There is no doubt that Shep Husted climbed Longs Peak many times. How many times is a subject of research, analysis and conjecture. The total number of climbs increase, of course, as the date of reporting increased.
In 1907 Shep sold the Rustic Hotel to focus on guiding and lecturing. Shep is hired by Enos Mills in that year as a guide. He guides for Enos Mills during the climbing seasons of 1907, 1908 and 1909.
Shep reports that he has climbed Longs Peak 50 times in 1907, 27 times in August alone. (from Paul Nesbit "Longs Peak" 9th edition 1990 page 64).
A book describing a group that Shep guided in 1916 states that he has climbed Longs Peak over 200 times.
In a publication dated 1919, Shep Husted is credited with over 200 climbs of Longs Peak. (Mountaineering in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Toll, 1919).
Shep, as a guide, made his last trip up Longs Peak in 1936.
The pencil sketch of Shep, done my Lyman Byxbe in 1938, has a note that says that Shep had climbed Longs Peak 903 times.
In the April 21, 1939 Estes Park Trail article he is credited with 938 climbs of Longs Peak.
His obituary, 1942, from the Greenville, Ohio newspaper, credits him with 936 climbs of Longs Peak.
His obituary, 1942, from the Estes Park Trail newspaper, credits him with 938 climbs of Longs Peak.
Paul Nesbit, in the 1st edition (1946) of his Longs Peak book, credits Shep with 850 climbs of the mountain. After publication of his book, Paul, carried out a careful review of all documents that he had access to and concluded that Shep climbed Longs Peak approximately 350 times. See Paul's page for his exact wording. He published that figure in the 2nd edition of his Longs Peak book in 1953. The approximate figure of 350 has been repeated in later editions of the book and in the last edition, the 10th in 2005, that figure is given without equivocation.
Pencil drawing of Shep by Lyman Byxbe. Glued on reverse is “Shep was 71 years old at this time. He had climbed Longs Peak 903 times and had intended to do it some more. I think his former home was in St. Louis. He died there. LB” Photo courtesy of the Estes Park Museum.
Guided tours by Shep and Elizabeth F. Burnell, presumably after the death of Enos Mills in 1922. Courtesy of the Estes Park Museum.
In 1917 Elizabeth F. Burnell became the first nature guide licensed by the Rocky Mountain National Park. She became the first woman guide on Longs Peak. Her sister, Esther Burnell, married Enos Mills and ran the Longs Peak Inn after his death. See "National parks and the woman's voice: a history" By Polly Welts Kaufman.