NIWOT — The first time she hiked a fourteener, Heidi Fuhrmann was still in Velcro tennis shoes.
Making her way up Mount Sherman, the then-9-year-old Heidi asked her father, “Do people do this all the time?”
But by the time she was 13, her attitude had changed. Summiting a now-forgotten peak, Heidi exclaimed, “I am going to do all of these!”
This year, accompanied by her father, she completed that goal.
“I don’t think I’m special. People do that all the time,” she said of the feat of climbing all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. “But I think what makes (my story) interesting is that my dad and I did them all together.”
Colorado has 54 such peaks, the closest of which is Longs Peak.
Nearly every summer since she was 9, Heidi Fuhrmann and her father, Steve, have bagged some peaks, she said.
“They are all so different,” the Niwot High School math teacher said. “But my favorite part (on each) is the last 300 yards to the summit, when your feet are really aching and you forget that the air is thin because you are so excited to get to the top.”
Her father, who lives in Monument, said his favorite part of hiking the peaks with his daughter has been watching her grow and learn to make wise decisions.
“You bite your tongue not to say, ‘Be careful,’” Steve Fuhrmann said. “Through this whole project, I never treated her like a daughter. I always treated her like a partner, an adult.”
Over the years, the pair said, they’ve adapted to one another’s quirks.
Steve Fuhrmann, for example, likes to have a cup of coffee in the morning. But because Heidi Fuhrmann likes to “wake up on the trail,” he’s learned to pack instant coffee drinks, like Frappuccino.
Hiking the peaks together has been a special time for the Fuhrmanns to spend together, the pair said.
“As you grow up and you’re a teenager, it’s all about your friends, but (hiking the peaks) was a time that was special to us,” Heidi Fuhrmann said.
“And I think it was special to him because it was something I wanted to do and I wanted him to be a part of it.”
Amanda Arthur can be reached at 303-684-5215, or by e-mail at email@example.com.