Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
User avatar
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

Postby ffer_06 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:24 am

Hello everyone,

I'm new to this site and I wanted to pick people's brains on their thoughts, comments, and advice on a trip I plan on doing next year in June.

I am planning on climbing (or hiking, I should say) the following peaks in the length of 6 days next year in June:
- Torrey's Peak
- Grays Peak
- Mount Bierstadt
- Mount Evans
- Mount Bross
- Mount Cameron
- Mount Lincoln
- Quandary Peak

I’ve been reading on this site and SummitPost and learned that Torrey’s and Grays can be done in a day, Mount Bierstadt and Evans can be done in a day, and Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross can be grouped together with an early start. I am pretty fit (26 years old next year, top 5% of finishers in triathlons, bike races, and races from 5k’s to marathons) and I understand the effects of altitude. My question is NOT if it is possible to summit all these peaks in 6 days (mid/late June). My question (and my cry for suggestions) would be more on the travel logistics from Group A to Group B, Group B to Group C, etc. I know a few people that go to school in Boulder or work there, but most are not into these types of activities, so I cannot rely on them for rides. Renting a car seems pricey since it will only be sitting at the TH, and more than likely it will probably be some cheap 4-cyl silver car. Sooo, any suggestions on how to achieve this? Will renting a car be my only option, or are there local shuttles or transportation services that I might be able to use?

Thank you all and hope to get some feedback!
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
-HK

User avatar
Posts: 742
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:58 pm
Location: Louisville, CO

Re: Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

Postby GregMiller » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:51 am

Here's my thoughts:

Day 1: Acclimation Hike
Something on the Front Range? I'm assuming you're coming from a lower elevation, so probably worth having an acclimation day. I'd guess you'd spend that night down in Boulder.

Day 2: Grays and Torreys
You'll want to get to the trailhead early (6 or earlier, I'd guess), not so much to have time to do these, but to make sure you are able to park at the trailhead, rather than be stuck trying to park somewhere down the road. If you're renting a car, it might not be able to make it all the way up the road, depending on how much clearance you have and how bad the ruts/waterbars get by June, so it might be worth posting on here to see if anyone wants to carpool up from the "winter" parking lot just off of I-70.
That night, maybe look at spending the night at a campground along the Guanella Pass road, or in the forest along the way to the Mt Evans road depending on choices below:

Day 3: Bierstadt and Evans
These can be linked up, but it involves some exposed 3rd class scrambling on the Sawtooth. If you don't care about getting 3000 feet on either, and are confident on stiff 3rd class with more exposure, I'd recommend doing the Tour d'Abyss (just search for that on here, you'll find lots of info) from the Mt. Evans road. Otherwise, you can just do a loop from the Guanella Pass trailhead, you'll just end up hiking through swampy willows on the way back and most likely have wet feet. Both trailhead options are paved and 2WD accessible.

Day 4: Rest Day
Have fun and enjoy a mountain town, or whatever.

Day 5: Bross, Lincoln, Cameron (and Democrat)
These 4 can be linked up easily as a loop, and you'll most likely be able to get a rental car up to the trailhead. Most people like doing the loop clockwise, starting on Democrat, but that leaves you going down Bross' loose chossy slopes at the end of the day when you're tired. I like doing the loop CCW, and starting up Bross, and descending the nicely built trail from Democrat at the end of the day. You can camp at the Kite Lake trailhead, but there are fees involved.

Day 6: Quandary
Not sure where to camp near here, but it's quite close to Breckenridge so you could stay there, or you could spend another night at the Kite Lake trailhead, it's about 1/2 hour down the road from the Quandary trailhead. It's definitely 2wd accessible.

I don't know of any shuttle services that would work for this for you, but I'm sure that if you posted on here in the weeks leading up to it, you could find some potential climbing partners who might be willing to drive.
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

Posts: 2081
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:19 pm

Re: Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

Postby peter303 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:00 pm

June can be a transistional month with regards to snow on the ground.
There have been several years where I've post-holed around Fathers Day.
The later in the month the better.

Posts: 143
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 8:10 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

Postby jet » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:33 pm

Renting a car is about the only option unless you can borrow a friends car. When we rented a car we always got the cheapest thing we could find. We decided walking from a 2 wheel trailhead was better than driving a overpriced SUV or something with 4 wheel high clearance. Sometimes you can get a better deal away from the airport lots. I rented a very sporty Ford Mustang that way. We found that public transportation just didn't ever fit our schedules. Good Luck.

User avatar
Posts: 5198
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 11:46 am
Location: Craig

Re: Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

Postby Scott P » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:04 pm

Will renting a car be my only option, or are there local shuttles or transportation services that I might be able to use?


