps and read topographic maps.
Do I need any special equipment for the training portion of the program?
I personally recommend using a heart rate monitor for your aerobic base and lactate threshold workouts. However, it's not absolutely necessary. You'll also learn how to check your intensity just by paying attention to your breathing and perceived exertion level.
Will I need to join a gym in order to train for a 14er?
While it's easier to get a good strength workout in the gym, you can also do the exercises in this program at home or on the playground.
Does this course also work for Colorado 13ers?
Absolutely! At least 98 percent of the material applies to Colorado hikes below 14,000 ft.
Do I need this course if I already own your Mt. Rainier Training Plan?
Great question. The 21-Week Mt. Rainier Training Plan will definitely get you in shape for a 14er β€” and then some. However, see the answer to the next question ...
What if I'm already really fit? Will this course still help me?
Colorado 14er Academy covers much more than training and fitness. It also helps you plan your trip, prepare for emergencies, choose the right gear, and improve your survival skills. In short, it offers everything you need to dramatically increase your chances of summiting a 14er. So if you are an experienced Colorado hiker already, this info might be too basic. But if you are new to Colorado hiking or visiting from outside the state, you will still get a ton of value out of Colorado 14er Academy.
Are refunds available if I'm not happy with the course?
Absolutely. I want you to have a great experience in this course. If you're unsatisfied for any reason, simply return the course within 30 days for a full refund.