Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

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John Landers
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Re: Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

Postby John Landers » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:33 am

In this debate over easier I think there is a difference between present day conveniences such as multiple sources of information, ways info is accessed, lighter weight gear, gps technology versus the actual physical effort and difficulty of the moves, looseness of the rock,etc.

Unless I have missed it at REI, I am not aware of any huge advances in technology that have made going from my house or a trailhead to 14,000 plus feet any easier. I haven't seen a George Jettison jet propulsion backpack model III with an espresso maker that I can take from Denver to the summit of Longs in 30 minutes.

When I did the 14ers in 80's and early 90's I had information, there were no big surprises or unknown obstacles. What is it that today when some one gets out of their vehicle and puts boot rubber to the trail that makes going up Longs, Capital, Belford and Oxford, Sneffels or Handies any easier today than what it was 30 years ago? Something specific in the difficulty of the climb, physical exertion,....????????

Are people today using PED's, has commissioner Bill Middlebrook turned his back on drug use as more and more people turn out to hike, does he need to conduct random drug test of this sites users? Bill, have you ever collected an urine sample?
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Re: Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:37 am

John Landers wrote:Bill, have you ever collected an urine sample?

5 minutes ago
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Re: Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

Postby 12ersRule » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:50 am

I know the 14ers are harder now than they were 10 years ago, freakin' i25 and I70 traffic. It blows!
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Re: Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

Postby rijaca » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:15 am

John Landers wrote:For the most part the 14ers are not that much different / easier today than 25 years ago. Sure the trail work has made a few of the easier ones like Bierstadt, Huron and Humboldt somewhat easier, but in the over scheme of things someone doing them in the summer months in the 1980's would find the difficulty of most of the peaks about the same today as back then, just more crowded.


Yep, way more difficult. :roll:
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Re: Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

Postby Hungry Jack » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:18 am

The thing that made 14ers noticeably easier for me was losing about 20 pounds, and significantly better cardiovascular conditioning.
I need more dehydrogenase.
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Re: Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

Postby painless4u2 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:38 am

What is it that today when some one gets out of their vehicle and puts boot rubber to the trail that makes going up Longs, Capital, Belford and Oxford, Sneffels or Handies any easier today than what it was 30 years ago? Something specific in the difficulty of the climb, physical exertion,....????????


Yes:
If you've done S. Maroon, you know how the initial slope is long, steep, loose, and generally unloved. Now, picture that same slope with a rock staircase going all the way up. It's still long and steep and requires plenty of effort, but because of the staircase it's now a lot easier, much like going up any building's stairway. If you were to continue that work further up the mountain, it would really change the character of the mountain.
In the Guadalupe Mountains Nat'l Park, if you hike up McKittrick Canyon to where it ascends to the upper elevations, the NPS has cut stairs into the rock over the most difficult section. What was maybe class 4+ is now just a steep staircase you can backpack up or down without much difficulty. So, yes, specifically it's the stairs that make it easier. Not that I'm complaining about it. I liked having those steps to backpack down. But it did change the character and the difficulty of that mountain.
There is also mention here of how CFI is limiting their work to only the lower approaches. However, if you look at their website on Mt. Eolus work, the video seems to show planned improvements all the way to the "green notch", which tops out on the saddle between N. Eolus and Eolus. That would appear to be more than just "lower approach" work. That may be a good thing, too, but it will change the difficulty and character of that mountain.
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Re: Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:26 am

Again, the rock steps on the lower slope of Maroon Peak are for sustainability of the fragile terrain. The USFS will not put rock steps on higher, plant-less terrain. Will the changes make it easier to ascend that slope? Well, certainly easier than sliding around on loose gravel and further eroding the slope.

I don't think we're getting anywhere with this thread. As Ben said, "it is what it is."
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Re: Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:31 am

BillMiddlebrook wrote:Will the changes make it easier to ascend that slope?

It'll make it more pleasant to descend. Coming down that slope was painful.
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Re: Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

Postby Fisching » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:16 am

BillMiddlebrook wrote:Again, the rock steps on the lower slope of Maroon Peak are for sustainability of the fragile terrain. The USFS will not put rock steps on higher, plant-less terrain. Will the changes make it easier to ascend that slope? Well, certainly easier than sliding around on loose gravel and further eroding the slope.


There's another aspect of this that I don't think I've seen anyone comment on, but is just as important. Safety.
(Okay, I do remember someone mentioning people getting lost on HC and that could fit into the large umbrella of safety).

Last year someone slipped on the 2800 feet of suck on S. Maroon and skinned their face and nearly pealed the skin off both forearms as a result of the fall. Let that visual sink in... While the primary purpose is for preservation of natural resources (IMO that's enough of validation for CFI to continue their work), it also mitigates the potential for injuries and/or fatalities. If the action of CFI and USFS also helps saves lives, I'm all for it even if it means I lose something of a "wilderness" or "mountaineer" experience.
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Re: Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

Postby painless4u2 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:16 am

SEE! I just KNEW that's where they were going with this!

:lol:
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Re: Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

Postby djkest » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:18 am

Humbolt / Crestone Peak / Crestone needle are harder today than they were before.

BHP is looser than ever. The trail up to it is braided and eroded and studded with false cairns.

The approach is a couple miles longer than it used to be.

AFA GPS making climbing a 14er easier, I don't think so. Most people don't use GPS on 14ers, myself included. And even if you had one, it won't carry your gear for you, help you climb up class 4 pitches, probably wont' help you find the best line on Wilson Peak's crux, or make the knife edge any easier. Very few 14ers have class 1 trails to the top. I could care less if you've personally redefined the class system to define all the class 2 trails as class 1.

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Re: Is The CFI Trail Work Making 14ers Too Easy?

Postby jdorje » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:40 am

My GPS carries some of my gear for me.

Wait...how is this thread still alive???

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