NM man close to climbing highest peaks in all 50 states

Updated: 12/04/2013 10:06 PM | Created: 12/04/2013 9:57 PM
By: Lauren Hansard, KOB Eyewitness News 4r

It started with advice from his doctor to get more active.

But one New Mexico man took that advice a huge step further. He set a goal to climb to the highest peak in each of the 50 states, and today, he's closer to achieving it.

David Shaw is the CEO of a hospital. But when he's not working, he's climbing. A lot.  

"I guess this story really begins back in 2001, my doctor told me I need to get myself in a little bit better shape. So, my son and I decided to go climb to the top of Guadalupe Peak in Texas," Shaw said.

But that was just the beginning. Since then, Shaw has climbed to the highest mountains in 46 states.

He's been on Mount Rainier in Washington, Kings Peak in Utah, and Mount Marcy in New York-- just to name a few.

"This has been a great way for the family and I to spend time together.  Our summer vacations have not been going to Disneyland. It's been going to high points across the United States.  So, my kids have had the opportunity to see almost all 50 states," Shaw said.

But the trips have not all been easy.

"That was our 39th, and the day that we were there, there's radio towers, research towers, on top of that mountain. It had ice on it, and so there were shards of ice flying through the air and it was blowing 70 miles per hour," Shaw said.

Shaw's goal is to reach the highest point in all 50 states by the time he's 50.  He's got four years and four more mountains to climb, and after that, who knows.

"To be able to accomplish all 50 would be a great sense of accomplishment, but unfortunately, I'm one of those individuals.  I think once I did the 50, I would get the bug to want to go climb to the highest point in each of the seven continents. I haven't put that on my to do list yet," Shaw said.

Shaw still has to climb Gannett Peak in Wyoming, Mount Hood in Oregon, and Granite Peak in Montana.

He plans to spend two years training for the highest peak in North America: Mt. McKinley in Alaska.

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