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Natural Born Worrier on Mt. Elbert in April

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Natural Born Worrier on Mt. Elbert in April

Postby YorkyNige » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:16 pm

Hi All,

Following on from my last (first) post...

http://www.14ers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=5031

...we have finally decided to climb Mt. Elbert, and I still have a few questions (taking into account that all mountains are different even during the same time of year and in roughly the same geographical location)...

1. Will I need an ice axe and crampons (and snowshoes for the slightly lower altitudes)? I have looked at some of the pictures on the trip report pages and most people seem to just have poles for winter/spring climbs.
2. What kind of boots do I need (any suggestions I can buy at REI or similar)? I have some 15 yr old good quality hiking boots (probably past their best when I rescue them from their hibernation!) or will I need winter boots?
3. Which route - East Ridge or Northeast Ridge?
4. Which microbrew beer would you suggest I celebrate the summit with (after I've come back down of course)!?

Your suggestions would be hugely appreciated, as I'm one of those types of people who like to be at least moderately sensibly prepared O:)

Cheers,

YorkyNige

Postby Bean » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:33 pm

You will not need an axe or crampons. Snowshoes will come in handy.

If your boots are water-resistant you should be fine. It will be plenty warm, your only concern will be slushy snow down lower.

I'd say NorthEast, but it doesn't really matter.

I'm a fan of a New Belgium Trippel or two at the summit. Black and Tans are also tasty up high. :lol:

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Postby Scott P » Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:33 pm

1. Will I need an ice axe and crampons


No.

(and snowshoes for the slightly lower altitudes)?


Probably. Bring them.

2. What kind of boots do I need (any suggestions I can buy at REI or similar)?


Any waterproof warm ones will do.

3. Which route - East Ridge or Northeast Ridge?


East Ridge unless you want to walk the road as the road to the NE Ridge is likely closed.

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Postby YorkyNige » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:14 am

Thanks Scott & Bean.

That's a relief that I won't have to buy an ice axe. Not sure UK Customs & Immigration would look kindly on me bringing one back - not sure they let Mad Axe Murderers back into the UK normally!!! ;o)

As for the Belgium Trippel, I won't care how I get down the mountain after 2 or 3 of those! (I hear 4000ft sliding on your pack is good fun).

A few more questions...

1. What time do you reckon we need to be hitting the TH?
2. Any suggestions for reducing the affects of AMS (apart from acclimatisation - sorry for UK spelling! - and keeping hydrated). I'm going to be in Loveland/Denver for a week or so beforehand, so that will help a little (although only at 6000ft).
3. Know any book shop that currently stocks Gerry Roach's set of 14ers maps (they seem to be out-of-print at the moment so not holding out much hope) and guidebook (I assume Borders or somewhere will have the latter).

Speak to you later - off to work.

Cheers,

YorkyNige

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Postby Kevin Baker » Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:43 am

Amazon has Roach's guidebook here:

http://www.amazon.com/Colorados-Fourtee ... 13-8839920

I would try hitting the trail at or 30 minutes before sunrise. Sounds like you have adjusting to altitude covering by staying in CO a week before doing anything high. Have fun!

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Postby YorkyNige » Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:03 pm

Thanks Kevin.

It was actually the map book I was after, but I also want the guide book, so I'll take a look. Unfortunately, Amazon says it'll take 4-6 weeks to send out the book, so I'll have to make a visit to Borders, or somewhere similar.

Really looking forward to the hike now. Once I've notched off my first 14er, I'll probably start considering emigrating to CO to do the other 50 or so!!! (my wife is from there originally, so it's the natural landing point!).

I'll post a trip report when I've finished. Not sure I'll know all ofeht hiking terminology by then, but I'll have a bash at it!

YorkyNige

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14ers Guides

Postby Greenhouseguy » Wed Apr 04, 2007 3:12 pm

The REI flagship store in Denver has an interesting book shop. They sell Roach's 14er guide and his 13er guide. Dawson has a 2-volume guide for CO's 14ers that looks pretty detailed. The Colorado Mountain Club also has a 14er guide, but I don't know it well enough to comment on it.

Most of our book stores have local sections that cover hiking and climbing in our state and region. The Tattered Cover is considered by some to be the premier local book shop in Denver. Most communities around here are served by Barnes & Noble and Borders. Have you tried book shopping on REI's web site?

Greenhouseguy
"May your boulder be your blessing." - Aron Ralston

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Postby YorkyNige » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:56 am

Greenhouseguy,

Thanks for that.

I'm still over here in England, so I'll make a visit to REI/Borders/Tattered Cover/etc when I get over to CO. I'll mostly be in Loveland/Fort Collins, but we'll make a vist or two to Denver to go shopping for boots, poles and everything else I need.

Just hope I don't pick anything up on the plane coming over! On one of our last trips, we caught a bug on the plane (we assume) and spent 14 of the 15 days in CO in bed - some holiday!

The only decision left to make is whether to camp near the TH, or be a complete coward and stay in a hotel in Leadville the night before ;o)

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