Some of those are accessible by shuttle.

Also, consider the peaks around Leadville since there is a shuttle service through the hostel that takes people to the 14er trailheads.

Breckeridge also has a shuttle that can take you to Quandary.

Ironically the easiest 14ers to get to in Colorado without a car are the most remote group of them. It's rather simple to bus or fly to Durango and then to take the train to Needleton, no car needed. Most people should be able to climb at least Windom (my son did it just after turning 4), but the other two are more challenging.
Last edited by Scott P on Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

User avatar
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

Postby ffer_06 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:44 am

GregMiller wrote:Here's my thoughts:

Day 1: Acclimation Hike
Something on the Front Range? I'm assuming you're coming from a lower elevation, so probably worth having an acclimation day. I'd guess you'd spend that night down in Boulder.

Day 2: Grays and Torreys
You'll want to get to the trailhead early (6 or earlier, I'd guess), not so much to have time to do these, but to make sure you are able to park at the trailhead, rather than be stuck trying to park somewhere down the road. If you're renting a car, it might not be able to make it all the way up the road, depending on how much clearance you have and how bad the ruts/waterbars get by June, so it might be worth posting on here to see if anyone wants to carpool up from the "winter" parking lot just off of I-70.
That night, maybe look at spending the night at a campground along the Guanella Pass road, or in the forest along the way to the Mt Evans road depending on choices below:

Day 3: Bierstadt and Evans
These can be linked up, but it involves some exposed 3rd class scrambling on the Sawtooth. If you don't care about getting 3000 feet on either, and are confident on stiff 3rd class with more exposure, I'd recommend doing the Tour d'Abyss (just search for that on here, you'll find lots of info) from the Mt. Evans road. Otherwise, you can just do a loop from the Guanella Pass trailhead, you'll just end up hiking through swampy willows on the way back and most likely have wet feet. Both trailhead options are paved and 2WD accessible.

Day 4: Rest Day
Have fun and enjoy a mountain town, or whatever.

Day 5: Bross, Lincoln, Cameron (and Democrat)
These 4 can be linked up easily as a loop, and you'll most likely be able to get a rental car up to the trailhead. Most people like doing the loop clockwise, starting on Democrat, but that leaves you going down Bross' loose chossy slopes at the end of the day when you're tired. I like doing the loop CCW, and starting up Bross, and descending the nicely built trail from Democrat at the end of the day. You can camp at the Kite Lake trailhead, but there are fees involved.

Day 6: Quandary
Not sure where to camp near here, but it's quite close to Breckenridge so you could stay there, or you could spend another night at the Kite Lake trailhead, it's about 1/2 hour down the road from the Quandary trailhead. It's definitely 2wd accessible.

I don't know of any shuttle services that would work for this for you, but I'm sure that if you posted on here in the weeks leading up to it, you could find some potential climbing partners who might be willing to drive.



Thank you all for your feedback.

Greg – Very informative response! The proposed plan is to land early at Denver Intl (no later than 10) on a Sunday and drive up around Grays and Torrey and set up camp. Early Monday morning hike up and come down. My idea was to backpack to Guanella Pass Campground but seeing the terrain it might take me a while (any thoughts or anyone that has backpacked from Grays over to Evans through the Guanella Pass Campground?). I figured this way I would not need a car to get to the second group.

As far as Bierstadt and Evans go, the 3rd class scramble might be doable for me, but a friend of mine might join me (or possibly my wife) and I doubt they will be comfortable with that level. But the sawtooth does look like fun and that was my initial plan when I was first planning the trip.

For Quandary and the Bross group, I was planning on camping at Kite Lake like you mentioned.

After all this, I think it might be worthwhile finding someone local that would want to join me. Apart from that, I could use their experience as well as this will be my first time hiking/camping in CO.
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
-HK

User avatar
Posts: 376
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 1:01 pm
Location: Parker, CO

Re: Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

Postby boudreaux » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:42 am

I don't think you would have any problems with your fitness level at first, but by the 6th day, only time will tell! If you don't feel like Evans/Bierstadt combo, you could always do just Bierstadt and then add on Sherman. One guy from Kansas did Sherman, Decalibron, and Quandary in 30 hours a while back. I bet a guy like you could do that without too much trouble. Drive as far as the rental can safely go and hitch or hike the rest. As fit as we Coloradans are, we still have to get as close as we can to the highest TH. I have used a bike to make up for that, not sure if that fits into your plans, but a good suggestion to consider. Someone made a good point on the snowpack, the last 2 years we have been getting a lot of late season snow, so a late June or even early July plan may work better for you to ensure that you get everything in that you want to do! Nothing worse than going home unfulfilled and deeply unsatisfied that things didn't go as planned! Just some food for thought!

