Advice for a first timer

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
Mzhapp2
Posts: 8
Joined: 6/15/2012
14er Checklist Not Entered

Advice for a first timer

Postby Mzhapp2 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:58 pm

We are planning to attempt our first 14er the first week of July. I have narrowed my choices to Bierstadt or Quandary as we are staying in Geogetown and Breckenridge. The question is...which is easier? I need to consider access to the trailhead for my Impala. Also, these seem to be short distances. Any preferences for those of you that have hiked these? The trails seem to be pretty straightforward for both and the distances are similar. Thanks for the advice.
User avatar
Doctor No
Posts: 825
Joined: 7/2/2009
14er Checklist (35)
14ers in Winter (1)
13er Checklist (2)

Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby Doctor No » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:17 pm

They're both pretty easy (for fourteeners, that is).

The crowdsource poll here rates Quandary as slightly easier (assuming standard/easiest routes for both):
http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/usrpeaksrall.php
User avatar
lurker
Posts: 144
Joined: 9/5/2006
14er Checklist (51)
14ers in Winter (5)
13er Checklist (99)

Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby lurker » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:18 pm

IMO: Bierstadt is the easier of the two. For some reason Quandary always seems hard to me, it might be the lack of warm up, unlike Bierstadt where you start with a little downhill and then some flats.

Access is easy for both (my corolla makes it), you should do both.
The Mountains are Calling, and I must Go.
--John Muir
User avatar
JROSKA
Posts: 342
Joined: 8/19/2010
14er Checklist (27)
13er Checklist (2)

Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby JROSKA » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:56 pm

I'd also recommend Bierstadt. As the last post refers to, it's helpful that the first mile + of the hike is flat; it kind of gets you warmed up. Quandary's elevation gain starts right away. Also, I think Bierstadt's elevation gain is 2700 feet, while Quandary is 3300. Both are excellent choices for your first ones, but I think Bierstadt would be the better choice to be your first 14er.
User avatar
Jim Davies
Posts: 7863
Joined: 6/8/2006
14er Checklist (58)
14ers in Winter (1)
13er Checklist (61)

Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:25 pm

Democrat is easier than either one, and still close to Breckenridge.
Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall — it's great when you stop. -- Chris Darwin
User avatar
SkiBikeClimb99
Posts: 170
Joined: 4/12/2011
14er Checklist (36)
14ers in Winter (1)
13er Checklist (1)

Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby SkiBikeClimb99 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:27 pm

Sherman is close and easy too
Mzhapp2
Posts: 8
Joined: 6/15/2012
14er Checklist Not Entered

Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby Mzhapp2 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:58 pm

Thanks, my original plan was Bierstadt, but I waiver back and forth. I wish we could do both, but I think one will be more than enough! How tough is the scramble at the top?
User avatar
dnye
Posts: 283
Joined: 8/5/2009
14er Checklist (17)

Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby dnye » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:04 pm

The scramble is easy and the best part of the whole hike
User avatar
Adventure Seeker
Posts: 49
Joined: 5/15/2012
14er Checklist (15)
13er Checklist (15)

Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby Adventure Seeker » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:43 pm

I think Bierstadt is easier than Quandary. Bierstadt is about 200 feet shorter. I also think the trail on Bierstadt is better, except for the 150 foot scramble to the top of Bierstadt, but that is fun. It can get a bit warm going through the willows on the way back down depending on what time of day it is.
User avatar
MtHurd
Posts: 3086
Joined: 8/17/2006
14er Checklist (57)
14ers in Winter (4)
13er Checklist (29)

Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby MtHurd » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:58 pm

My vote for the easiest is Bierstadt.
peter303
Posts: 2640
Joined: 6/17/2009
14er Checklist (34)

Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby peter303 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:39 am

I second Sherman as the easiest hike of the three, but the roughest road of three- OK for sedan if you drive slow.

Sherman and Bierstadt TH are above the treeline, so you have nice views all the way.
Mzhapp2
Posts: 8
Joined: 6/15/2012
14er Checklist Not Entered

Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby Mzhapp2 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:53 am

Thank you so much for all of the advice. We are really excited to try and bag our first 14er! Only a couple of weeks to go. Hope we make it.

Return to “Just Starting? Info for 14er Beginners”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 35 guests