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Daytrips from Leadville

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Daytrips from Leadville

Postby Arcturus_ » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:20 pm

Hello,

I'm heading to Leadville for a week's vacation starting Saturday and am looking for some suggested scrambles that can be done as a day trip from that location (let's say within a 2 hour drive?). I've already planned on the Harvard/Columbia circuit, Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, but I'm interested in other places that offer fun hands-on scrambling (the ones I've listed seem to be straight hikes) or exceptional views, and preferably both. Doesn't necessarily have to be a 14er, even though I'm getting a bit spoiled by the wealth of information available about them here. :-D

I've done a lot of scrambling in the Canadian Rockies, have free-climbed up to 5.3, and am used to long days with 5,000 ft.+ elevation gains. The elevation will be a bit of a wildcard, but I've been up around 11,500ft. a number of times recently without any problems.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby Fisching » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:32 pm

The closest range to Leadville, the Sawatch, doesn't offer much in terms of scrambling on 14ers. Sorry to be the bearer of bad new, eh.

If you're looking for more technical climbs, consult the "Difficult" and "Most Difficult" section of this list: http://14ers.com/routes_2.php The closest range to Leadville that offers multiple scrambling options on 14ers is the Elks mountain range, near the Aspen area; it's about an 1hr 15min to Aspen from Leadville. A word of caution about the 14ers of the Elks - they are known for containing notoriously loose rock.
Last edited by Fisching on Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby TravelingMatt » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:43 pm

Fisching wrote:The closest range to Leadville, the Sawatch, doesn't offer much in terms of scrambling.


Only if you limit yourself to 14ers.
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: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby Tornadoman » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:44 pm

For 14ers, Kelso Ridge up Torreys immediately came to mind.... Leadville is nice and centrally located, so there should be lots of scrambles on non-14ers as well.

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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby Stephen Butler » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:45 pm

What about Ellingwood Ridge on La Plata? I haven't done it but heard it is a good scramble. Edit: It's a class 3 route so if you can climb 5.3 I would assume it is within your abilities.

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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby MuchosPixels » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:28 pm

Arcturus_ wrote:Hello,

I'm heading to Leadville for a week's vacation starting Saturday and am looking for some suggested scrambles that can be done as a day trip from that location (let's say within a 2 hour drive?). I've already planned on the Harvard/Columbia circuit, Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive, but I'm interested in other places that offer fun hands-on scrambling (the ones I've listed seem to be straight hikes) or exceptional views, and preferably both. Doesn't necessarily have to be a 14er, even though I'm getting a bit spoiled by the wealth of information available about them here. :-D

I've done a lot of scrambling in the Canadian Rockies, have free-climbed up to 5.3, and am used to long days with 5,000 ft.+ elevation gains. The elevation will be a bit of a wildcard, but I've been up around 11,500ft. a number of times recently without any problems.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Leadville is in a a great spot nestle between some awesome mountains. A LOT of 14ers and Centennials are just a short drive away. You can find a lot of Class 3 scrambles if you look around and maybe even some class 4+ with decent rock. The Elk's are easily accessible by going over independence pass but the rock is generally crappy on that range. Go north on i24 and you will get to the Gore range which is stunning and a great playground. Most people concentrate on the 14ers but just because a mountain does not reach 14,000 at its peak doesn't mean it is worthless obviously. The top height is no measure of the quality of the mountain and area. Unfortunately there is no qualitative rating for mountains.

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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby Arcturus_ » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:53 pm

As mentioned I'm not limiting myself to 14ers, they're just easier to research thanks to the veritable buffet of information available here. Elbert and Massive should take care of the "big elevation bug" nicely, so it's really a matter of finding some objectives that are fun to ascend and have great views. I wouldn't consider the Aspen area as being too far away, and will look into the other suggestions here. Thanks!
Last edited by Arcturus_ on Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby rijaca » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:56 pm

Ice Mountain. All Three Apostles. Traverse from Huron to the Three Apostles. Lots of options right there in one spot.
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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby Stephen Butler » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:57 pm

Edit: wrong trip report.
Last edited by Stephen Butler on Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby RyGuy » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:03 pm

rijaca wrote:Ice Mountain.

I will see your Ice Mountain, and recommend "Ice cubed." That is the traverse from North Apostle to Ice Mountain, to West Apostle, then down.

Good beta here: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=8959&parmpeak=180&cpgm=tripmain&ski=Include

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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby Jim Davies » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:51 pm

There's a class-3 ridge on Dyer Mountain. I've never done it but it looks like fun. You could probably walk there from town.
http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=12554
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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby TravelingMatt » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:03 pm

Jim Davies wrote:There's a class-3 ridge on Dyer Mountain.


It's a fun little scramble without a whole lot of exposure, if you mean the ridge between Dyer and Evans B. There's also the Tweto-Arkansas traverse, which is more like Class 2-plus.

Some other Class 3 traverses in the Sawatch, I mentioned most of these a few weeks ago:

Twining/13545
Oklahoma/Deer/13736/Champion (Deer is Class 2 from the west)
13270 ridge northwest of Deer (actually Class 4)
The Williams group (between the southernmost and northernmost ranked summits)
Ervin/Blaurock
Gold Dust/13146 (hard to get to from Leadville, though)
Several ridge runs on the western edge of the Sawatch, bordering Taylor Park, are class 3/4. Check the TRs.
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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