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Best Non-Standard Routes?

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Best Non-Standard Routes?

Postby tlongpine » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:43 pm

What are your favorite non-standard route(s)?

And for bonus points, what make these approaches so unique and special? Lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, dramatic views, quality rock climbs, etc?

For me, the Loft Route on Longs in a personal favorite because of the combined view of the Diamond above Chasm Lake and sustained Class 3 scrabbling.
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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Re: Best Non-Standard Routes?

Postby spadflyer12 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:49 pm

The West Ridge Route up Quandary was a lot of fun. Great class 3 scrambling and some awesome exposure.

If we're including class 5 routes, The Prow on Kit Carson would have to take the cake despite the fact that it almost killed me.... Ellingwood ledges on Crestone Needle is also a lot of fun.

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Re: Best Non-Standard Routes?

Postby TravelingMatt » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:57 pm

North Buttress on El Diente
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: Best Non-Standard Routes?

Postby Tory Wells » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:00 pm

Everyone complains about the standard routes on Columbia and Antero, but I thoroughly enjoyed Columbia's east ridge from the Three Elk TH and Antero from Little Brown's Creek.

And any alternate route on Longs is a great one.
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?
-Steve Gladbach

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Re: Best Non-Standard Routes?

Postby altidude » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:00 pm

SW Ridge on Sneffels is incredible fun.

NW ridge on Lindsey, S ridge on Snowmass, SW ridge on Ellingwood. N ridge on Kit Carson. Ridge, ridge, ridge. Ridge, ridge.

Ridges are fun.
The mountain always wins, we do not always lose.

Carpe mañana

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Re: Best Non-Standard Routes?

Postby painless4u2 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:01 pm

South ridge of Blanca Peak, via Winchell Lakes, from Huerfano drainage. Very, very remote, isolated, and fun. Did I say remote?
Ellingwood Point from S. Zapata Lake up C2 couloir. Also very remote and fun.
Longs from Sandbeach Lake up Keplingers Couloir. You guessed it: remote, fun, and historic!
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Bad decisions often make good stories.

"Well, that didn't go as expected." - Brett Maune

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Re: Best Non-Standard Routes?

Postby Doctor No » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:09 pm

I'll sneak in here before wildlobo does, and recommend Antero from Raspberry Gulch. Easily the most fun I've had on a non-summit outing (thank you, Sawatch winds).

Grays Peak's south ridge was idyllic and nearly hiker-free on a Saturday in August a few years back.

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Re: Best Non-Standard Routes?

Postby zdero1 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:15 pm

SW Ridge on La Plata, SW slopes (snow climb) on Columbia

For La Plata, the hike across the meadow and the view of Huron and the Apostles is incredible.

For Columbia, the snow climb up the couloir is the best way to do it. Avoids the terrible slopes route.

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Re: Best Non-Standard Routes?

Postby jlarson630 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:32 pm

north ridge of democrat is really fun. Loft on Longs is pretty great too.

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Re: Best Non-Standard Routes?

Postby mattingley » Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:36 pm

South Ridge on Snowmass, beautiful basin and solitude.

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Re: Best Non-Standard Routes?

Postby MtnHub » Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:51 am

If you loved the Loft to Longs, you ought to try Meeker first via the Iron Gates and then go up Keplinger's from the Loft to Longs. I thought it was much more fun than just doing the Loft itself and you get the best of both mountains that way. A super loop climb! :-D

Re: Best Non-Standard Routes?

Postby Nelson » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:26 am

Kelso Ridge on Torrey's, Ellingwood Ridge on La Plata, Massive North Ridge are all spectacular routes. You will probably see people on Kelso but you will not on the other two. I second the nomination on Bierstadt East Ridge, Sneffels SW Ridge, Grays South Ridge, Quandary West Ridge, Lindsey NW Ridge and Democrat North Rdige. These are all favorites of mine.

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