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Approaches/2 Day Hikes

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Approaches/2 Day Hikes

Postby josephwilliam » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:42 pm

Hi Folks,

Name is Joe. I am currently from Texas but have lived all over the US, courtesy of the US military. I have done several 14,000 plus foot peaks in Washington State and California (including Whitney twice via different routes) and have decent experience from climbing lower peaks (10-12 thousand) in the Sawtooths, Cascades, and Sierra Nevadas.

I have two questions for you all.

First: I and some friends will be out in Colorado and are looking to hit a peak while we are out there. What we are looking for is a decent hike in, spend the night, then summit and back out the next day. I am having a terrible time finding something that is a decent distance in, that will actually take two days, but so long that it is a stretch to fit it into two days. Ideally we are looking for something with a decent amount of class 3 climbing, without insane exposure. Something like the Knife Edge on Capitol Peak isn't too bad. And the only reason we aren't planning on doing Capitol is because as far as I can tell it would be too tight a fit to do in two days.

One peak I was looking at is La Plata, probably doing the Ellingwood Ridge route. My only problem with this one is it seems to basically be a one day in, summit, and out. So, that brings up my second question which is: does anyone know any good approaches to La Plata that would possibly take half a day to a day?

Maybe is there a route that takes you over some lower peaks or ridges on the way in? I don't entirely know where to start looking.

Thanks in advance for your all's time. Looking forward to my first Colorado 14er outside of Pikes Peak.

Re: Approaches/2 Day Hikes

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:46 pm

Halo Ridge route on Mt. of the Holy Cross?


Also, my GF and I just did Capitol this past Sun/Mon. Two days no problem. They were a tough two days, but we did it without issue. We met a pair of guys there that did it all in one day. Crazy ](*,)
Last edited by Somewhat of a Prick on Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Approaches/2 Day Hikes

Postby Lemmiwinks » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:47 pm

Snowmass standard route from snowmass lake.
Kit carson and challenger from willow lake.
Blanca and ellingwood from lake como.

Those are the ones that immediately came to mind.

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Re: Approaches/2 Day Hikes

Postby viejo » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:48 pm

Pine Creek approach to either NW ridge of Harvard, Missouri via Iowa saddle, or Belford via Elkhead Pass.

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Re: Approaches/2 Day Hikes

Postby denvermikey » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:50 pm

Snowmass standard route, Kit Carson & Challenger are typically done in two days, you could hike in to Navajo Basin and have access to the 3 in the Wilson group, hike into Chicago basin and have access to 4...
I do not know what your experience/comfort level is with these types of climbs. All of them are on the upper scale of difficulty.
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Re: Approaches/2 Day Hikes

Postby josephwilliam » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:15 pm

So as far a Capitol goes, how is the weather out there this time of year? Is it likely we will have decent weather? Or is that sort of hit or miss?

And when you are saying Capitol in two days, is that trailhead to trailhead? Or something else?

Re: Approaches/2 Day Hikes

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:24 pm

josephwilliam wrote:So as far a Capitol goes, how is the weather out there this time of year? Is it likely we will have decent weather? Or is that sort of hit or miss?

And when you are saying Capitol in two days, is that trailhead to trailhead? Or something else?


When are you trying to make this trip?

Yes, two days TH to TH. Hike in, camp at Capitol Lake. Wake up, summit, go back to camp and pack up/pack out.

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Re: Approaches/2 Day Hikes

Postby mtree » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:26 pm

Crestone Peak and/or Needle. Hike in and camp at South Colony lakes.
"Cool Prius!" - nobody

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Re: Approaches/2 Day Hikes

Postby josephwilliam » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:33 pm

Somewhat of a Prick wrote:
josephwilliam wrote:So as far a Capitol goes, how is the weather out there this time of year? Is it likely we will have decent weather? Or is that sort of hit or miss?

And when you are saying Capitol in two days, is that trailhead to trailhead? Or something else?


When are you trying to make this trip?

Yes, two days TH to TH. Hike in, camp at Capitol Lake. Wake up, summit, go back to camp and pack up/pack out.


Looking to be out there next weekend. Maybe hiking 18/19.

Re: Approaches/2 Day Hikes

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:41 pm

josephwilliam wrote:
Somewhat of a Prick wrote:
josephwilliam wrote:So as far a Capitol goes, how is the weather out there this time of year? Is it likely we will have decent weather? Or is that sort of hit or miss?

And when you are saying Capitol in two days, is that trailhead to trailhead? Or something else?


When are you trying to make this trip?

Yes, two days TH to TH. Hike in, camp at Capitol Lake. Wake up, summit, go back to camp and pack up/pack out.


Looking to be out there next weekend. Maybe hiking 18/19.


Well the weather right now is pretty awful, storms every day as far as the eye can see. Hopefully it clears up by that time for you. Since I just did this route Sun/Mon, feel free to PM me with specific questions. My GF will have a trip report up tomorrow chock full of pics and vids too, I can PM it to you when she posts it or just keep an eye out.

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Re: Approaches/2 Day Hikes

Postby Bowman » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:11 pm

josephwilliam wrote:So as far a Capitol goes, how is the weather out there this time of year? Is it likely we will have decent weather? Or is that sort of hit or miss?

And when you are saying Capitol in two days, is that trailhead to trailhead? Or something else?


I don't think you should hike Capitol. Spend some time on the site. Read read read.
"—so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

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Re: Approaches/2 Day Hikes

Postby aussie56 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:14 pm

Sneffels from Blue Lakes is a good choice. A not too difficult BP in (4 milesish IIRC), an overnight camp at one of the most sublime spots I have been to in CO, and the SW ridge route up to Sneffels which is a really fun Class 3 without ridiculous exposure. Weather could be a bit dodgy - rains a lot in the San Juans in monsoon season.

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