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First 14er

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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First 14er

Postby AzAaron » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:22 am

Hi, my buddy and I will be camping near Telluride in late May/ early June. I'd like to hit my first 14er but am not sure which one. I'm in good shape and hike/ run regularly but do get a little nervous on extreme exposure. Do any of you have recommendations for a first 14er around there?

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Re: First 14er

Postby gdthomas » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:30 am

There aren't any 14ers near Telluride that satisfy your skill level and requirements.

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Re: First 14er

Postby Wish I lived in CO » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:32 am

The Wilson group is close by, but I believe those are class 3 or higher, probably not a great bet for a first 14er. Mt. Sneffels is nearby to Ouray, but despite the low snow this year may or may not have some snow in a high gulley at that time; plus there is one class 2/3 climbing move that may or may not be a big deal for you to overcome. Handies is an excellent first 14er, but further away. It is generally accessed from the Lake City side, or there is a little known route from Silverton that is a longer hike in. Maybe a 13er is in order? Or drive farther? Or a more difficult 14er?
I look up to the mountains - does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! Psalm 121:1-2

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Re: First 14er

Postby AzAaron » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:42 am

Yeah, I've been eyeing Sneffels. I boulder regularly so I am comfortable on a rock. Other one that I've been thinking of is Redcloud. Wilson's look sketchy for a first excursion.

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Re: First 14er

Postby dfrizzle » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:03 pm

AzAaron wrote:Yeah, I've been eyeing Sneffels. I boulder regularly so I am comfortable on a rock. Other one that I've been thinking of is Redcloud. Wilson's look sketchy for a first excursion.


Sneffels was my first and I had no climbing experience whatsoever. Of course, I'd follow my buddy that took me on Sneffels anywhere. We did it from the Blue Lakes trail and camped the night before. Snowed on us in August but was absolutely beautiful and lots of fun!
One foot in and one foot back, but it don't pay to live like that.
So I cut the ties and I jumped the tracks, for never to return.

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Re: First 14er

Postby nyker » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:29 pm

Redcloud, Sunshine and Handies would be good choices or for longer drive and more solitude, San Luis Peak.

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Re: First 14er

Postby MtHurd » Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:00 pm

Wilson Peak (not to be confused with Mt. Wilson) is not too bad for a first climb.

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Re: First 14er

Postby phlakin » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:03 am

nyker wrote:Redcloud, Sunshine and Handies would be good choices or for longer drive and more solitude, San Luis Peak.

I agree. These are great mountains to hike on your first attempts. Even Uncompaghre is a lot of fun and relatively easy. And it's beautiful. I would NOT in any way suggest you climb anything in the Wilson group if you do not like exposure. These mountains should be around for a while...and you'll be more ready for them after you've hiked a few other mountains. All those in the Wilsons have exposure, and portions have some really, really bad (deteriorating) rock.
The mountains one gazes at, reads about, dreams of and desires are not the mountains one climbs -- Robert Macfarlane

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Re: First 14er

Postby Fisching » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:40 am

I wouldn't touch the Wilsons.

Go to the aforementioned Handies, Redcloud, and Sunshine. Class 1 and 2 with little exposure.
Peter Aitchison on the risks of rock climbing and mountaineering: "That's life, isn't it? We think the challenge and satisfaction you get from doing this is worth the risks."

"Respect the mountain. Train hard. Hope you can sneak up when it isn't looking."

"The mind is always worried about consequences, but the heart knows no fear. The heart just does what it wants."

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