Ellie Briggs and Loki

WRM011: Ellie Briggs on Climbing All of Colorado’s 14,000-foot Peaks with Her Husky

Visualize being close to 14,000 feet on a challenging peak in Colorado. You’re looking at a knife ridge on Capitol Peak that separates you from the summit. It falls off so deeply on both sides that if you fall … you die. And it’s not just you climbing it … your dog is also attempting the summit.

There are 58 peaks over 14,000 feet – or “14’ers” as they’re often called – in Colorado. For the past eight years Ellie and her dog Loki picked them off one by one.

The first peaks she climbed were relatively easy walk-ups. But as she progressed, the challenges in climbing them grew. Some – because of weather or other circumstances – she couldn’t climb on the first attempt. So she returned to them.

And now, here she is, looking at the last peak.

Welcome to Ellie’s world where focus, persistence and an amazing dog have enabled her to achieve something only two other owners and their dogs have been able to achieve.

In this wide-ranging interview, Ellie shares how Loki became her dog, and how he is so different from other huskies. She talks about how – after coming out of a challenging relationship – a chance friendship at a Meetup group – led her to climb Colorado’s highest mountains almost as a form of therapy, and as a way to rebuild her confidence.

And she lets us in on the unshakable bond and trust she has built with Loki.

I hope you enjoy listening to this interview as much as I enjoyed interviewing her.

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