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FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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New to Colorado

Postby cabinalt » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:41 pm

Hi everybody,
My wife and I just moved to Denver from TN and I am pumped about all the activities there are to do out here but just a little overwhelmed. I have skied quite a bit in CO but never really hiked out west just the hills of East Tennessee. Just raring to go explore but want to gather all the info I can before the season gets going. Looking for any suggestions for first hikes 14ers or less and also if anybody thinks paying for some sort of outdoor school is worth while. I am working on conditioning and trying to read whatever I can get my hands on. I really want to layout a plan for this summer with the help of those who have been there before. Also I went to REI the other day and was amazed but lost as to what I really need for 2 or 3 day hikes or less. Thanks for any advice for this dumb southern boy.

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Postby Rockymtnhigh69 » Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:50 pm

Cabinalt,

Welcome to Colorado... I will start off with a with a common response to your question.. If you want to get a good intro to our 14teeners, try Bierstadt first.. It is a great intro and will give you a good taste.. It is a very straightforward climb.. It can be found off of Guanella Pass near Georgetown.. Grays and Torrey's standard route or Quandary Peak are other good starting points for 14ers.. These will also give you a rewarding summit and are not difficult climbs on standard routes.. Just start early in the morning to give yourself time to get down before the 12 to 1pm T-Storms that roll through. And go back to REI and buy Gerry Roach's 14ers book.. Very helpful and informative.. HAVE FUN! :)
On my first take-off, I hit second gear and went through the speed limit on a two-lane blacktop highway full of ranch traffic. By the time I went up to third, I was going 75 and the tach was barely above 4000 rpm....
And that's when the Ducati got its second wind. From 4000 to 6000 in third will take you from 75 mph to 95 in two seconds - and after that, Bubba, you still have fourth, fifth, and sixth. Ho, ho.

~Hunter S. Thompson, Song of the Sausage Creature

(VT)

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Postby rlw49 » Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:00 pm

You're registered here, that's good. Read thru the forums for some first class suggestions and some fun.
Check out the Colorado Mountain Club in Golden. You can even visit the museum there. They have courses, trips, hikes, etc.
Get your plastic in hand and go to REI downtown.
Start hiking the foothill mountain parks. They're mostly melted out. A good workout, great views, and bunches of fellow hikers.
Check the list of 10 essentials on the forum, this will give you a good idea of what you need.
Mostly, get up there and enjoy!

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Postby guitmo223 » Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:39 pm

I know you're new here, but this is a very common question. Go to the top of the screen and click on "search." You will probably find answers to any questions you may have.

Welcome to Colorado!!!
"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred it be postponed" - Sir Winston Churchill

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Postby Hunter » Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:26 am

Consider a subscription to Backpacker. Get Colorado's Fourteeners by Walter Borneman +/- $17. Really a loaded question. I started with low cost items and have over time traded up for more costly items. For example I had a $5 rain parka before which weighed 30 oz and still needed a jacket for warmth another 20 oz. My new jacket doubles as both and only weighs 12 oz, but cost quite a bit more. I would agree with the previous responses, but can't emphasize enough to carry the 10 essentials. I've seen too many people up there without enough gear suffering from the Machimo Syndrome going up with barely more than water- occasionally I see hikers with not even that! Don't be the headline on a Denver Post this summer as just another hiker lost or injured or worse. My two cents worth- every hiker should always have a First Aid kit. Fortuneately I married a nurse and have just about everything I need to take with me without packing the kitchen sink. If I encounter a situation which my kit can't accomodate either: #1 I should get them off the mountian ASAP or #2 they won't make it anyway. Also, please, please, please be aware of the weather. Too many people don't think anything of it when hiking. If you can hear thunder you're close enough to get hit and it's a REAL threat. There is much to be said about knowing when to turn around and don't be afraid to ask people on the way down how the weather is ahead. My rule of thumb since I was hiking these with my parents as a kid- start no later than first light. You end up beating the weather and you beat the croud (most of the time). If you want more info on specifics let me know or like a post above said- do a search. Best of luck.

