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planning ahead for 1st 14er

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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planning ahead for 1st 14er

Postby johnlantz » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:29 am

I will be in CO in September of 2014 (next year, middle of the month probably) and want to hike a 14er. I've been reading through a lot of beginner posts/ratings/etc... I've decided on Quandry since we will be staying near Breckenridge, it seems like one of the easier ones. I've read trip reports for September hikes in years past, and I need to dress warm and be prepared for seeing snow. I don't think altitude will be an issue since I've skied several years at Copper and A-Basin with no issues. We will be out there for a week, so when I hike will be dependent on when the weather looks good. My wife isn't keen to the idea that I will be hiking solo.

My question is what are my chances of encountering people on the trail - especially if I go midweek that time of the year? She would be much happier to hear that others would probably be on the trail as well.

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Re: planning ahead for 1st 14er

Postby MUni Rider » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:37 am

You will not be hiking solo. Plenty of others will be on the trail.
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." (Theodore Roosevelt)

"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit." (Edward Abbey)

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Re: planning ahead for 1st 14er

Postby rmichelson » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:48 am

September is typically a pretty good month because it is not as cold, snowy, or windy. The thing about Quandary is that in May and June, it is often covered in snow. Watch the Trip Reports here and see how much snow there is a week before you get to CO.
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Re: planning ahead for 1st 14er

Postby Pops921 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:43 am

Quandary is a popular hike year round. It is straightforward hike and a good first 14er. You should have plenty of company. You can get just about any weather in September, just watch the weather report. It will be ~15-20 degrees cooler at the summit then in Breckenridge (rule of thumb is 3.3 degree per 1,000' elevation). Bring enough layers so you can adjust them to be comfortable (lighter layers for hiking and warmer for resting at the top).

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Re: planning ahead for 1st 14er

Postby peter303 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:57 am

rmichelson wrote:September is typically a pretty good month because it is not as cold, snowy, or windy. The thing about Quandary is that in May and June, it is often covered in snow. Watch the Trip Reports here and see how much snow there is a week before you get to CO.

Nearly any month of the year the temperatures can change 50 degrees over the course of a 14er hike. In Septmeber that could mean wind chills of 20 degrees on the summit and 80 degree forest hike in the afternoon. So you prepare with layers, hats, gloves, etc.

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