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First timer planning a Elbert / Massive hike in June

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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First timer planning a Elbert / Massive hike in June

Postby jpeterson » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:23 pm

Howdy All, I'm a new member to this site, but have been following posts and trip reports for quite a while. As you already read, I am planning a trip to climb Elbert or Massive this coming June w/ my brother (also a newby)

A little history of myself. I'm a 25 yr old Engineer living in Omaha, NE. I've been a skier all my life. Been skiing everywhere in Colorado and a couple places in B.C. Canada. Actually took the picture of the sheep in my pic while visiting Jasper, AB Canada.

Anyway, my interests have changed (w/ age I suppose) and I want to get into climbing / hiking. Basically I'm just looking for some info / advice on what you think of either of these climbs for a couple of first timers. Gear is not an obstacle nor is physical fitness for a couple of flatlanders...... who knows about on these hills tho...... hopefully one of you.

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Postby USAKeller » Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:43 pm

jpeterson wrote:who knows about on these hills tho...... hopefully one of you.

A few of us could tell you a thing or two... :wink:

That's great that you and your brother want to do a 14er! As far as choosing between the two peaks of your interest:

Mt. Elbert: it's an easy class 1 hike (no hands-on climbing) up to the summit- 9 miles round-trip from it's standard northeast ridge route and 4,700ft. of elevation gain.

Mt. Massive: a class 2 hike- 4,500ft. of elevation gain and just short of 14 miles round-trip from it's standard east slopes route (a longer day).

Both of these routes require significant elevation gain for a first-timer. There are other routes too, but tend to be either steeper and shorter or a bit more technical (like on the northeast slopes II route listed in Roach's book, for example). If it were me and I was looking to bag one of these two peaks as my only 14er, I'd choose Mt. Elbert- might as well have the state highpoint as a memorable experience under your belt!
Rise and grind. Every day.

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First 14er

Postby yellerdog » Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:42 am

I am 44 and Mt.Elbert was my 1st 14er 11sept2006 my friend and I took the trail USAKeller refered to.I would recommend it as well .aclimate ,acimate ,aclimate.Mt massive to me is toatally different, scenary wise we took some awesome pics on the way up although we did not bag it that day due to goofing off at the 2 lake's we stumbled upon it was good practice for elbert the next day. good luck be safe and most of all have funn!!!!! Yellerdog Out!!!

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Postby CHROMIS » Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:32 am

Hey, I'm in Omaha too! And work in Structural Engineering! And just to add to the similarities, I did Elbert and Massive as my first 14'ers too!
Anyway, just do a lot of reading up around this site, which you seem to be already doing.
We did Elbert first, and for being an easy class 1, I thought it was a lot of work! Probably for a couple of reasons. One, I wasn't in all that great of shape. Two, we didn't get into the camping area until really late, and then got up pretty early the next day. Thirdly, I just didn't know what to expect. Looking back, it wasn't really hard, but it is fairly steep. When we got done that day, I didn't think I could do Massive. However, after a day of resting and playing around in the river, I was ready to go the next day. Massive was longer, but I enjoyed it so much more. The scenery was totally different, and it was a really fun hike.

I always say, if I can do it with out much physical prep beforehand, then anyone in any sort of good physical condition should have no problems. Just read up on all of the advice on this site as far as gear, and clothing, and you should be good.

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Postby jpeterson » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:03 pm

CHROMIS wrote:Hey, I'm in Omaha too! And work in Structural Engineering! And just to add to the similarities, I did Elbert and Massive as my first 14'ers too!


Very cool!!!!!

We're excited about the trip hearing this from all of you makes the wait even harder.

Thanks for the detailed info Keller, the fact that Elbert is the highpoint is what drew us to it first, so most likely that's what we'll do.

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Postby whislerm » Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:06 pm

Thanks to all of you for the info----Like you, Elbert will be my first 14er this summer---I have done alot of reading and research on it; but it is so nice to hear from those of you who have climbed the mtn already---question would be---how is it doing it by yourself and during the week? I am a teacher from Indiana---spent last summer backpacking in Durango, RMNP, Tetons, and Yellowstone----can't get the mtns out of my blood---any advice you can give a newcomer will be deeply appreciated--and how difficult is it to get someone to climb with----being from Indiana it is hard to find someone to climb that high

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Postby bandofbrothersomaha » Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:39 pm

We are taking our annual "Peak Challenge" 14er trip and this year it will be Mt. Elbert. Not an engineer, but we do have a few engineers making the trip and we are from Omaha. :)

We will have around 60 guys making the trip ( I hate to say that, as that many guys can freak out the other hikers on mountain, but we leave no trace...)

I love the mountains and grew up in RMNP for three summer months each year when I was a kid. Now I am sharing the love of the Rockies with a bunch of flatlanders from the Omaha area who are excited to get out to Mt. Elbert in August.

Enjoy the climb!

Dave

Band of Brothers Omaha

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Postby Steve_P » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:52 am

whislerm wrote:Thanks to all of you for the info----Like you, Elbert will be my first 14er this summer---I have done alot of reading and research on it; but it is so nice to hear from those of you who have climbed the mtn already---question would be---how is it doing it by yourself and during the week? I am a teacher from Indiana---spent last summer backpacking in Durango, RMNP, Tetons, and Yellowstone----can't get the mtns out of my blood---any advice you can give a newcomer will be deeply appreciated--and how difficult is it to get someone to climb with----being from Indiana it is hard to find someone to climb that high


I've done most of my 14ers by myself. It's not the ideal situation- like if you should get hurt, but besides that thought, no problems. Even mid week in the summer, chances are you will not truly be alone, especially on the more accessible 14ers, although I've done several and only seen 1-2 people all day.

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