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FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Postby Taur » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:56 am

Funny, I now consider my Garmin GPS required equipment. I will not hike without it.

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Postby Duffus Kentucky Climber » Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:07 am

deagle02 wrote:IMHO... and DEFINATELY a matter of opinion!

Leave the technology behind. If you want to take a phone, keep it on vibrate and use it for emergency (if it works) or talking to someone above 14000 ft... totally cool (at least the first couple of times). Leave the headphones unless your really need it for getting in a hiking groove. The sounds of nature are awesome if you have hiked alot you should know this, but as you climb and push yourself there is a new "air" up higher when you are above timber. Just my thoughts.

And hydrate before going as well as during.


Some good advice from deagle2. It could have been worded to mean leave any uneccessary technology behind. Do not hesitate to take any technology that will make you safer and your climb more enjoyable. You don't have to conform to anyone else's ethic. Is a compass "technology"? A couple hundred years ago it was cutting edge. Is a GPS technology? Well, it's been around longer than you have. Do you want to carry a ghetto blaster and ruin everyone else's commune with nature? Probably not. Do what you feel most comfortable doing and stay safe!!
It looks like the ridge is just right up there!

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Postby deagle02 » Fri Oct 20, 2006 9:05 am

[quote="Taur"]Funny, I now consider my Garmin GPS required equipment. I will not hike without it.[/quote]


good point... I don't have one and haven't been with anyone yet who has used one. Just map and compass here... not because I'm a traditionalist (all traditionalists out there, hat's off to ya, I got no gripes) I just haven't used the GPS, therefore, didn't think about it... so the Kentucky "duffus" :) is right on... my miss. :wink:
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Postby lstomsl » Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:35 am

I've used GPS extensively for work outside when I had to locate specific points or record locations and I have my own but the only time I have used it recreationally was to find a hut during a blizzard. I just can't see where it provides much useful information, most times in the mtns.

Incidentaly, the worst I have ever been "temporarily unsure of my location" was because I had been relying on my GPS. I had been tracking a lynx on taylor mesa all day on relatively flat terrain with little in the way of visual clues. Needless to say the lynx went every which way and I was focusing on the tracks. At the end of the day I had no idea which direction to go to get back to my snowmobile and for some reason I was no longer picking up sattelites. Fortunately my best "guess" as to the direction turned out to be a good one but that is not always the case.

GPS is a nice backup but no substitute for common sense and map reading skills. I've also never used a compass for recreational purposes in the mountains, although I've carried one for years. I just have never needed to know which way was north. I do have an altimeter watch however, which has proven itselt to be immensely useful when combined with a topo map.
It's all a bunch of tree-hugging hippie crap - Eric Cartman

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Postby Duffus Kentucky Climber » Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:43 am

istomsl makes good points that were explored pretty well in a thread about altimeter watches recently. An altimeter is a great tool in the mountains for route finding. Although I carry a compass and the altimeter watch also has a compass, the only time I have ever really used one on a fourteener was when we summitted Bierstadt in so much fog and snow that we had to use the compass to decide which direction to descend to find the Sawtooth ridge!!! Glad I had one then. (Or wait a few hours for the fog to lift.)
It looks like the ridge is just right up there!

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Postby gdthomas » Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:51 am

[quote="lstomsl"]...I've also never used a compass for recreational purposes in the mountains, although I've carried one for years. I just have never needed to know which way was north...[/quote]

Oftentimes when you're lost, a compass by itself is not sufficient. But when used with a detailed map, a compass can be a valuable orienteering tool.

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Postby lstomsl » Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:10 am

I don't doubt that it can be, it just never has been for me. To use a compass for somehing other than establishing the basic cardinal directions, you generally need a visual point of reference to take a bearing from. If you can see something and you know where it is on the map, you probably also have a pretty good idea where you are as well.

I've never needed mine but I still carry it
It's all a bunch of tree-hugging hippie crap - Eric Cartman

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Postby Jim Davies » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:20 pm

I've used my compass and map a few times, generally to match the ridge points around me to the map (and thus figure out where the heck I am). It helps.

btw, I've summited 14ers after 4 pm on a number of occasions, and lived. I also aborted a hike up Holy Cross at 8 am this summer. You need to watch the weather, not your watch.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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Postby Taur » Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:07 am

F Bomb wrote:
Also, be off the mountain by no later than 12:00.


That is solid advice, I'm not a big fan of some of the books out there telling you to be off the summit by noon. I think that is way to late in a lot of cases. Get up early, it's better for a lot of reasons.

Or, you could just buy a Barometer and sleep in. :D


I swear some people are not happy unless they find the way to suck all the fun out of everything. As someone said Try to have a little fun out there.

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Postby TravelingMatt » Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:26 pm

Hike your own hike. Set your own goals, work your way up to them, and take pride in yourself when you reach them. Then set new, higher goals! Everyone had a "first 14er" at some point.

Don't worry if someone else is passing you, or can hike Mount X in Y hours, or thinks you're not as cool a hiker as he is because he's done the 5.11d North West South Ridge Traverse Couloir Slopes Approach Route while you're only on the Class 1 cowpath. None of this matters! The only person keeping score is you, in life and on the trail!
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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Postby Scott P » Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:32 am

....
Last edited by Scott P on Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Scott P » Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:36 am

I've never needed mine but I still carry it


I've needed mine only a few times, but it's always nice to have one.

If you can see something


There lies the key. 99%+ of the time you can, but theres always sometimes when you can't. Although rare, here is a good example of what has happened when things have gotten fogged in:

http://uutah.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3790

Or, you could just buy a Barometer and sleep in.


Not so. A barometer can detect storms associated with frontal systems. Most summer thunderstorms in Colorado Mountains are caused by afternoon heating as hot air is forced over the mountains and cools rapidy. Most summer t-storms are not due to frontal systems (though some are) and a barometer won't help at all.

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