The 14Air Story - Colorado 14ers T-Shirts & Gear
Hello, my name is Troy Schultz, the Founder of the 14Air brand. I wanted to share a brief background on the inspiration behind the 14Air brand and some insight into what I hope 14Air will become.
The first inkling of 14Air came to me about six years ago after hiking Mt Yale. Talking with some friends afterwards we kicked around the idea of how great it would be to have something a little more creative and custom than just the basic 14er T-Shirts currently available online. While discussing the potential project over a few adult beverages the idea seemed awesome and probably easier said than done, and ultimately tabled until a year ago.
I revisited the concept last fall while planning my 9 year old nephew Lucas's first ever 14er trip up Mt. Bierstadt. We've been skiing over the last couple of years and love the colored difficulty rankings system on ski mountains that allows skiers to choose from a green ski run to blue runs etc. Lucas asked me if there were any shirts or clothing that he could get after we did his first 14er that represented Mt Bierstadt and the difficulty. After looking around on the internet again I couldn't find anything that really hit the mark for what I was looking for and I thought back to the original idea.
Thus I decided to move forward with creating the 14Air brand. Our custom 14er T-Shirts are broken down into four different groups based on the difficulty level, very similar to ski runs - Green (easier), Blue (moderate), Black (difficult) and Red (extreme) We do have one additional custom 14er design for Mount Shasta. This design was created because one of my co-workers climbed Mount Shasta this last June to support The Cancer Climb, so we definitely wanted to get a custom design for Mt Shasta..
The original goal of the 14Air brand was to create fun, unique shirts and gear that you could wear or use to proudly show off the peak or mountain you climbed. Then something really cool happened while climbing several 14ers early this summer. I made it a point to hike alone and talk to as many people on the way up as possible. I heard some truly amazing stories! Stories I want to share. So moving forward my mission is to share as many user generated stories and inspiring tales as possible.
Finally, 14Air is not an informational website for 14ers. We are very fortunate in Colorado because there are already some great websites out there that have amazing information and education about everything 14ers - My favorite being 14ers.com. So if you are looking for information on a route to hike or specific details around the difficulty or challenges that a particular 14er may present please visit one of those sites. You you will not find that type of information on 14Air. 14ers.com also has an extremely valuable app that I highly recommend you download before you embark on any 14er adventure. I personally use the app and my fellow hiking and climbing friends do as well, and we all love it!
If you have any feedback, questions, or just a great story or idea to make the site better, please hit me up at Troy@14air.net.