I know it's a long way off, but I wouldn't mind joining up with you on at least one of these peaks! Maybe that Evans/Bierstadt day? I'm no runner by any means, or nearly as youthful either, but do bike lots and have the advantage of living here.
Ragin Cajun

User avatar
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

Postby ffer_06 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:34 am

boudreaux wrote:I don't think you would have any problems with your fitness level at first, but by the 6th day, only time will tell! If you don't feel like Evans/Bierstadt combo, you could always do just Bierstadt and then add on Sherman. One guy from Kansas did Sherman, Decalibron, and Quandary in 30 hours a while back. I bet a guy like you could do that without too much trouble. Drive as far as the rental can safely go and hitch or hike the rest. As fit as we Coloradans are, we still have to get as close as we can to the highest TH. I have used a bike to make up for that, not sure if that fits into your plans, but a good suggestion to consider. Someone made a good point on the snowpack, the last 2 years we have been getting a lot of late season snow, so a late June or even early July plan may work better for you to ensure that you get everything in that you want to do! Nothing worse than going home unfulfilled and deeply unsatisfied that things didn't go as planned! Just some food for thought!

I know it's a long way off, but I wouldn't mind joining up with you on at least one of these peaks! Maybe that Evans/Bierstadt day? I'm no runner by any means, or nearly as youthful either, but do bike lots and have the advantage of living here.




That would be awesome! I would definitely appreciate some help, especially going through the sawtooth, to guide me (I would just feel more comfortable going with someone that has done the route before. On my outings, I focus more on taking in the vistas and the wind and rain instead of trying to rush and just getting the hike done (I don’t plan on doing any running, except on the first day just to get used to the elevation).
The bike idea sounds good, and something I would do if I lived in the area. But unfortunately I don’t have means of taking my bike, so I would not be counting on it. So it looks like renting a car will be my best bet, unless I can find someone locally to help me out.

This is the first of many trips I plan on doing in the near future as I try to climb the tallest peaks in the lower US in the next few years, so making a few local friends would be an added bonus.
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
-HK

User avatar
Posts: 373
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:54 pm
Location: Littleton

Re: Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

Postby uwe » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:45 am

Hi,

I bet with this community, you could get a tag team going to do some with you and shuttle you to the next peak.
I'll start by volunteering.
What day are you coming in? Sunday? I can volunteer to get you to Gray's/Torreys from the Denver area climb with you, then drop you off at the Bierstadt off Guanella Pass. (Monday or Tuesday works - June 2nd or 3rd)

User avatar
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:29 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

Postby ffer_06 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:36 am

uwe wrote:Hi,

I bet with this community, you could get a tag team going to do some with you and shuttle you to the next peak.
I'll start by volunteering.
What day are you coming in? Sunday? I can volunteer to get you to Gray's/Torreys from the Denver area climb with you, then drop you off at the Bierstadt off Guanella Pass. (Monday or Tuesday works - June 2nd or 3rd)



Owe -

That would be a great idea, and a good opportunity to meet some people along the way. Right now my (tentative) arrival date is early Sunday June 29, 2014. I would like to get to Gray's Torrey's and spend the rest of the day up there and prepare to summit the peaks Monday morning (June 30). Later that day make my way to Guanella Pass and spend the night there. A few weeks leading to the trip, I was still thinking of posting something up here to see if I could get some local people to join me.
"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
-HK

User avatar
Posts: 373
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:54 pm
Location: Littleton

Re: Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

Postby uwe » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:26 pm

Ok,
Send an e-mail to me as you work your plans.
I've marked my calendar

Uwe

Posts: 2081
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:19 pm

Re: Advice for June Trip - 1st (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th...) 14esr

Postby peter303 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:22 am

jet wrote:Renting a car is about the only option unless you can borrow a friends car. When we rented a car we always got the cheapest thing we could find. We decided walking from a 2 wheel trailhead was better than driving a overpriced SUV or something with 4 wheel high clearance. Sometimes you can get a better deal away from the airport lots. I rented a very sporty Ford Mustang that way. We found that public transportation just didn't ever fit our schedules. Good Luck.

The roads to Kite Lake and Grays/Torreys are considered "off road" in sedan rental contracts. Most people ignore this at the risk of niether their own or rental agency insurance paying for a repair. Quandry, Yale, Beirstadt, Elbert, are paved or graded roads.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dmd0311 and 8 guests