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 Peak(s):  Longs Peak  -  14,255 feet
 Post Date:  08/27/2009
 Date Climbed:   08/21/2009
 Posted By:  JenJay

 Beating the Longs Lines   

Three of us met at the Longs TH just before 2am, still drowsy, but determined to avoid the crowds attracted to this front range peak. Luckily, we all hiked about the same speed and cruised up to the Keyhole in the dark, stopping to admire the stars on the moonless morning. We decided to wait for the sunrise before continuing on the Ledges and saw a couple people ahead trying to route-find with their headlamps. I'd do it in the dark if I did it again, but wouldn't recommend it to first-timers. You don't want to go the wrong way on this section (and watch out on the way back too!). After meandering up the Trough, we climbed up the chockstone and moved on to the Narrows. xmtnbiker was a bit worried about this part, but none of us found the exposure to be bad and we even stopped to admire the alpenglow on RMNP. We saw one guy coming down the Home Stretch as we approached the summit, who told us we'd have the whole summit practically to ourselves! At about 7:15 we topped out on Long's monstrous summit, enjoyed some Dale's Pale Ale and perfectly clear skies. After nearly an hour, we headed back down hoping to beat the lines of people. A few folks in running shoes were letting all sorts of rocks fly down the Trough , but we managed to get back to the Keyhole without too many problems. In the Boulder Field we came upon a fat marmot going to town on some bars and shoes that people had left in a trash bag and put the shoes up on the fence. Marmots are fat suckers and they WILL eat whatever you leave out for them! Nothing but sun on the way down, and back to the TH by 12:40 to finish our perfect day.

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Sunrise over the front range from the Keyhole
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michiganbrian and xmtnbiker on the Ledges
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Looking back towards the Keyhole
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michiganbrian gets ready for the Trough
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The Trough
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Starting out on the Narrows
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xmtnbiker psyched that the Narrows wasn't as scary as we had heard.
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The Home Stretch is for real--no false summits here
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Third party of the day to summit!
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Celebrating with the local favorite. Dale's Pale Ale tastes awesome at 7:15 am. After splitting just 2 beers between the 3 of us, we realized that we should also chug some water.
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Long's vast summit on a cloudless day.
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And back down
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The FALSE Keyhole...don't forget to follow the targets here
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Back at the Keyhole, ready for the easy hike out
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Looking down at the Boulder Field. "So that's what it looks like in the daylight!"
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Hopping down from the Keyhole and enjoying the sunshine.
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
bergsteigen


First std Longs TR I‘ve ever looked at...     2009-08-28 12:09:47
...one day I‘ll stop avoiding this peak and get up there. Only wish I can have as few ppl on the summit/trail as you experienced!

What no ultimate Frisbee on the summit?


JenJay


2am, only way to go     2009-08-28 13:50:00
leave stupid early. I thought we were saving that for Pikes? Too many boulders on Longs‘ summit for running. If you fall and sprain your ankle on Pikes, someone can drive you down


Tory Wells


Another way to beat the crowds.....     2011-09-03 08:45:27
go in September or October.



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