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Postby Cruiser » Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:14 am

Try using the "Climbing Connection" section of the forum when you get ready to start hiking this Spring. You won't have any trouble finding some experienced partners to tag along with on your first couple of trips. From Denver the 14ers seem pretty daunting, hell some of them seem that way from the trailhead too, but for the most part they aren't as difficult as they are cracked up to be. Just remember that if you turn around without reaching the summit for whatever reason (weather, equipment, partner, ect...) you can always come back for it. The mountains aren't going anywhere.
Where ever you are... There you are.

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Postby Mel McKinney » Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:20 am

Cabinalt,
As a former Tennessean, Welcome!
You will also want to look for Colorado 14er guidebooks by Gerry Roach and Lou Dawson. Also "100 Classic Hikes in Colorado" by Scott Warren is excellent too. Any bookstore or Amazon.com (or often mountaineering shops) will have these. The Borneman & Lampert guidebook referred to above is great for history on the indivdual peaks and the ranges.

Have a wonderful time! :D
Mountains cast spells on me - Why, because of the way Earth-heaps lie, should I be Chocked by joy mysteriously; stilled or drunken-gay? Why should a brown hill trail Tug at my feet to go? Why should a boggy swale Tune my heart to a nameless tale Mountain marshes know?
--- Belle Turnbull ("Mountain-Mad")

"Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done."
---Sam Ewing

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Postby Mel McKinney » Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:22 am

Cabinalt,
As a former Tennessean, Welcome!
You will also want to look for Colorado 14er guidebooks by Gerry Roach and Lou Dawson. Also "100 Classic Hikes in Colorado" by Scott Warren is excellent too. Any bookstore or Amazon.com (or often mountaineering shops) will have these. The Borneman & Lampert guidebook referred to above is great for history on the individual peaks and the ranges.

Have a wonderful time! :D
Mountains cast spells on me - Why, because of the way Earth-heaps lie, should I be Chocked by joy mysteriously; stilled or drunken-gay? Why should a brown hill trail Tug at my feet to go? Why should a boggy swale Tune my heart to a nameless tale Mountain marshes know?
--- Belle Turnbull ("Mountain-Mad")

"Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done."
---Sam Ewing

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Postby Aubrey » Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:22 am

Welcome to Colorado and welcome to 14ers.com! If you tell us where you're at on the Front Range, perhaps someone can give you some hiking suggestions in the foothills of your area. If you're near Boulder, there are a million trails to explore. Most are pretty dry, too, except near the summit of Bear Peak and the like.

I agree with others, search the forums on this site and read back, especially in the "Just Starting? Info for 14er Beginners" forum. There's a lot of great advice on here.

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Postby Floyd » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:23 am

Welcome to Colorado! When I moved here a few years ago, I bought a season pass to Rocky Mountain National Park and National Geographic's TOPO! - http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/TOPO/
I hiked the heck out of the park, I recommend anything in the Bear Lake area, and a two-day trip from Bear Lake to Grand Lake is simply amazing. Yeah, you'll have to deal with the crowds, but they are there for a reason. It really is a beautiful area, it got me hooked.

If you want a good book for hikes in the area and don't want to deal with the crowds, try "Hiking Grand County, Colorado" by Deborah Carr and Lou Ladrigan. You can find it in Tattered Cover or Barnes and Noble. And of course, Roach's guide to the 14ers is a must have.

Another place to find great hikes is at http://www.summitpost.org/object_list.p ... ct_4=score This is a search for all areas in Colorado and includes a pretty comprehensive list of mountains (If you want to dabble outside of the 14ers) with great descriptions. If you want 14ers, this site is second to none.

Enjoy, there is a ton to see and do here in the summer.

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Postby cabinalt » Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:04 pm

Thanks for all the info. I have gotten a few books read and guess just get out there and try them. I will see you in the mountains

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