Senator close to meeting his mountain-climbing goal

There’s no rest for Sen. Mark Udall during recess — aside from meeting with constituents, the Colorado Democrat is on a mountain-climbing mission.

“I’m working on climbing the 100 highest mountains in Colorado. I’ve climbed 93 of them, so I’m going to try to climb four or five of the remaining seven with my daughter and my wife,” says Udall.

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Completing his high-altitude challenge would put the freshman senator in rare company.

“There’s only a few hundred people who have climbed the highest 100. It gets me off the couch and gives me a reason to stay in shape,” he told ITK last week with a grin.

Udall, who says he often talks about the sport with another climbing enthusiast, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), recalls one of his toughest climbs, up Mount Everest. He made it 26,000 feet. When asked whether he’d ever make another attempt, Udall replies, “Never say never. The oldest man to climb was 70. I won’t tell you how old I am, but I’ve got a few years left.”

The 62-year-old lawmaker (whose age is a matter of public record) is giving himself a little more time beyond Congress’s recess to complete his goal of ascending 100 of the Centennial State’s tallest peaks. If all goes according to plan, he’ll have a few months to finish up the remaining few mountains after recess, saying, “I’m going to try to get it done by the end of the year.”