Easiest 14er?

Colorado 14er peak questions, condition requests and other info.
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby leelaasa1 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:21 am

Pika, I hope your friends are in relatively good shape and will be able to handle the rapid altitude changes if you decide to hike up/down one. As a previous poster said, make sure they are really well hydrated, get plenty of fuel, and are properly dressed. Definitely start early as it will probably take them longer than it might take you, given the altitude issues especially. You should aim to have them off the summit by no later than 12 noon (although checking the weather here or on weather.com for hourly forecasting is the best way to determine your start time).

I have summited several this summer thus far - Quandary, Grays, Torreys, Elbert, Democrat, (Cameron), (did not make Lincoln and was 100 ft from Bross summit but bailed bc of really bad weather), and Bierstadt. Have not done Sherman yet but I have heard it is quite "easy" in terms of 14er climbing (as no 14er is "easy," especially for beginners). Of all the ones I did, Bierstadt was the easiest and incredibly scenic (lush and green views, mountains scenery, wildflowers), so I would have to say Jay Miller is right on and I would highly recommend this one. (I just did it yesterday.)

Elbert was, by far, the hardest of all of these; I would absolutely NOT recommend it as a first. Neither would my friend who did it as his first with us. I think he wanted to kills us for that. We were actually going off of the "easiest" rating on here and I do think that should be reordered for accuracy. I know people obviously have different opinions but based on distance, terrain, elevation gain, etc., I think it might be nice to have a more clear rating.

Have fun on your hike Pika and be safe...
"I scrambled to the top of the precipice where Nick was waiting. "That was fun," I said. "You bet it was," said Nick. "Let's climb higher." "No," I said. "I think we should be heading back now." "We have time," Nick insisted. I said we didn't, and Nick said we did. We argued back and forth like that for about 20 minutes, then finally decided to head back. I didn't say it was an interesting story.” - Jack Handy
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby B_2 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:16 pm

This is addressing both first-timers and the people with out-of-towners:

Elbert is pretty easy, but 3 hour drive each way and 9 steep hiking miles round trip is a lot for a first hike. Definitely doable though, and the view from the top can't be beat. (Really, I should just shut up, since my first attempt was Long's...before I knew what was up. THAT didn't go very well as I recall)

I'd agree with Bierstadt, Quandary, Democrat, Sherman, Grays...BUT, if you're concerned at all with aesthetics, Sherman is SO UGLY. I saved Sherman for a winter climb and it was still ugly. Unless you are enthralled with the history of CO mining, Sherman is a dump. I wouldn't take visitors there...

Gray's is a good introduction I think, close to home, a few driving thrills on the dirt road up to the TH, easy route finding. Reasonably scenic. Bierstadt is good too, but there will be 1000 people there on any given day. Democrat is nice, cause then if you feel good you can take a jog around the loop, or at least go check out Lincoln. The Dem, lincoln, bross, cam loop is also a pile of mine tailings...so keep that in mind...

Give the flat-landers a day or two to acclimate before you haul them up high. Have fun! You'll do fine on whatever you pick. :D

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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby MC.Ikema » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:01 pm

Sherman may not be as pretty as the others eay 14ers, but it's by far the easiest 14er in Colorado hands down.
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby TylerStorm » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:52 pm

headeulogy wrote:Hey everyone, I'm new here, and thinking about doing my first 14er this weekend. This thread brings up a questions for me. Since I am not experienced, I figured I would start with the Mountains on this 14ers site that are grouped by difficulty. http://www.14ers.com/routes_2.html If this site is saying that Mt. Elbert is the easiest, are you all saying that this is wrong? Or is you reasoning for easiest hike combination of the views, difficulty of the hike, how far away it is from Denver/Boulder?

Mount Elbert is not necessarily more difficult than those mentioned above, however, it is the 4,300 feet of elevation gain and loss, along with the 9.0 miles roundtrip that separates Elbert from others.

