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Daytrips from Leadville

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

Postby Fisching » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:07 pm

I should have included the sister site for 14ers.com, which is (drum roll) 13ers.com in my original post. There are others who can offer far better recommendations on particular mountains and routes on 13ers than I can in the Leadville area, but if you feel the urge to peruse 13ers.com for nearby possibilities, the Tenmile-Mosquito, Gore, Sawatch, and Elk ranges would be the ones to look at. Plenty of possibilities and they're the closest. Bill Middlebrook also includes the little hiking logo - Image - next to routes which have elaborate descriptions, including the difficulty class.

To put it simply, the 13ers will give you a near endless amount of Class 3 and above options.
Last edited by Fisching on Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Peter Aitchison on the risks of rock climbing and mountaineering: "That's life, isn't it? We think the challenge and satisfaction you get from doing this is worth the risks."

"Respect the mountain. Train hard. Hope you can sneak up when it isn't looking."

"The mind is always worried about consequences, but the heart knows no fear. The heart just does what it wants."

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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby BenfromtheEast » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:39 pm

Fisching wrote:To put it simply, the 13ers will give you a near endless amount of Class 3 and above options.

NUMBER of options, Fisch, NUMBER!!!! Just give up on the English and post in Brazilian, or whatever y'all speak down there.

Also, you are incorrect; 13ers do not exist.

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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby Arcturus_ » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:41 pm

Nice. Ice Mountain and North Apostle looks like a definite winner to me, with West Apostle being a matter of time/weather/gut feeling. Still looking into the other suggestions.

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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby TravelingMatt » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:46 pm

Yeah, do Ice, you won't regret it.

No one mentioned Grizzly yet. The west ridge is a nice scramble, but gaining it sucks. May be more agreeable to do an out-and-back via Garfield.
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 Arcturus_ » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:17 pm

For the curious here's how my week went...

Day 1 - Pikes Peak
Drove up and spent time wandering around getting a feel for the elevation. I wasn't able to challenge Sebastian Loeb's record with my rental Tahoe. :(

Day 2 - Twining Peak and Point 13545
I ascended to the pass above Lost Man's Lake and then looped back along the ridge. Fun scramble, and I felt fine doing it. A storm hit just as I got back to the truck.

Day 3 - Mt. Columbia and Mt. Harvard
My first 14ers via a counter-clockwise loop. I enjoyed a great inversion from Columbia which left only other 13ers and 14ers visible to the east. I missed seeing a "shelf" during the traverse and ended up descending much further than necessary, but no biggie. Got snowed on at the top of Mt. Harvard, found an awesome lookout point just above the col between Harvard and the cool looking unnamed peak to its immediate south, and then got dumped on by a thunderstorm that hit just as I was descending past Bear Lake.

Day 4 - Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive
Long day! Elbert was a rather mellow affair for the apex of the Rocky Mountains. I didn't think much of the standard route for Massive; you'd probably be better off gaining the ridge directly from the trailhead and then following the skyline.

Day 5 - After four 14ers over a 36 hour period it was time for a rest day! Just as well as it stormed most of the day before a temperature nosedive left an inch or two of snow above 12,000 feet.

Day 6 - La Plata Peak
Feeling that Ice Mountain would now live up to its name (along with its neighboring apostles), I made a last minute change to something that I felt wouldn't present much of a problem given the conditions. I followed the standard NW ridge route through bitterly cold winds while the surrounding snow-covered peaks made for the best photography of my trip so far.

Day 7 - Pyramid Peak
What a way to cap things off! Caught the sunrise at Maroon Lake and enjoyed bluebird conditions for the rest of the day. I missed a traverse at one point and ascended the green rock gully to within 100' of the summit (past some orange flagging), where a combination of snow, ice and exposure over the precipitous north face sent me looking for the standard route further to the climber's left. A great mountain with great views!

All-in-all a not too shabby introduction to scrambling in Colorado. I'll definitely have to come back at some point!

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Re: Daytrips from Leadville

Postby Fisching » Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:57 pm

Glad it well fairly well and you enjoyed the experience. Heck, if you have anything positive to say after a trip including Bastard Peak (aka Columbia) and the horrendous traverse to Harvard, you're clearly a masochist for Sawatch slogs.
Peter Aitchison on the risks of rock climbing and mountaineering: "That's life, isn't it? We think the challenge and satisfaction you get from doing this is worth the risks."

"Respect the mountain. Train hard. Hope you can sneak up when it isn't looking."

"The mind is always worried about consequences, but the heart knows no fear. The heart just does what it wants."

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