Sleeping on the Summits Colorado Fourteener High Bivys

Sleeping on the Summits Colorado Fourteener High Bivys: Book Review

Overall Score
86 %

A fascinating book full of detailed beta, enjoyable photography and the back story behind spending the night on every Colorado 14er summit. A must have for every Colorado mountain enthusiast.

Story 90%
Writing Quality 85%
Impact 80%
Photography 90%

A friend in Leadville emailed me recently to spread the word about a unique lecture at the local Colorado Mountain College.  Two speakers, Jon Kedrowski and Chris Tomer, had recently completed a book detailing Jon’s quest to spend the night on top of every Colorado summit above 14,000′. Those who have been pursued down from the heights by an afternoon electrical storm can all tell you, climbing “14ers” later in the day isn’t a great idea – especially during monsoon season. Spending the night on all 14ers equals major risk. Intrigued, but unable to make the three hour drive, I decided to pass on the lecture.

Soon after, a friend mentioned the book on a jog and, as fortune would have it, Sleeping on the Summits Colorado Fourteener High Bivys showed up in my living room soon after – thanks to my mother-in-law who discovered the book independently.

Sleeping on the Summits : Description

Follow Dr. Jon Kedrowski and Meteorologist Chris Tomer as they attempt to sleep from sunset to sunrise on top of every Colorado fourteener in one summer. It s a journey showcasing mountain geography,
meteorology, climate, and geology of Colorado’s greatest mountain ranges. Experience glorious sunrises, hailstorms, lightning storms, and more in this fast-paced narrative.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 Pages
  • Publisher: Westcliffe Pub (June 15, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1565796527
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565796522

Sleeping on the Summits : Reaction

Goals are a peculiar phenomenon. One man’s inspiring goal is another man’s waste of time. Commencing the read, my suspicion was finding content fixated around the goal of spending the night on all 14er summits. While I appreciate a good challenge, reading about the experience along the way to a goal is much more interesting. Besides, being the first person to do something  is often times the result of of choosing an obscure goal – just read the Guinness Book of World Records! Who cares that you have the longest fingernails in the world, why would anyone want such a thing?

Thankfully, Kedrowski doesn’t overly fixate on the goal. Sleeping on the Summits Colorado Fourteener High Bivys is fascinating in many respects, but two especially: meteorology and geological beta. Kedrowski reveals an encyclopedic knowledge of Colorado geology, detailing specifics about many of the peaks he summited. However, his knowledge is overshadowed by the real star of the book: Mother Nature. The authors cleverly include text message transcripts sent between Jon (hiking) and Chris (usually watching the weather from afar, occasionally hiking too). Since weather safety was Jon’s main concern, the book is jammed full of interesting conversations and details related to weather behavior on and amongst the peaks.

Sleeping on the Summits provides a boatload of nice photography captured at times of day most photographs might normally avoid (ie: the summit of a 14er at night!). Don’t be mistaken, this is not a photographer’s book, but it is full of great shots ( for another unique, goal-based book by a photographer read 365 Days of Pikes Peak: The Journey by The Pikes Peak Guy).

Along the way, Jon and Chris faced (and survived) a variety of spectacular scenarios which are recounted in the book. Jon had an especially close and mystical adventure in the midst of a summit storm.

The books is a good journey, can be read out of order and makes a great resource for those planning a 14er hike of their own.


Who this book is for:

  • If you enjoy mountaineering, Colorado nature, or the mystique of 14ers, grab this book.
  • Hikers will find Kedrowski and Tomer’s book an exceptional guide to hiking 14ers – there’s some great beta and learning here.
  • Photo enthusiasts will discover some great shots to enjoy. This isn’t John Fielder’s Colorado (his books are musts), but it’s impossible not to score some great shots when spending the night on every Colorado 14er.
  • Fans of meteorology and weather. Chris Tomer’s expertise single-handedly redeems all weathermen and reveals much about the complexity of nature and weather.

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About The Author

Brian Erickson
The only noteworthy facts about RYK's founder, Brian, are his height (6'7"), and his fortunate status as a cancer survivor. Otherwise, he is an average guy who works hard, enjoys adventures (trail running, backpacking, biking, hoops), and makes his living as a graphic and web designer. Brian is heading towards his 10 year wedding anniversary with his high school sweetheart. Connect with Brian on Instagram, Twitter, or Google+