Soliciting some suggestions

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huffy13
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Soliciting some suggestions

Postby huffy13 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:40 am

After a successful hiking trip with my son's cross country team to Mt. Ouray last weekend and Pikes Peak last summer, I am now getting asked by the kids what I am planning for next year....problem is I really don't know. I have some ideas, but I know that there is a wealth of knowledge amongst the members here as to what would be an appropriate and fun trip that I could start planning for late July of 2013.

I really want to avoid repeating any peaks right now, otherwise I would just take the kids up Handies or Huron. I am thinking about San Luis Peak from West Willow Creek, maybe Princeton from the radio towers, maybe even LaPlata or Yale. I am also looking at 13ers since our Mt. Ouray trip went so well. Other than not wanting to repeat a summit, the other criteria would be that it be fairly close to a good road, not too terribly long, and preferably something no more than an easy class 2 hike. The kids do like having access to a shower, whether it be at a campground or even an inexpensive cabin...but that is not absolutely necessary, but it is preferred.

So what would some of you suggest?
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.
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EatinHardtack
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby EatinHardtack » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:31 am

I will just say that I don't have enough good things to say about San Luis and the La Garitas. One of my favorite areas of the state.
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huffy13
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby huffy13 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:11 am

EatinHardtack wrote:I will just say that I don't have enough good things to say about San Luis and the La Garitas. One of my favorite areas of the state.


I have attempted San Luis with my daughters from the Stewart Creek TH, but I haven't tried it from West Willow Creek, how would it compare, as far as difficulty, with the other peaks I have done? It looks really awesome from the TRs I have read, but I am curious as to whether or not the kids would be able to do it.
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby MtHurd » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:35 pm

San Luis from West Willow Creek is LONG. I'm not sure what your definition of a good road is, but the road isn't too bad but it's dirt and a little rough in places.

Yale fits your criteria well and I love the view from the summit. Buena Vista is close by.
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby Buckeye-Annie » Sat Aug 25, 2012 3:25 pm

The Leadville Hostel is a really fun place to stay--you will meet lots of other interesting people. The place is huge and they often provide great meals at a low price. Showers and bunkrooms are cheap. The Leadville area has so many 14ers so close by. The town itself is a fun place with other things to do--mining tours, museums, etc. I like it so well I will probably be staying there for about five months beginning September!
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby huffy13 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 5:14 pm

Barry Raven wrote:San Luis from West Willow Creek is LONG. I'm not sure what your definition of a good road is, but the road isn't too bad but it's dirt and a little rough in places.

Yale fits your criteria well and I love the view from the summit. Buena Vista is close by.


Yale is definetly a possibility...but I have been told that it is pretty steep on the last push near the summit. I would be comfortable with it, just not sure if all the kids would be. Yale is on my personal list for next year either way though. How big is Yale's summit? That is another concern I have, if we all are at the summit together, is it going to be crowded?

Buckeye-Annie wrote:The Leadville Hostel is a really fun place to stay--you will meet lots of other interesting people. The place is huge and they often provide great meals at a low price. Showers and bunkrooms are cheap. The Leadville area has so many 14ers so close by. The town itself is a fun place with other things to do--mining tours, museums, etc. I like it so well I will probably be staying there for about five months beginning September!


I have been hearing good things about the Leadville Hostel and I am going to give that location a strong consideration...I want to keep the trip as affordable for the kids as possible and Leadville is a cool little town...one of my personal favorites.


Again, any more suggestions on a good 14er or 13er hike that would be good for the teens would be appreciated!
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:50 am

The standard route on Harvard is comparable to the Crags route in length and trailhead access (I'm assuming you climbed via Crags). It also has nice scenery and an interesting finish at the summit.

Whatever you do, don't do Princeton.
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Jim Davies
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:21 pm

I'd call it no worse than an easy class 3, if you find the right way up. It's just a pile of medium-sized boulders with minimal exposure, as I recall.
Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall — it's great when you stop. -- Chris Darwin
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby 14erFred » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:45 pm

Jim Davies wrote:I'd call it no worse than an easy class 3, if you find the right way up. It's just a pile of medium-sized boulders with minimal exposure, as I recall.

Jim's right. The key to the final pitch at the top of Harvard's standard ascent route is careful route-finding. Take your time, keep your eyes open, and don't make any upward moves unless they seem like doable Class 2+ or Class 3. Getting off route could make this final pitch much more difficult and exposed than it needs to be. The easiest ascent route eventually moves right (eastward) as it goes upward to gain the east end of the summit. Just look around for the easiest way as you move up, and it is easily climbable. I recommend that you mark the point at which you gain the summit during the ascent, so that you can easily find this critical spot to start the descent. Good luck with the climb.
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby huffy13 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:23 pm

Harvard is one that I am saving for myself. RJ_Denver has done all the Sawatch 14ers except Holy Cross and he said it was his most challenging Sawatch, so I would not feel comfortable taking a bunch of kids that don't belong to me. I am looking at the possibility of both Buffalo Peaks since they have tons of good campgrounds in the vicinity and, from what I can gather from TRs may not be too hard. I am focusing a lot on 13ers because I know I have pretty much gotten the easiest 14ers knocked off and I am finding that 13ers are just as scenic and unique as their bigger counterparts.

Thanks Jim and Fred, for the info on Harvard though...stuff I need to know for when the time comes to head that way.
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby huffy13 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:39 pm

I am looking at the possibility of the Buffalo Peaks....can anyone give me some fairly detailed info on this hike? Would it be a good hike to take a bunch of teenagers on? Looks like a great hike and the TRs I have looked at make it seem feasible.
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby Jim Davies » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:29 pm

I've done this route (from FS 431) a few times (once as a loop, and another time by retracing the route from the west peak): http://www.summitpost.org/east-loop-route/809834

The routefinding is non-trivial, as you're following old logging roads through the woods for the first few miles, then bushwacking from timberline (even finding the right place to start is tricky). Returning from the west peak also requires bushwacking through some rough wooded terrain and dead-reckoning your way back to the ascent roads. Finally, there are spots on the ridge that are class 3-ish and/or loose talus. It's a fun route, but demanding.

On balance, I wouldn't recommend this route for your group, especially if none of you has done it before.

There's another route from the Buena Vista side that sounds less tricky, but I'm not familiar with it. Another alternative is to follow the trail from the end of FS 431 up Rough&Tumbling Creek, through Buffalo Meadows to the far end, then ascend the tundra/talus to the west peak. This is simpler to follow and has trail most of the way, but longer than the east route. It might be a good choice if you want to backpack it, as there is good camping near the meadows. There's a popular 12-mile loop trail that you could also use to access this area. Here's a CS Gazette story about it:
http://www.gazette.com/articles/peaks-59729-buffalo-colorado.html
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