103 and climbing Local man conquers Colorado’s fourteeners

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Photo courtesy John Lord  John Lord poses for a photo on the summit of Torreys Peak at an elevation of 14,267 feet. Lord started climbing fourteeners at the age of 68. He has summited 103 fourteeners since 2008, and 97 of those climbs were completed after his 70th birthday. In all his adventures, Lord has braved difficult class-two peaks and precarious weather, but he has also experienced personal growth and inspired the people around him to live life without limitation.
Photo courtesy John Lord
John Lord poses for a photo on the summit of Torreys Peak at an elevation of 14,267 feet. Lord started climbing fourteeners at the age of 68. He has summited 103 fourteeners since 2008, and 97 of those climbs were completed after his 70th birthday. In all his adventures, Lord has braved difficult class-two peaks and precarious weather, but he has also experienced personal growth and inspired the people around him to live life without limitation.

John Lord walked into The SUN office with a large cardboard box filled with photographs, handwritten notes on sheets of lined paper and a stack of calendars dating back more than five years.

He has a kind voice and strong hands. His hair is the color of salt and pepper, and for every picture in that cardboard box, he has a story.

Pagosa Springs is known as a mecca for mountain adventurers. Our community is bursting with outdoor enthusiasts — those who fly down treacherous mountain bike paths or run to the top Wolf Creek Pass in their leisure time.

In a town like Pagosa Springs, encountering hikers who have topped multiple fourteeners is fairly typical, but encountering someone like John Lord is a rarity altogether.

Lord has climbed fourteeners 103 times, and 97 of those climbs were completed after his 70th birthday. Not that he would brag about it.

“There is nothing special about me,” he said. “The only thing that is unique about me is that I started so late.”

Lord was born in August of 1940 on a ranch north of Saguache, Colo. He moved to Pagosa Springs after graduating high school, where he met his future wife at an ice skating party.

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