Colorado fourteeners are facing mountains of high-altitude rubbish as climbers leave behind a bizarre trail of trash, including everything from blenders to dirty underwear to shards of broken glass.

Von Campbell and Mary O’Malley recently took part in Colorado Fourteener Initiative's “Peak Stewards” program on Mount Sherman when they came across nearly 30 pounds of garbage on the 14,043-foot summit.


Photo Courtesy of ‎Von Campbell‎

Over the course of two days, the pair picked up quite a bit of broken glass shattered from beer bottles on the mountain weighing in at a staggering 30 pounds. While the cleanup is set to finish after the snow is gone, it highlights the issue of littering in the greats outdoors. This awful act not only poses a threat to wildlife, it also spoils the beauty of these incredible natural wonders.

"Please respect the mountains," said Campbell who could tell the beer bottles were intentionally shattered over some boulders.

Mount Sherman is situated in the Mosquito Range between the mountain towns of Fairplay and Leadville. The 14,043-foot fourteener is considered one of the easier summits to bag in the state. The roundtrip distance clocks in a little over 5 miles with an elevation gain of roughly 2,100 feet.

This isn't the first time notable trash has been found on a peak, either. Toasters, blenders, dirty underwear, golf clubs, and stuffed animals are among some of the bizarre items found littering the state's highest peaks.

Issues related to how some hikers are treating fourteeners was also recently captured by Colorado-based photographer Michael Underwood. His photos show the tundra struggling to survive from the impacts of overcrowded trails.


Photo Credit: Michael Underwood. Visit for more.


Photo Credit: Michael Underwood.

It's no secret that Colorado is home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders on earth. Together, we can keep it that way by following the core principles of Leave No Trace. Always pack out what you bring in and try to leave any mountain better than how you found it.

Breanna Sneeringer writes about news, adventure, and more for OutThere Colorado as a Digital Content Producer. She is an avid adventure seeker and wildflower enthusiast. Breanna joined OutThere Colorado in September 2018.


Get OutThere

Signup today for free and be the first to get notified on new updates.

(1) comment


And this is why I am considering leaving Colorado. I am a native and I am so disgusted by the way people treat this amazing state. Carving trees, crapping on trails, leaving trash. People that move here from the states they trashed need to go back. If you cannot assimilate then go home.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.