Mount Elbert is a few miles from leadville to answer your other question.

Longs Peak was my first fourteener and my favorite climb thus far! If you are one who is not afraid of heights and are in relatively descent shape, I would recommend Longs!
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby gatorchick » Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:54 pm

I didn't think Quandary was anywhere near as easy as Sherman or Bierstadt. Haven't done Grays and Torreys yet.

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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby MC.Ikema » Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:32 pm

MC.Ikema wrote:Sherman may not be as pretty as the others eay 14ers, but it's by far the easiest 14er in Colorado hands down.

I almost forgot Sherman is also the shortest of the easy 14ers being ranked 45th whereas Grays, Torreys, Quandary and Bierstadt are 9th, 11th, 13th and 38th. Plus there's a cool old mine you can check out while you're up there.
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby MtHurd » Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:57 pm

I can think of prettier mountains than Sherman, but I think it is getting a bad rap. The views from the summit are pretty darn good and if you want to give a title to the ugliest mountain, I'd give it to Bross. This photo of the northern Sawatch peaks is from the summit of Sherman.

Northern Sawatch from Sherman.
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby MountainMatt » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:46 am

I'll throw Antero into the mix (assuming you have a 4x4).
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby George James » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:38 am

For anyone viewing this discussion out there that's brand new to hiking, you would do well to know that while this topic discusses these moutains in terms of easiest, they aren't really that easy if you haven't hiked much.
smoove wrote:...I've taken four 14ers newbies up...two of them said it was the most difficult physical thing they'd ever done...

I think it's fitting to call these the 'least difficult' 14ers, as opposed to easiest, if you know what I mean. If you haven't spent much time walking uphill or exerting yourself at altitude, even these easy 14ers might be kinda tough for you. I'd go on at least one other hike first to warm yourself up and get comfortable with your gear, it will make your first 14er hike much more enjoyable.

I feel like I should also mention that there is an excellent search function on this website (its up there in the upper right hand corner of the web page) that you can use to find similar threads from years past, and there are A LOT of threads from years past! A simple search of the word easiest reveals 47 pages of related posts. This topic, entitled "easiest route of all the 14ers" might be useful, and this one, titled "Where should I start?" looks like it would be informative as well.

That being said, there's no reason to not have a thread for this year, and I'd like to share!

As far as I can tell from my conversations with others, Bierstadt is touted to be the least difficult 14er hike, with Sherman a close second. I have not hiked Sherman yet, but I did head up Bierstadt last year, and I found it to be fairly pedestrian, at least for me at the time. However, I did hear people at the top talking about how on the way up they thought they were gonna die and couldn't believe how stupid they were for thinking that this would be fun. Now that they were on the top, though, they thought it was amazing. I remember one girl saying how she almost turned around more than once, but now that she had summited she was SO happy that she didn't.

From what I can tell, those two are probably the least difficult. My personal pick for a 14er virgin would be Grays Peak, although it is probably slightly more difficult. It was my first one, and I loved it. It was all uphill from there!!!

I hope that helps some of you new comers! Cheers! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby sdicenso » Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:10 pm

I think that Gray is the easiest that I have done. I went up there two summers in a row to do both Grays and Torreys and made excellent time on both summits of both peaks. The first time I had a friend with me who is out of shape and a bum knee and I summitted both by 1 pm. The second time with two other friends we summited both by 12 pm. That's with starting out at the parking lot at 7 am. I saw two mountain goats the first time and the second time there was a friendly pika on Torreys, that would come up and grab my pant leg. He was cute. The views are great too. :D
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby unclegar » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:44 pm

I felt that Sherman was easier than Bierstadt. In my opinion it was the easiest one I've done. Had some neat old mining buildings on the way too.
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby Mark A Steiner » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:49 pm

If your not concerned about a 3,000-foot rule, Evans from Summit Lake isn't bad, but you still have five miles to go if your follow the road.
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