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Intro to class 3

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby nkan02 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:27 am

Jon Frohlich wrote:
Matt Lemke wrote:
Matt, read Roach's Thirteeners book. Two class 3 routes up Ice. Whoever told you Ice has harder rock didn't know what they were talking about. Maybe they said class 4 because of the steep snow potential but that does not increase the rock difficulty.


Matt, just curious, but from your peak list it doesn't appear that you've climbed Ice or N. Apostle either. Are you speaking from experience or just what you've read? I agree with Kansas. The suggestion of Ice as intro to Class 3 is a very bad idea.

Agree with Jon and Kansas. Ice Mountain has some moves on rock that I thought were harder than any on the Pyramid (which is rated Class 4). Of course, having slimy holds on moldy rock did not help. But what would I know... :roll:
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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby SurfNTurf » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:51 am

This isn't meant to single anyone out. It's a common mistake -- one I'll admit I made a few times back when I was newer and over-excited about my first couloir season. But it might be best to avoid giving advice on routes you haven't personally done.

I want to reiterate Kelso Ridge. It was my first Class 3, and I returned a second time to take my friend and girlfriend up their first Class 3. It's sustained but also has tons of good spots for a break. The route-finding is easy. The rock is mostly solid. The challenge and exposure are there, but neither are overwhelming. And the descent off Torreys is a breeze.

I can't speak to the Sawtooth because I haven't done it. I do have experience with the willows, and they're as bad as everyone says.

Wetterhorn is another good option if you happen to be in the San Juans. I know it's listed as a "Very Difficult" peak, but I found Crestone Needle to be pure Class 3 bliss. I suppose I'd more recommend it as a second Class 3 because it does require a ton of scrambling. Longs Keyhole is all right I guess, but I didn't find it as fun or sustained as these other routes.
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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby jaymz » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:18 am

BillMiddlebrook wrote:
rustic wrote:Quandary west ridge is a nice hike.

Come on, liv!

Quandary's West Ridge route is NOT a good "Intro to Class 3" nor is it a "hike"

This is the second time I can recall rustic suggesting Quandary's west ridge as a good intro to class three, and the second time he's gotten rebuked for doing so. #-o
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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby Derek » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:57 am

Holy hell Ice Mountain is not a good intro to Class 3 hike. I've done plenty of class 4/low 5 scrambles, and I turned back on Ice about 40 vert. feet from the summit. (Like Natalie said...the wetness made it worse.) And I still almost got flattened trying to leave that dumb mountain. :)

Sawtooth is barely class 3, not all that enjoyable to me.

Kelso Ridge: Loved it. One that I'll forever repeat. I think it makes for a great intro.

If you're not set on 14ers, the ridge to Father Dyer Peak from the lower Crystal Lake is a nice and relatively mellow class 3 hike. I liked that one a lot too. Trip report : http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=7387&parmuser=derek&cpgm=tripmain&ski=Include

Others may disagree, but Meeker from the Loft Route is a decent class three that I wouldn't feel uncomfortable taking a beginner on.

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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby DeucesWild » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:15 pm

Forget class 3. What about class 5? I'd be stoked to have a 5.6 on the resume:

http://www.summitpost.org/northwest-ridge/315766
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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby Brian Thomas » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:25 pm

Derek wrote:Holy hell Ice Mountain is not a good intro to Class 3 hike. I've done plenty of class 4/low 5 scrambles, and I turned back on Ice about 40 vert. feet from the summit. (Like Natalie said...the wetness made it worse.) And I still almost got flattened trying to leave that dumb mountain.


Do not disrespect the Ice Mountain with that language please.
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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby Derek » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:30 pm

Brian Thomas wrote:
Derek wrote:Holy hell Ice Mountain is not a good intro to Class 3 hike. I've done plenty of class 4/low 5 scrambles, and I turned back on Ice about 40 vert. feet from the summit. (Like Natalie said...the wetness made it worse.) And I still almost got flattened trying to leave that dumb mountain.


Do not disrespect the Ice Mountain with that language please.


Its ok, it can't chuck any boulders this far. Its all good.
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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby kansas » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:30 pm

DouchesWild wrote:Forget class 3. What about class 5? I'd be stoked to have a 5.6 on the resume:

Go away.
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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby DeucesWild » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:50 pm

kansas wrote:Go away


Ode to Kansas:

Kansas: Where we've torn the shackles
From the farmer's leg;
Kansas: Where the hen that cackles,
Always lays an egg;
Where the cows are fairly achin'
To go on with record breakin
And the hogs are raising bacon
By the keg!


EDIT: FWIW, the link of the class 5 mountain, Whitney Peak, is a super benign peak with an 8' boulder on top that makes it a 5.6. The Deuce wasn't giving bad/dangerous advice.
Last edited by DeucesWild on Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby JeffR » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:18 pm

Citadel, Kelso Ridge, Meeker, Pacific (east), Father Dyer, N. Arapaho, etc. Do a search.

And to reiterate... do NOT do Ice Mountain as an intro.
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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby Scuba Steve » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:51 pm

Suprised no one has mentioned Bierdstadt's East Ridge with a Sawtooth traverse. That way you avoid the willows and get some good sustained Class 3 climbing.

Steve-

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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby Jerousek » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:46 pm

Ellingwood Point via the SW Ridge would be a respectable intro to Class 3. No shortage of holds, enough exposure to remind you to test said holds, but with some places to down climb if the weather turns to bulls**t.

Also, if your wanderlust hath yet to be slaked after the summit, you can continue the class 3 on the traverse to Blanca. As a bonus, I would argue the basin up there is a thing to see in itself.
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