Tips for a new climber....

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Postby HarryQuach » Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:51 pm

Dont precede hiking with Toco Bell, especially at midnight
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Postby Frank » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:14 pm

Select your first fourteener carefully. Select either a class 1 or class 2. This site has great info about all the summits, and I'd recommend buying and reading Gerry Roach's book Colorado Fourteeners, especially the first part of the book where he discusses some general climbing issues.
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Postby skier25 » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:39 pm

Chris Gerber wrote:Don't forget to have fun.

How is that possible? It's 14er climbing! :D
I get acute mountain sickness when I am away from the mountains.
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Postby kingof14ers » Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:55 am

Have several alternate options for outings before you head up.
Enjoy your friends more and respect each others decision to press on or fall back.

Be open minded to peaks beyond the 14ers. A friend of mine went up Redcloud and met someone down below at the trailhead. We got to talking and I mentioned I would love to someday climb Mt. Sopris. The response, "Oh it's only a 12er" kind of irked me at the time, but is still a long standing joke between my friend and I.

Wanna climb Ouray?....
Oh it's ONLY a 13er! LOL! :lol:
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Postby zacob » Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:38 pm

Find an someone who has climbed a lot of 14ers or other mountains and learn from them.

You can only learn so much from reading, while there are tons of good tips on this site the you still have to realize that climbing is dangerous. People die each year, this year was sadly too heavy on death. No amount of reading is going to appropriately prepare you for things that you may encounter while climbing. Some climbers are lucky and never really end up in life threatening situations there are other who will tell you that they are lucky to be alive... you are young take the time to learn
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Postby Duffus Kentucky Climber » Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:09 pm

HarryQuach was being glib with his comment about not preceeding a 14er with a trip to Taco Bell. But, if you know any of the laws of physics concerning gases (Priestly, et. al.) then you will come to know how important it is to develope communication skills (best in the form of hand signals) between you and your climbing partners. A brief diatribe would suggest the lead hiker raising his right hand and moving to a designated side of the trail (the choices being too numerous and intricate in design for this discussion) while his companions pass by. This signal would have been instigated by the fact that the volume of gas expands as the air pressure is decreased and there is a critical point where that gas would have to be vented. I will not go into vector analysis nor the trigonometry involved due to the geometry of hikers on a slope but the following hikers will be forever gratefull for the use of these signals.
It looks like the ridge is just right up there!
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Postby zacob » Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:14 am

Duffus...Sandbagging your name a bit aren't you. but nonetheless score one for another good ole southern boy...

what part of KY are you in? Lexington man myself, but I left years ago to find more elevation...I sure miss the horses and the basketball
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Postby Duffus Kentucky Climber » Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:49 am

Zacob...........I live in Lex work in Paris.....climb at the Gorge.....may be moving to CO one day. Yeah, we look out the door and see the horses grazing in the fields and basketball is like a hippotamus carcass in your living can't avoid it.........fair places to Mtn bike within an hour, but it only takes 5 hours to be in Summit County!!!

No, I earned the name Duffus Kentucky CLimber when I climbed Point 13,68something instead of Wilson Peak. Don't ask me how. When I asked my wife if she recognized the peak in front of us she said "well, lets start climbing!" That was one of my lone 4:00pm summits and a fairly long day. Thank god the rain was below our elevation all day. The best thing that came out of it was a terrific picture of Wilson Peak and Rock of Ages Saddle from pt 13,6?? that was hung on the wall of Jagged EDge Telluride. It wasn't digital, but I'll try to scan it and get it posted here!!

That is a good tip for this thread though, because a lot of the crap you hear from locals about "their" peaks is true sandbagging and can get an inexperienced climber in trouble.

I remain a true Duffus Kentucky Climber
Last edited by Duffus Kentucky Climber on Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
It looks like the ridge is just right up there!
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Postby rlw49 » Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:28 pm

I thought that was what windproof matches were for.
"Beano" should be added to the essential pack items.
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Postby Ortega2 » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:47 pm

"Outside the dream world,life can be harsh even cruel,but it is life-Auron,Final Fantasy X
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Postby mtnmaniac » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:57 pm

First of all REI and are the greatest for getting/researching all your gear, and have lots of free expert advice online. also has excellent info.

Now for my tips:
Plan your approach and any overnights at home. Check for availability of water to filter. This will judge how big a container you really need.

Take a map that includes any areas you might need it in. (see my comment on maps in "mt. elbert quad" post for what brands are good).

Take a compass and know how to use it with the map. (see REI classes)

Pack light as possible and NEVER wear cotton. You will learn by trial and error what's really necessary. A good place to start for 1-day summer ascents is water proof trail running shoes, convertible zip-off pant/shorts, smartwool socks, Capilene undies, a Capilene 3 zipT, a wind proof fleece vest, and a superlight rain jacket and rain pants. REI brand clothing is excellent quality at an affordable price that gets even cheaper on their big sales. Mountain Hardwear is an excellent brand that is my personal favorite, but is costly, so start cheaper.

Even if it gets crappy, you'll stay warm with the above clothing as long as you keep moving, so take plenty of food and water.
Start with a 2 liter Camelback Unbottle of water and a good Pur Hiker filter. You will figure out how much water you need in a day, and if the above items don't work for you just return them to rei for the right stuff.
Anything "Clif" is good for lightweight food. On a long single-dayer (like Long's Peak) I usually eat a really hardy breakfast w/ potatoes and meat and fruit, then take 4 Clif bars and 2 packs of Clif blocs.

A good pack by Osprey will be an excellent investment that will last forever. Look for something in the 2,000 cubic inch range, like the Stratos 32. It will carry all the above mentioned stuff, and still have room for insulating layers or a sleeping bag when you graduate to cold weather summits or short one-night trips. You can graduate to a larger pack once you start doing longer trips and know exactly how much room you'll need. I currently have 3 packs- one hip sac, one 2,100ci, and a big one for weeklong trips. I still use the 2,100 the most bc it's the most versatile.

Last of all, use this site to find the trail heads and any warnings out for a particular peak.

Email me if you have any other questions. I've been doing this for years and have been a gear junky way longer than that.

P.S. Usually down by 1pm is general rule, but it's better to read the clouds. You can climb any time, just get below tree line if it looks like it could get nasty. And don't forget first aid. I say screw minor cuts etc and pack mine for things like busted limbs and deep lacerations- Pack a ziploc bag with a roll of athletic tape, some outdoor research 36" lashing straps, swiss army knife, butterfly clips, a roll of ace wrap, and a small bottle of iodine water purifier tabs. Those items will hold you over till you get to a doc.
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Postby Waggs » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:11 pm

As a new citizen in the 14er community, I'm perusing old (ancient?) forums for good bits and tips. This is a gem:

Flatland Biker wrote:If you can't trust a fart, put some toilet paper in your back-pack.

Gloves are optional. Mittens mandatory - S. Gladbach

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