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

More info...

Other ways to help...

Moving to Colorado in 3 Weeks!!!

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
User avatar
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:17 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Moving to Colorado in 3 Weeks!!!

Postby crazydiamond80 » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:33 pm

Hi everyone. I just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Jim and I am moving to Colorado Springs from the Chicago area in the beginning of May. I was introduced to 14ers when I read Aron Ralston's book and have dreamed of climbing them ever since. I took a trip to the Springs with my girlfriend last fall and almost immediately knew I would be coming back for good. And now it's finally happening! I really hope I get the chance to meet and climb with some of you as I don't know anyone in CO yet and everyone on 14ers.com seems really cool. It would also be nice to get some experience with the more experienced.

I did have a couple questions.

1) What are the conditions like in May. Are snowshoes/crampons/ice axe still necessary on some 14ers this time of year?

2) Is there camping allowed at the trailheads or along most routes? I'm not sure how most people do it, but since starting early is recommended I'm guessing some people camp out the night before. If this is the case, is it unwise to leave a tent pitched while you go off and climb?

Any advice for the new guy would be appreciated.

Thanks
Jim

Postby lordhelmut » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:39 pm

Jim,

you can camp at all the trailheads and trust me, your tent will be safe, hikers, especially out here, are honest, good people. The only one you have to pay for is longs pk, but if your move your car when you wake up in the morning to the parking lot, you don't.

Can't say too much about conditions this year for May, but it has been a warmer winter in the mtns, but I haven't gone up any mtns lately so I really can't help there.

Also, if you have a big enough car, just sleep in there, so much easier. Leave the camping for when you have to hike in for those longer routes.

Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:44 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Postby DaveP » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:45 pm

Hey Jim, welcome to Colorado. I live in the Springs too, and would love to get together for a climb. The winter has been a warm one. If you want snow/ice, there are some routes, just depends on where you want to start.

User avatar
Posts: 5154
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 11:46 am
Location: Craig

Postby Scott P » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:51 pm

1) What are the conditions like in May. Are snowshoes/crampons/ice axe still necessary on some 14ers this time of year?


Yes, definately on some of them. Depends on the peak and route.

2) Is there camping allowed at the trailheads or along most routes?


Most, but it depends on the route. Some of the peaks you can't legally camp at the trailhead (standard routes) are as follows:

Pikes Peak
Longs Peak (though you can camp in th campground not far away)
Mount Shavano???
Missouri, Belford, and Oxford
Windom, Sunlight, and Eolus (at least not at Needleton)

If this is the case, is it unwise to leave a tent pitched while you go off and climb?


Not while in the backcountry, but I usually take it down if it's at a trailhead unless I'm camping there another night. It's not because I'm worried about it being stolen, but to leave room for those that might be camping the next night.
Last edited by Scott P on Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Posts: 786
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 12:30 pm
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO (5780')

Postby Kevin Baker » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:52 pm

Welcome to Colorado Springs, Jim. I think you will enjoy living here. I sure do! Regarding your questions, yes snowshoes and ice axe are good to have for climbs in May. You probably won't need crampons unless you're doing a couloir climb. Conditions vary widely across the state, so look for recent trip reports in the area you're going to.

I would also agree that car camping is more convenient than setting up a tent at the trailhead assuming your car is big enough. I usually just leave real early for stuff in the Sawatch, Front Range, and 10 Mile/Mosquito. Make sure to buy the Pikes Peak Atlas if you plan on hiking locally. There are plenty of obscure trails and lower peaks to explore in the area and they aren't crowded at all.

User avatar
Posts: 107
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:42 am
Location: Thornton CO

Postby Joe32 » Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:54 pm

Welcome and anytime you want to climb let me know. My job is very flexable and allows me to go whenever I want. Conditions are different every year so just check the weather and you should be good to go.

Online
User avatar
Posts: 7317
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:23 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Postby Jim Davies » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:05 pm

I'll second Kevin's suggestion about the Pikes Peak Atlas. Also Zoltan Malocsay's trail guide is the best available for the area (faint praise, I know, but it used to be better in the earlier editions in my opinion).

Be sure to explore the trails in North Cheyenne Canyon. Lots of people seem to overlook them for some reason. Seven Bridges and St Mary's Falls trails are almost always snow-free by May, and can get you off to a good start on your summer season.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

User avatar
Posts: 2048
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:39 pm
Location: Edwards (Singletree), CO

Postby gdthomas » Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:43 pm

Generally speaking, the snow is fairly consolidated in May. That's not to say it can't and doesn't slide. Climb early in the day - start at dawn or earlier - when the snow is still cold to reduce (but not eliminate) avalanche danger.

User avatar
Posts: 294
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 2:29 pm

Postby alanb » Wed Apr 11, 2007 3:01 pm

First and foremost.. WELCOME to Colorado and to the 14er board.

for my 2 cents on your questions:

1) What are the conditions like in May. Are snowshoes/crampons/ice axe still necessary on some 14ers this time of year?


I suspect you will get the "it depends on what the weather has been like" answer from nearly everyone (including myself) but typically, (depending on the route you take), I would say its a good idea to have ice ax and crampons and that snowshoes are not needed.

2) Is there camping allowed at the trailheads or along most routes? I'm not sure how most people do it, but since starting early is recommended I'm guessing some people camp out the night before. If this is the case, is it unwise to leave a tent pitched while you go off and climb?


I typically try and get to the trailhead the night before and just toss out my bag in the back of my truck, but at times I will get up really early and drive straight to the trailhead. I have only pitched a tent once on a hike and I took it down before leaving.
"The mountains are calling, therefore I must go."
tweaked by me but originally John Muir

User avatar
Posts: 643
Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 7:52 pm
Location: Salida and Denver, CO

Postby Yikes » Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:16 pm

Scott Patterson wrote:Mount Shavano


Isn't there a huge oveflow parking/camping area about 50 yards past the TH? I was assuming he didn't want to sleep on the trail itself. :wink:

Online
User avatar
Posts: 7317
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:23 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Postby Jim Davies » Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:33 pm

Yikes wrote:
Scott Patterson wrote:Mount Shavano


Isn't there a huge oveflow parking/camping area about 50 yards past the TH? I was assuming he didn't want to sleep on the trail itself. :wink:

I guess there are camping opportunities near most of the trailheads, if you're willing to go down the road a bit. Ask here (or search the forums) for specific trailheads. You could always camp on top of the big snowdrift on the Blank Gulch road... :D
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

User avatar
Posts: 5154
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 11:46 am
Location: Craig

Postby Scott P » Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:27 pm

Isn't there a huge oveflow parking/camping area about 50 yards past the TH? I was assuming he didn't want to sleep on the trail itself.


Maybe so. Don't know because I didn't look. I just know there is a new parking lot there that has a new sign posted for "No Camping or Campfires at Trailhead."

Some of us did sleep on the side road I believe you are talking about, so maybe it is legal to camp there.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests