Beginner question

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
gatornation
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Beginner question

Postby gatornation » Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:48 pm

Hi, I'm a flatlander (Florida, as flat as it gets!) who has been coming out to the Twin Lakes area for short periods since I was a kid. For the first time I am out here for a whole summer, and I'm hoping to finally get a chance to climb some of the mountains outside my window. Basically, I'm wondering if there is any real danger in trying to hike Elbert alone without any experience, presuming of course that I watch the weather carefully. I don't think the chance of altitude sickness is very high, since I've been living at 10,000 ft for a few weeks and I've been fine on top of Quail Mountain many times in the past with a much shorter acclimation period. Thanks!
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Lhotse
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Postby Lhotse » Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:50 pm

Just study the trail, learn the mountain, start early, most of all....have fun!
"Tommorrow Is Promised to No One" ..Walter Payton...Brian Rush
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Aspen Summit
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Postby Aspen Summit » Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:12 pm

I remember Elbert having soooooooooooooooooooooooo MANY false summits! I thought I had reached the summit and there was another one after that. 6 or 7 later, I was atop Colorado feeling like a hubris Emperor!

Knight
Follow Your Path! Cross ALL Boundaries!! AND RIDE THE EARTH, BABY!!!
thatguy
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Postby thatguy » Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:27 am

Wtihout snow masking it, the east ridge trail is well marked and easy to follow. Also, if your hiking on the weekend, your probably not truly hiking alone.

Just do like you said and watch the weather. Start early and take enough water and you set your self up with the highest chance of success.

BTW, love your sign-in name. My wife and I are UF class of 95.
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jimlup
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Postby jimlup » Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:19 am

... and bring slightly warmer and more waterproof clothing than you expect you might need.

Enjoy!
"Just because you have the gear does not mean that you are a Mountaineer!" My daughter's cynical comment about my hobby...
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downclimb
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Postby downclimb » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:03 pm

thatguy wrote:Also, if your hiking on the weekend, your probably not truly hiking alone.


I second that. Elbert was my first "solo" 14er, and it was somewhat comforting that there were plenty (dozens) of other people on the mountain that could have helped out if something went wrong. It will be an excellent choice for you, as will be Massive and Sherman. All will be populated on weekends.
gatornation
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Postby gatornation » Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:53 pm

That's one of the perks of going to a school with 50,000 students at any given time, you run into fellow students and alumni everywhere you go! Thanks for the advice. I just realized how close (and short) Sherman is, so I may try that from the Leadville side instead.
mountaineer56
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Postby mountaineer56 » Tue Jun 12, 2007 9:26 pm

Like the rest said, watch the weather very closely, start at least 2 1/2 to 3 hrs before sun rise. You really want to be off the summit by about 12 to 1pm. Let others know your plans and give them a time that you will call them by. Worst case. When I solo climb I tell my wife that is she does not hear from me by sundown (8pm) call the sheriffs. I know that I will call her well before that. And most important, you can always climb tomorrow, better to turn around than to be carried down.
Live to climb another day
sundog54
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Postby sundog54 » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:26 am

In addition to bringing rain gear, you should try to avoid wearing cotton. On the off chance that you get caught by a thunderstorm in SPITE of watching the weather, if you get seriously wet, cotton holds water against your skin and increases the chance of hypothermia (which can be fatal if it continues long enough). Synthetic-material clothing is best.
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luv2hikejulie
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Postby luv2hikejulie » Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:35 am

When are you going? The weekend of the 23-24 of June the Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and several other organizations will be doing trailwork on the beginning sections of trail (North Elbert)...so you definately wouldn't be alone that weekend.

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