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Group Leading Advice

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Group Leading Advice

Postby Hunter » Wed Apr 18, 2007 3:50 pm

I am leading a group up Quandary (route 1) the first weekend of August. I was hoping some of you could give some insight/suggestions for me.

I had planned on giving people the choice of camping near the TH or meeting at a set local in the Denver area and caravanning the day of the hike. To try to get a jump on the weather I think we should start at 5:30. I had planned on splitting the group into two groups- fast and slow.

I've looked on line at the Motorola T7450R and was thinking of picking up (4)- one for the lead and tail of both groups to stay in contact.

I'm in the physical condition to carry extra water should anyone need it and have a complete FA Kit for both groups.

I have some people coming in from Billings and Shreveport. Can you give me any suggestions as to helping them get in condition (THR for how long, food to eat,etc). They won't be able to come to town until the day before.

Also, some don't own any hiking boots. Are trail runners adequate for a one-time assent on this TH or should I recommend something else?

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Postby skier25 » Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:08 pm

I just looked up leadership on Google and found this:

http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leader.html

It's interesting (a little off topic). I started reading it after I googled it! :)
Last edited by skier25 on Wed Apr 18, 2007 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Carry an ice axe and a clear mentality; they can both save your life.
I get acute mountain sickness when I am away from the mountains.

Postby Bean » Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:41 pm

Trail runners are adequate for any standard-route 14er summer ascent.

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Postby TalusMonkey » Wed Apr 18, 2007 5:41 pm

For a day hike in August I would say that trail runners or other comfortable shoes should be adequate. In fact, I use low hikers during the entire summer and ONLY use hiking boots in snow or spring mud.

Fitness conditioning is fairly basic if they can't hike peaks of elevation. Any cardio such as biking, ellipticals, steppers, etc. is appropriate. Local hikes of distance, even at lower elevation will help participants prepare for the range of the hike on Quandary. I don't think its necessary to train with a pack - their daypacks should be very light.

The radios are a good idea, but I think one for each group would be sufficient. On Quandary I would expect each group to be able to keep reasonably together. I use radios with my friends and they are fun for the car caravan too!

Have a good time!
"When hiking in bear country one doesn't need to be the fastest runner in the party - just not the slowest."

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Postby Skip Perkins » Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:04 pm

Hunter,
A few years back I led a group of 17 people from Wisconsin on a climb of Bierstadt. Eight adults and 9 kids aging from 8-15. I encouraged all of them to stay hydrated and we all went pretty slow. They carried their own water but I did have extra that was enjoyed on the trip back down. We had a ball and everyone summitted. They were encouraged to wear hiking boots if they had them but that a descent running shoe or walking shoe would be fine. One of the adults had his hip replaced about three months before the trip. He did fine but was quite sore the next day. He also chucked his metal crutch when a storm blew in while we were nearing the trailhead. I recovered it with a smile.
Enjoy sharing the 14er experience.

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Postby Hunter » Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:07 am

Thank you all for your feedback. I appreciate it.

TalusMonkey- your over night gear made me laugh my @$$ off. Where did you get your Jihad shirt?

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Postby TalusMonkey » Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:27 am

Hunter,

I made the jihad shirt by hand with a permanent marker last July for our trip to Chicago Basin. Then I ended up wearing it for the remainder of the season! The "14ers jihad" came about as a humorous (to us, anyway) inside phrase/term used by my hiking partners and I. This year we're doing a July "highpoint jihad" to Utah, Washington and Oregon...mine will continue into August with Idaho and Montana.

How many people are you bringing on your Quandary trip in August? Sounds like a lot of fun. How many people are coming from Billings? I used to live in Greybull, Wyoming - about 2 hours drive south of Billings.
"When hiking in bear country one doesn't need to be the fastest runner in the party - just not the slowest."

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Postby Hunter » Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:13 am

I don't have final figures yet- presumably 30-35. I haven't sent out an RSVP yet since we are talking about August.

From your pics I would say the group you hike with is fun too! What brought on the the Purple People Eater meets Run DMC outfit?

There is at least one person who may come down from Billings that has shown an interest. In the last year or two he hiked one of the world's top 10, but I don't know which one specifically. This will be a walk in the park for him should he show up- not that Quandary is any kind of endurance challenge.

It will be interesting to see which ends up being more of a challenge for me this summer- Longs or the MO, Belford , & Oxford loop. What do you think?

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Postby TalusMonkey » Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:20 am

Hunter,

30-35?! Wow, that IS a big party for a 14er trip. I'm sure it will be fun - especially if you get a good weather day.

Oh yeah - CODave and Wyo_MtnMan and I are in rare form when together. We believe in the most outrageous hiking/camping antics... The Purple Pimp suit just came to me as an inspiration for finishing my last Colorado 14er. I've got some other ideas for this summer...

You planning on doing Missouri, Belford & Oxford loop in one day or with a high camp? I was considering doing these before with a high camp in the basin south of Elkhead Pass. But I ended up splitting the group into two trips. I still need to go back to the area for Emerald and Iowa though.

I think the loop will be more difficult than Longs. Longs is only +- 5000 feetish, right? I think you will be much more than that on the Mizzu-Bel-Ox loop. And a lot more up and down...
"When hiking in bear country one doesn't need to be the fastest runner in the party - just not the slowest."

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Postby Hunter » Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:35 am

No- we will leave from Denver area EARLY and arrive at the TH at 1:00. You're right- I think MO, Belford, & Oxford will be more difficult from an elevation gain standpoint. From what I calculated my buddy and I will be looking at about 7200' Since neither of us want to traverse the face we'll go back down to the gulch and back up. Weather will be our biggest challenge.

I've been using the Stepmill for several months now and feel pritty confident. I'm up to 6 miles in 1.5 hrs with a 25 lb pack. The machine says 6 miles equates to 290 floors. What do you think?

Any advice on training for the descent? I've been thinking of lunges and leg extensions.

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Postby TalusMonkey » Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:44 am

Ah ha! So you are planning a LONG day with an early start. Well, the 0100 start time will certainly help out. You'll just have to move fast enough to hopefully beat the storms - or get lucky and have a storm free day!

The stepper is my preferred training machine. So, I'd say you're doing well if you are already training. I assume that you will do some other high elevation hikes during the summer and leading up to the Belford, Oxford, Mizzu trip, right?

I don't have any advice on training for the descent. I have the fortune of having good knees and can descent rapidly over rough or smooth terrain. Depending on your own preference, some people swear that trekking poles help immensely with their descent comfort. I use trekking poles in winter, but generally not in the summer.
"When hiking in bear country one doesn't need to be the fastest runner in the party - just not the slowest."

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Postby thebeave7 » Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:47 am

Hunter wrote: I think MO, Belford, & Oxford will be more difficult from an elevation gain standpoint. From what I calculated my buddy and I will be looking at about 7200' Since neither of us want to traverse the face we'll go back down to the gulch and back up.

Any advice on training for the descent? I've been thinking of lunges and leg extensions.


What face are you speaking of, from what I've heard MBO is all class 2 scrambling, and I don't see any need to drop back down much more than Elkhead Pass. I actually have that loop planned for this summer(with Iowa and Emerald tacked on). For the actual descent take smaller steps and try not to over stride. This will reduce the stree to joints, also less likely to slip. But lunges and muscle strengthening are good exercises. Also do some ankle balance/strength work, help prevent you from rolling them, also increase your agility/confidence while boulder hopping.
Eric

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