Need help planning first 14er trip...

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Need help planning first 14er trip...

Postby megavolt512 » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:31 am

Need to get out of this heat in Texas and feel some cool thin mountain air. I have the frequent flyer miles for a trip to Denver, so I'm putting that together right now.

I'm looking for a fairly straightforward solo climb - and someplace I can camp - for a 2-3 day period. I've done some NM 13ers, but for my first 14er I want something fairly straightforward. I always hike solo.

I'm thinking of Elbert Creek Campground as a base (or a good spot along Halfmoon Rd if one looks nice. Then either NE-route Elbert or Massive, since the trailheads for both are right there. Perhaps spend a night on one of the mountains just below treeline.

Any recommendations/suggestions on the above plan? Any recommendation on Elbert vs. Massive? Any better mountain for easy access from Denver airport?

Appreciate the help. Love reading the trip reports here.
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Postby jaymz » Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:32 am

Wow, there sure are a lot of threads about Elbert! I just did the NE route on Wednesday as my first 14er. There is a clearing in the trees just below treeline, looked "campable" to me. Just bring the bug repellant, as the mosquitos and flies are horrible around there on up to about 13,000ft. The hike is more brutal than the pictures indicate, as there is a lot of elevation gain in a short time. It was harder than I expected, but a great hike nonetheless. Great views from the top, too!
"Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy." - Psalm 98:8
"Nature is a choir..." - Timothy Keller
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Postby JohnnyZ » Sat Jul 07, 2007 6:00 am

Just bring the bug repellant

A major second from me. I car camped along the road leading to the trail head and the mosquitoes were everywhere. Had to sit the night out in the tent due to lack of repellent.
“No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn”
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Postby MtHurd » Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:56 am

Funny you should say Texas heat. It was 84 degrees in Texas last week while it was 100 degrees in Durango.

There are plenty of peaks closer to Denver that are straightforward. Quandary is a good one. You could do 2 in one day easily by doing Grays and Torreys. There are others but they are mostly giant scree piles. Expect crowds.

If you want a much better 14er experience with less people and more beautiful, do Mt. of the Holy Cross.

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