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Surgical Mountain Assault Series Hike #1 (SMASH-1)


On August 24, 2013, an intrepid band of faculty and staff members from the Department of Surgery hiked to the top of Quandary Peak (14,265 feet).

Click on any photo in the slide show below to view (and, if you wish, download) a full-sized version. Beneath the slide show you will find the full story by Dr. Andy Meacham, principal organizer and chronicler of the hike.

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The Story of SMASH-1

SMASH-1 was both a remarkable success and an exceedingly enjoyable day. Approximately 70 SMASH-climbers converged at the Quandary trailhead on Saturday morning and by 7:00 a.m., we were on our way!

There were many other hikers on the mountain that day (Quandary is a popular 14er), and there was a great deal of variation in how rapidly the members of our group ascended. It is difficult, therefore, to say with certainty how many SMASH-1 participants made it to the summit at 14,265 feet. An estimate of 55 would certainly be close, however.

The weather that day was absolutely gorgeous with a mixture of light overcast and bright sunshine. While occasional showers could be seen in the distance, we stayed dry the entire climb and a cool breeze accompanied us much of the way. Several mountain goats shared the alpine tundra with us and the mountain wildflowers were simply stunning.

At the end of the climb, there was a rousing celebration. In the best tradition of SMASH, prodigious amounts of teriyaki beef jerky and Diet Mountain Dew were consumed.

Many thanks to all the people who worked so hard to make SMASH-1 possible. Very special thanks to Shelly Lange, Steph Farmer and Beth Musser for your time, energy and steadfast enthusiasm. All in all, it was a magnificent way to spend a Saturday morning.