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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 d_baker » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:19 pm

That's Wild.
Deuce has a fan club. ;)

As to the OP, I've always thought Lindsey, Wetterhorn, and Sneffels were good intro's.
E ridge on Pacific is good if you go with someone that knows how to route find, and when the weather is stable. It's a long ridge, and can be time consuming.

Edit: The SE ridge/Tour de Abyss route (on Bierstadt) I don't recommend for a starter. It's fun, but can be challenging. Off route there quickly leads to bigger exposure, with bad consequences.

Route finding to me means knowing how to look at a piece of terrain and judging if it can be safely climbed or not, to include down-climbing it. Being able to judge terrain before getting on it is the key to safe(r) scrambling.

Good luck!

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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby Brian Thomas » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:26 pm

MntOwl wrote:Please don't chase away Deuce.


Not trying to, hence the invitation for him to come out from behind the keyboard and summit a peak. And you should join for the Bison trip too!
"I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them" - Bob Dylan

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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby JA_son27 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:30 pm

The first rush I felt was on the sawtooth. Nice intro, but when you get confident there are far better climbs! Longs is a great one too. MY Wife's 1st class 3 was Wetterhorn, she had a blast!
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matt 25:40

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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby Papillon » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:37 pm

Matt Lemke wrote:Matt, read Roach's Thirteeners book...not to many routes in the Sawatch for class 3


If you think everything revolves around those guidebooks, you need to put the Gerry Roach blow-up doll down and actually get out and experience the mountains of Colorado.

Matt Lemke wrote:And to answer previous questions, I have not climbed Ice yet but I do have a few friends, all of which capable and comfortable of soloing Jagged or the Wham tell me that they grossly overestimated Ice.

They went into that mountain way over-prepared gear wise and mentally and they were actually disappointed at how easy it was.


How does one go into a class 3 mountain "over-prepared gear wise"? What other gear does one need for loose class 3 besides a bucket (and even that is debatable)?

JeffR wrote:I'm not much of a climber, and 2 things turned me back when I got about 100' below the summit. The rock is often wet and indescribably rotten (which might not be so terrible if not for the exposure) and it's very easy to get above Class 3 without some decent route-finding experience. If a person can deal with both of those issues then I agree that it's probably not an intensely bad Class 3.


I found the final 100' of Ice to be very similar to The Hourglass on Little Bear - lifeless and sinister. But I was with a good group that day and we were the only ones on Ice (I can't fathom doing it with heavy traffic) and we all made it without issue.

Brian Thomas wrote:After doing Longs' Keyhole route in July 2010 I got the fever and went back for Longs' Loft two weeks later, then Capitol two weeks after that.


Longs was my first class 3. I was a nervous wreck all week too. But it is a long day in the hills (15 miles and 5000 vert). Still, it was the first peak I stood atop where I actually felt like I did something other than put one foot in front of the other.

On a side note, what is up with that avatar, Brian? Are you going for the Albert DeSalvo look? Note: I'm just kidding but I don't know how to incorporate pink font.

The Arapaho Traverse is solid, literally and figuratively. And I think you can bypass some of the more difficult parts if you get the yips. The approach isn't killer either. But one does have to go out to North Arapaho and back. But that is twice the class 3 fun. Just watch the weather.
The look in his eyes when it hit - Kid, it was tasty... - William Seward Burroughs

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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby Matt Lemke » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:50 pm

Papillon wrote:
Matt Lemke wrote:Matt, read Roach's Thirteeners book...not to many routes in the Sawatch for class 3


If you think everything revolves around those guidebooks, you need to put the Gerry Roach blow-up doll down and actually get out and experience the mountains of Colorado.


You're preaching to the wrong crowd here. My plans for this year include the ultimate mountaineering experience that includes finishing Colorado's highest 100, starting and finishing the Utah 13ers, the Idaho 12ers, the Montana 12ers the California 14ers, completion of all the continuous US western state high points and a trip to Canada's Rocky Mountains.

I'm also going to have a published mountaineering guide hit the printers by the beginning of next year.

Don't tell me to go out and experience the mountains...

On a different note, I certainly do not think the mountains revolve around his books. I use them but I know how to get around safely in the mountains. However IMO his two Colorado books are some of the best literature ever printed on paper. I love reading them
Lemke Climbs
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arguing about Ice Mountain

Postby Brian Thomas » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:40 am

Papillon wrote:If you think everything revolves around those guidebooks, you need to put the Gerry Roach blow-up doll down and actually get out and experience the mountains of Colorado.


I attempted the Ice Mountain in 2010 on a foundation of class 3 experience totalling Kelso Ridge and Longs' Keyhole. In preparation I read zero trip reports about Ice and only brought with me the photocopied page from Roach's guidebook, telling myself "this is only the Sawatch, it can't be that hard". I also thought it was a great idea to bring a friend I'd only met a week before on the summit of Mt Yale as his introduction to class 3. Needless to say it didn't turn out very well...

Papillon wrote:what is up with that avatar, Brian? Are you going for the Albert DeSalvo look?


Was having trouble finding victims in Denver so I went looking for some on Mt Tweto :-"

But seriously, this is a real topic that warrants discussion, much more so than trench poaching, this thread should be on its 10th page by now already.
"I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants you to be just like them" - Bob Dylan

Re: Intro to class 3

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:47 am

Iman86 wrote:Hahahaha this thread has gotten out of control, I have been checking it often tog et a good laugh.


When does s**t on the forum not get out of control...
Everyday is a G r A t E f U L Day here in the CO

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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby Derek » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:54 am

live4pc wrote:On the hike down I had time for meeker, storm, lady and battle.

From the Keyhole route? :? One hell of a day to do that....
"All dolled up in gabardine..."

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Re: arguing about Ice Mountain

Postby JeffR » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:03 am

Brian Thomas wrote:I attempted the Ice Mountain in 2010 on a foundation of class 3 experience totalling Kelso Ridge and Longs' Keyhole. In preparation I read zero trip reports about Ice and only brought with me the photocopied page from Roach's guidebook, telling myself "this is only the Sawatch, it can't be that hard". I also thought it was a great idea to bring a friend I'd only met a week before on the summit of Mt Yale as his introduction to class 3. Needless to say it didn't turn out very well...

I had done 4-5 "starter" class 3's and read everything possible about the final few hundred feet of this route beforehand and still couldn't seal the deal once I got there. Evil stuff. I don't know if it was the s**t rock or what, but it didn't feel anywhere near the same class as something like Crestone Needle.

Brian Thomas wrote:But seriously, this is a real topic that warrants discussion, much more so than trench poaching, this thread should be on its 10th page by now already.

Yeah, I think there's some good info in this (and other) threads about the subject. I'm attempting Ice again this summer, maybe this will pique some interest in a group outing.
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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby rijaca » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:04 am

Derek wrote:
live4pc wrote:On the hike down I had time for meeker, storm, lady and battle.

From the Keyhole route? :? One hell of a day to do that....


I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought that.... :?
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Spent a little time on the hill"

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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby JeffR » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:05 am

Derek wrote:
live4pc wrote:On the hike down I had time for meeker, storm, lady and battle.

From the Keyhole route? :? One hell of a day to do that....

Consider the source. :-"
To recognize the beauty in sadness, without playing host to the pain...
- Under the Sun, "Reflections"

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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby DeucesWild » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:19 am

JeffR wrote:
Derek wrote:
live4pc wrote:On the hike down I had time for meeker, storm, lady and battle.

From the Keyhole route? :? One hell of a day to do that....

Consider the source. :-"



I'll buy Pagoda instead of Meeker. And he probably did a few hundred pushups in the parking lot as well.
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