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Planning a CO trip in May, need advice!!

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Planning a CO trip in May, need advice!!

Postby MikeAlbonetti » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:11 pm

Hi everyone! I'm looking to spend a week in CO from May 14th to 22nd. I'd like to spend 4-6 days in the backcountry, I'm going with a few friends and we have experience in backpacking and climbing (sport/ trad) in the TN and southeastern area. I'm looking for a trail(s) that'll be best suited for people with no mountaineering experience. We're looking to break into Alpine climbing and are comfortable taking calculated risk. We are looking for something fun, exciting, beautiful, breathtaking, and well... you know, everything else. Any help would be appreciated!

Michael

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Re: Planning a CO trip in May, need advice!!

Postby MtHurd » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:44 pm

Is that the only week you have? There will still be a considerable amount of snow in the high country. The Four Pass Loop may be something you could possibly do but will probably require a lot of postholing. As far as the higher peaks, most will probably need snowshoes and possibly ice axe and crampons.

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Re: Planning a CO trip in May, need advice!!

Postby imtheguy247 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:55 pm

Not very sure about routes/trail heads, but seeing as how your coming from out of state, Please make sure your aclimated to the elevation in colorado before going to high elevation. Usually 2 days should be enough for well fit people and 3-4 days for people that don't do much cardiovascular exercise. Last thing you want is to get High Altitude Sickness while on a vacation. Even some of my friends get HAS while hiking the Crags trail up to pikes peak, and they live at 5700 Feet.

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Re: Planning a CO trip in May, need advice!!

Postby CCSARCAP » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:39 am

FYI--Some of our SAR folks have been hiking to the lakes in the Sangres. As of Friday there is 3-4 feet of snow at an elevation of 9500 feet.

Bob
Bob

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Re: Planning a CO trip in May, need advice!!

Postby MikeAlbonetti » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:40 am

Yeah, unfortunately my vacation time isn't very flexible. I figured there would be a lot of snow, snow isn't a deal breaker except we have no experience in it. We might consider getting a guide but none of us can afford the $$$. The guide might be worth it though, this is something we want to continue to do. We are also looking at doing a trip to the Tetons in the near future. We are kind of concerned about acclimation, I was planning on spending the first 2-3 days at lower elevations, Day hiking/ crag climbing before heading up to any higher elevations. Thanks for your help!

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Re: Planning a CO trip in May, need advice!!

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:50 am

That might be a good time of year to hit the canyons and national parks in Utah. Please don't report me to the Colorado Tourism Police. ;)
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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Re: Planning a CO trip in May, need advice!!

Postby yosemite98 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:55 am

I'd suggest doing the Lost Creek area. There is a 24-25 mile loop starting at the Goose Creek Trailhead. It's a really cool area, has perfect weather in May, and the highest elevation is 11-12,000ft with probably not too much snow b/c the area hasn't gotten that much snow this year. There are a few 11ers(Tarryall Peak) and 12ers (McCurdy Mountain) you could climb. But the best part is the way the stream goes into the ground and comes out later (thus Lost Creek) and the cool rock formations with bouldering opportunities throughout the entire place. In fact, it's probably a good place to do some top roping, although I don't know if there are any actual rock climbing routes in the area.

Here's some excellent info:

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=21117

It's not like anywhere else in Colorado, so if you're looking for the normal "Colorado Backcountry" experience, this is probably not it, but it's one of my favorite areas in the state and unique.

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Re: Planning a CO trip in May, need advice!!

Postby MikeAlbonetti » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:07 pm

I've been considering the Canyons they are defiantly on my tick list. I looked at the link for the Lost Creek trail, I'm impressed it looks like something I'd like to do but I am looking for something a little more technical. We will see... The four pass loop looks pretty cool, and apparently a pretty crowded trail. Any ideas of the snow conditions and technical requirements for this in May?

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Re: Planning a CO trip in May, need advice!!

Postby climbing_rob » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:48 am

MikeAlbonetti wrote:I've been considering the Canyons they are defiantly on my tick list. I looked at the link for the Lost Creek trail, I'm impressed it looks like something I'd like to do but I am looking for something a little more technical. We will see... The four pass loop looks pretty cool, and apparently a pretty crowded trail. Any ideas of the snow conditions and technical requirements for this in May?
I sincerely doubt if the 4-pass trail will be crowded in May, except for the 1st mile or two up to and just past crater lake. Its not generally crowded any time, again, past the 1st few miles. I highly recommend the 4-pass BUT NOT IN MAY. Sorry buddy, that would be one big snow-slog in May. I 2nd the lost creek option. Or the Utah canyon country option. Unless you're OK with deep snow.

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Re: Planning a CO trip in May, need advice!!

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:51 pm

If by "technical" you mean rock, you could spend a day climbing routes on McCurdy Park Tower.
It's on the suggested Lost Creek loop, and there's good camping right by the base.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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Re: Planning a CO trip in May, need advice!!

Postby MikeAlbonetti » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:19 am

I'd be ok with deep snow, but I don't have the gear nor experience to deal with it. The more research I do, the more I want to move out that way! I might look into Utah's canyons, maybe spend a few days doing that and a few days climbing in the desert. I've got two weeks off in October, the first I'm leading a backpacking trip to the Redwood Forrest in CA, I thought about backpacking in Yosemite the following week but I might head back and try CO, depending on the conditions of course.

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