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Advice on first 14er

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: Advice on first 14er

Postby jdorje » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:54 pm

MountainHiker wrote:When you look at fourteener fatalities, Longs has a high percentage on the standard route compared to most fourteeners.


Longs may (probably?) have the highest raw number of injuries and fatalities of any Colorado peak. But as a percentage? Given how many people attempt it, I doubt it's among the top 5. Too bad I can think of no way to measure this.

MountainHiker wrote:I wouldn’t take someone up Longs without knowing they did okay on other fourteeners first.


Absolutely.
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Re: Advice on first 14er

Postby jrs1965 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:10 pm

I don't think anybody suggested Yale? Easy peak with easy trail finding, awesome view and super easy trail head access...

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Re: Advice on first 14er

Postby MountainHiker » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:18 pm

jdorje wrote:
MountainHiker wrote:When you look at fourteener fatalities, Longs has a high percentage on the standard route compared to most fourteeners.


Longs may (probably?) have the highest raw number of injuries and fatalities of any Colorado peak. But as a percentage? Given how many people attempt it, I doubt it's among the top 5. Too bad I can think of no way to measure this.

MountainHiker wrote:I wouldn’t take someone up Longs without knowing they did okay on other fourteeners first.


Absolutely.

I agree. It’s amazing there’s not more accidents on Longs given the large number of people streaming up the trail. My point was the standard route has some unforgiving spots that take people. By percentage, I didn’t mean of total climbs, but what portion of accidents are on the standard route verses other routes on the mountain. I’m going by memory from reported accidents in recent years. There are certainly some other standard fourteener routes that have taken people in recent years. I wouldn’t take a newbie up those routes either.

My nephew is visiting this summer. He’s in great shape and did well with elevation when I took him to Mary Jane a few winters ago. I know without a doubt he has the mental and physical toughness along with natural ability to tackle any of the standard fourteener routes. But could I in good conscience take him up Longs, the Bells, or some of the other hardest for his first fourteener? As much as I know he would love some of those routes, no, I couldn’t do it.
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Re: Advice on first 14er

Postby zinj » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:32 am

Since you asked...don't to Longs first. It's not the most technical 14er I've done, but it's the one that worries me the most because of:

1) Lot of People, many of whom are unaware of climbing etiquette (which is more about safety than hurt feelings!)
2) There is not a "fast" way off Longs to the relative safety of treeline in the event of thunderstorms. You either deal with slippery scree in the Loft (which sucks) or are completely exposed to Acts of God as you try to bolt across the boulder field on the Keyhole route. Combine this fact with #1 - and you can get climber bottlenecks which further slow your egress. Longs isn't the only peak with protracted alpine exposure to the elements, but its the one I worry about -- I feel like storms over RMNP materialize almost out of thin air whereas in other parts of the state I can usually judge what's going to happen well in advance. Maybe this is because there's nothing to the west of that stretch of the Front Range which Longs anchors which is anywhere near as tall as that north-south line of mountains - so the weather hits it like a wall?
"Gentlemen, you are piling up a heritage of conflict and litigation over water rights, for there is not sufficient water to supply the land." - John Wesley Powell, 1883

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Re: Advice on first 14er

Postby danb » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:05 am

I know it is not on your short list - but it meets the close to cities caveat....Pikes. If things go real bad, well, you can ride down? You make it to the top and you can buy a gatorade and snickers. If things are real bad, 2/3 of the way up from Crags you are on a heavily traveled road just in case.

There is no scrambling, pretty scenery. Of course, your road down in an emergency would leave you on the opposite side of the mountain from your car, assuming you left from Crags. Overall it is kind of a "long" hike, no pun intended. You're not going to be worrying about fatalities however.

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Re: Advice on first 14er

Postby zinj » Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:11 pm

Pikes -- you know, Pikes can be quite an adventure for a first 14er. It's long and you get massive elevation gain but it's also not technical and once you reach the top you have the security blanket of both a paved road and a cog railway to get down should you be hurt in some way.

Do the Barr Trail and break the ascent into two pieces by staying at the Barr Camp (nice people). That means the lower part of the mountain is only light backpacking since you don't need to carry a stove, food or a tent -- just a sleeping bag which you can leave at the Barr Camp when you hike to the summit, and retrieve on the back way down.
"Gentlemen, you are piling up a heritage of conflict and litigation over water rights, for there is not sufficient water to supply the land." - John Wesley Powell, 1883

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Re: Advice on first 14er

Postby thompsonmike » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:44 pm

When are you going? I'm moving from WI to CO on July 22. I'd be interested in a two day Pikes Peak hike stopping at the Barr cabin and then trying to summit before sunrise the following day. I'm also interested in doing Toreys and Greys as well. It will be my first climb.

Mike

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Re: Advice on first 14er

Postby Shawnee Bob » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:55 pm

If you only have a 2WD vehicle: Quandary. Easy access, beautiful peak, very good first-time mountain.

If you have a 4WD vehicle: Huron. Some of the best views in the Sawatch Range, great for first-timers.

Neither mountain requires more than stout heart/lungs/legs, just be sure to start early, bring plenty of water and some food, and watch the skies. Don't be afraid to bail if you get too tired, start running out of water or see clouds building above you.
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Re: Advice on first 14er

Postby MountainDawg » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:21 pm

I spent $3 dollars on a gatorade at Barr Camp today. Was worth every penny. :-D

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Re: Advice on first 14er

Postby sad2 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:22 pm

MountainDawg wrote:I spent $3 dollars on a gatorade at Barr Camp today. Was worth every penny. :-D



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