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Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

Postby ethanc41 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:14 pm

Hello,

I am going to visit Aspen with a friend in a couple of weeks. We only recently got into climbing, and the only experience we have is climbing Mt.Hood in Oregon. Anyways, does anyone know any 14ers near Aspen that isn't too hard to climb, but isn't too easy ether. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks :-D

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Re: Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

Postby Presto » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:15 pm

Preferred elevation, distance (roundtrip), Class (1,2,3), how far are you willing to drive? :-k
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

Postby ethanc41 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:24 pm

Presto wrote:Preferred elevation, distance (roundtrip), Class (1,2,3), how far are you willing to drive? :-k


Preferred elevation: Anything over 14,000ft

Distance: 10-15 miles

Class: Preferably class 2

Drive: Anything in a 100 mile radius

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Re: Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

Postby Mtnman200 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:29 pm

I recommend Electric Pass Peak. There's a good trail nearly all the way to the summit. It's a beautiful area and the trailhead is easy to access.

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Re: Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

Postby TravelingMatt » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:56 pm

Mtnman200 wrote:I recommend Electric Pass Peak. There's a good trail nearly all the way to the summit. It's a beautiful area and the trailhead is easy to access.


Just got down from there. 8½ miles roundtrip, 3700' gain, Class 1.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

Postby tdliles » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:03 pm

Not a 14er, but Buckskin Benchmark is a great, easy 13er, with amazing views of all those hard 14ers: Snowmass, Bells, Pyramid, Capital. Hike from Maroon Lake to Buckskin Pass, then off trail up the ridge to the peak. One of the most amazing views we've ever had!
Tom and Stef

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Re: Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:46 pm

Castle Peak seems like the obvious choice. Your criteria fit about half the 14ers, if not more.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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Re: Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

Postby GeezerClimber » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:47 pm

Castle Peak is the easiest 14er in the elks. Rated class 2+. A little scruffy in places but entertaining. I've climbed it twice including 2 days ago. Unless you have a fairly rugged 4WD, however, it could be pretty long.

Dave

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Re: Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

Postby highcountryhiker » Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:05 pm

Two class 2 14ers that are within very reasonable driving distance from Aspen on paved road (Independence Pass) are La Plata Peak and Mount Elbert. The northwest ridge route on La Plata is about 9.5 miles with 4,500 feet of elevation gain. The southeast ridge route on Elbert from the Black Cloud trailhead is approximately 11 miles and 5,300 feet of elevation gain. Check out both the trailhead and route descriptions on this site.

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Re: Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

Postby clemsonmtneer » Fri Jul 12, 2013 5:01 pm

If you don't limit yourself to just 14ers, I would recommend Mt. Sopris. It might "only" be ~12,900, but in my opinion is much more scenic and enjoyable than the dirt road approach + relentless scree field on Castle Peak. Sopris is a long hike (7-8 miles one way I think), but doable with an early start and decent weather window.

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Re: Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

Postby howmuchhigher » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:56 pm

I know somebody already mentioned it but you can definitely get a stock SUV or truck up the road to the trailhead at Castle. Just be sure to know how to drive the thing. I got my subaru up to the creek but opted not to try to cross it. I thought I was pretty handy with a wagon and turned around at the creek crossing. As I climbed the road sure enough I saw a subaru forester waaaaaay up the road parked off the side camping out. I met the owners at the top of castle and they were a really nice older couple.
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Re: Good intermediate climb near Aspen?

Postby dcbates80911 » Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:07 pm

Mt. Sopris is a pretty one and on the longer side. I believe it was greater than 15 miles, but a very pretty hike. The peaks are less than 13K, but don't let that deceive you, it is work.
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