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Advice for a first timer

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Advice for a first timer

Postby Mzhapp2 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:58 pm

We are planning to attempt our first 14er the first week of July. I have narrowed my choices to Bierstadt or Quandary as we are staying in Geogetown and Breckenridge. The question is...which is easier? I need to consider access to the trailhead for my Impala. Also, these seem to be short distances. Any preferences for those of you that have hiked these? The trails seem to be pretty straightforward for both and the distances are similar. Thanks for the advice.

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Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby Doctor No » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:17 pm

They're both pretty easy (for fourteeners, that is).

The crowdsource poll here rates Quandary as slightly easier (assuming standard/easiest routes for both):
http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/usrpeaksrall.php

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Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby lurker » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:18 pm

IMO: Bierstadt is the easier of the two. For some reason Quandary always seems hard to me, it might be the lack of warm up, unlike Bierstadt where you start with a little downhill and then some flats.

Access is easy for both (my corolla makes it), you should do both.
The Mountains are Calling, and I must Go.
--John Muir

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Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby JROSKA » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:56 pm

I'd also recommend Bierstadt. As the last post refers to, it's helpful that the first mile + of the hike is flat; it kind of gets you warmed up. Quandary's elevation gain starts right away. Also, I think Bierstadt's elevation gain is 2700 feet, while Quandary is 3300. Both are excellent choices for your first ones, but I think Bierstadt would be the better choice to be your first 14er.

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Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:25 pm

Democrat is easier than either one, and still close to Breckenridge.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby SkiBikeClimb99 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:27 pm

Sherman is close and easy too

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Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby Mzhapp2 » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:58 pm

Thanks, my original plan was Bierstadt, but I waiver back and forth. I wish we could do both, but I think one will be more than enough! How tough is the scramble at the top?

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Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby dnye » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:04 pm

The scramble is easy and the best part of the whole hike

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Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby Adventure Seeker » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:43 pm

I think Bierstadt is easier than Quandary. Bierstadt is about 200 feet shorter. I also think the trail on Bierstadt is better, except for the 150 foot scramble to the top of Bierstadt, but that is fun. It can get a bit warm going through the willows on the way back down depending on what time of day it is.

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Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby MtHurd » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:58 pm

My vote for the easiest is Bierstadt.

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Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby peter303 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 6:39 am

I second Sherman as the easiest hike of the three, but the roughest road of three- OK for sedan if you drive slow.

Sherman and Bierstadt TH are above the treeline, so you have nice views all the way.

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Re: Advice for a first timer

Postby Mzhapp2 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:53 am

Thank you so much for all of the advice. We are really excited to try and bag our first 14er! Only a couple of weeks to go. Hope we make it.

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