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any advice would be appreciated

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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any advice would be appreciated

Postby jim pelech » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:03 am

My family and i are planning on hiking grays peak the first week of august and since we are all inexperienced, i thought i would put my plan out there and see if it is sound. We will be driving from Chicago on August 1st. we will spend a couple days in Denver and be in Leadville by Sunday the 5th. Whenever the weather looks good during that week, we will drive from leadville to the Grays trailhead (be there by 6:00 a.m.), I am considering it a 1.5 hour drive.
Abuot us- My wife and I are both about to turn 50 years old and are in decent shape (for 50!). Our children are 10(julia) and 7(ben) years old and are very fit and active. Besides the kids sports, we have been having a short family workout twice a week for the last 3 months and every sunday we hike 3.5 to 4.5 miles. pretty easily. Our mountain experience is limited mostly to myself. I have gone on a few backcountry skiing trips (around Leadville) about 20 years ago with the Iowa mountaineers. but i have hiked and camped and spent a fair amount of time in the wilderness over the years. but not with children and not at this kind of elevation. obviously, safety is my main concern and if this doesn't seem safe we can easily turn this trip into a much more conservative hiking trip.
We plan on following all the advice that i have read on 14ers.com and will bring at least 2 liters of water each(?).
I am looking forward to any suggestions that any of you might have for us.
thanks, jim pelech

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Re: any advice would be appreciated

Postby KentonB » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:20 am

What you describe sounds reasonable to me. Just a couple thoughts...

- With kids (I have 5 myself), always be ready to turn back early if they're having a rough time... and as far as that goes, sometimes you have to determine if they're having a rough time (mine don't always tell me).

- 2 liters of water is probably plenty for the kids, but I usually recommend 3 liters for adults... especially if it's a hot day.

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Re: any advice would be appreciated

Postby MtHurd » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:23 am

Your plan looks good to me. The road to the trailhead sometimes is rough depending on when maintenance occurs. If you have an SUV then it should be no problem. It's only a problem with a low clearance car like a Civic or Corolla. Someone on 14ers.com can tell you the condition of the road right before you go if necessary.

Bring a rain jacket. Even if it doesn't rain it will work as a wind breaker in case it gets a little cold. Bring a warm layer underneath as well.

Scott P can tell you more about hiking with kids as his 6 year old has climbed a bunch of 14ers already.

Set a turnaround time. If it's 10:00 a.m. and you haven't reached the summit, it's probably a good idea to turn around during monsoon season, especially if there are already clouds around.
Last edited by MtHurd on Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: any advice would be appreciated

Postby bonehead » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:24 am

Jim
Water is over rated.
Bring Lifesavors.
(and a little water)
You should do fine.
Have a blast.

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Re: any advice would be appreciated

Postby peter303 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:27 am

Sounds like a reasonable plan.
Note the access road is a high clearance road and banned in standard sedan rental contracts. You need to rent something that is allowed off road.

Quandry is about the same distance and difficulty. The trailhead has easy vehicle access.

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Re: any advice would be appreciated

Postby jim pelech » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:47 am

KentonB, thanks for the great advice about trying to decide when the kids have had enough. now that you mention it, that is going to be tough.
about the water. it may be a silly question but since we will try to hydrate a little too much rather than not enough....what's the etiquette about peeing above the treeline?

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Re: any advice would be appreciated

Postby bonehead » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:13 am

jim pelech wrote:what's the etiquette about peeing above the treeline?

That is the ultimate question for a popular 14er.
Answer: Don't get caught. By the opposite sex anyway.
Kids should have no problem or shame.
An adult, however, should seek solitude, or a good lawyer.
I found a few suitable places on Lincoln this past Friday.
Every mountain is different.
Good Luck.

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Re: any advice would be appreciated

Postby MtHurd » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:38 am

peter303 wrote:Sounds like a reasonable plan.
Note the access road is a high clearance road and banned in standard sedan rental contracts. You need to rent something that is allowed off road.

Quandry is about the same distance and difficulty. The trailhead has easy vehicle access.


None of the rentals are allowed off road, even the 4x4's from the contract I read when I rented a 4x4. I wouldn't consider that road "off-road", but it's just a couple of miles anyway and usually is pretty tame unless rain washed some of it away.

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Re: any advice would be appreciated

Postby mtnview » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:47 am

Bierstadt would be a simpler choice as the trailhead is accessible by any vehicle.

Also a good introductory 14er.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise (of his return), as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
http://www.truedino.com/colorado14ers.htm

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Re: any advice would be appreciated

Postby MtHurd » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:49 am

It's a lot longer drive though.

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Re: any advice would be appreciated

Postby summers » Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:00 pm

jim pelech wrote:what's the etiquette about peeing above the treeline?


I always carry a cheap space blanket (one of those $2-ish silver ones that disintegrate after one or two uses) in my backpack. I've never actually had to use it to stay warm, but have donated a couple of them to lady hiking partners desparate for a place to pee above treeline.

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Re: any advice would be appreciated

Postby DaveSwink » Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:06 pm

[quote="jim pelech"]....what's the etiquette about peeing above the treeline?[/quote]

Try to step off the trail a bit first, but only if it can be done safely. For guys, don't cross the streams!

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