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How to prepare for first climb

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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How to prepare for first climb

Postby Beth » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:34 pm

I am 46y/o. Never climbed before and only above the tree line once 20 yrs ago. Is Mt Elbert possible for me. I am very active and physically fit. Lots of question but don't know where to start. Any input will be appreciated.
Beth

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Postby Scott P » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:01 pm

Is Mt Elbert possible for me. I am very active and physically fit.


Yes, especially if the above is true.

The best way to train for climbing Mount Elbert is simply to climb Mount Elbert.

You just have to get an early start and watch for t-storms no matter what time.

It can help to spend a day at or two at 10,000 feet prior as well, but many don't.

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Postby wasclywabbit » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:08 pm

Go at a comfortable pace, make sure you eat regularly ( I eat at least once an hour) and stay hydrated.

You might first want to try another 14'er with less elevation gain in order to get a sense of how your body reacts to altitude.

I'm 48 and not a paragon of fitness by any means yet I climb 14'ers all the time........occasionally I even make it to the summit. lol

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Re: How to prepare for first climb

Postby FlyGirl » Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:15 pm

Beth wrote:I am 46y/o. Never climbed before and only above the tree line once 20 yrs ago. Is Mt Elbert possible for me. I am very active and physically fit. Lots of question but don't know where to start. Any input will be appreciated.
Beth


Hi Beth and welcome to the forum.

Firstly, I feel age should never be a limitation for activity. Outdoor activity is what keeps us young, right? When we reached the summit of Lincoln one year there was a guy who was 72 who hiked there frequently just because he lived nearby and because he could.

Secondly and for me personally, I thought Elbert was one of the easier of the few 14ers I have done. The year we hiked that peak, my 50 year old brother-in-law who is in fair shape made it to the summit with no problems. He did some shorter hikes to 12,000 ft to try to get ready for Elbert and I was worried because he doesn't exercise on a regular basis he might not make the Elbert summit but he did well. That was his second 14er, Sherman being the first. With you stating you are in good physical condition I don't know why you couldn't do Elbert.

Just keep reading the forum and you will find a wealth of information to get you started.
Move like a heron, not like a water buffalo


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Postby Spam » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:22 pm

I agree with everyone else, it is a doable one. Also try to enjoy the whole experience also, not just the climb. There are a lot of great spots to pitch your tent or sleep in your car on the trailhead road. Great drive in, a lot of aspen. I drove up when it was dark and a full moon......incredible. It is a beautiful hike with a lot of marmots and I saw several deer.

Someone in here had the quote, "I'd rather be in the mountains thinking about God than in church thinking about the mountains",

Good Luck!
"Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory." -- Ed Viesturs

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Postby alanb » Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:07 am

I am 46y/o. Never climbed before and only above the tree line once 20 yrs ago. Is Mt Elbert possible for me. I am very active and physically fit. Lots of question but don't know where to start. Any input will be appreciated.


Don't let age be a factor at all. We ran into a 70 year old man on top of Lincoln.

Everyone reacts to elevation differently but you can do things to increase your odds of making the summit.

1- Start an exercise program now-or increase the intensity of your existing one.
2- Stay at higher elevation the night before.
3- Drink plenty of water and consume plenty of calories
4- Start early
5- Pace yourself
6- Know your route
7- Watch the weather
8- Have comfortable broken in footwear
9- Layer your clothing
10- know your limits.

I have not done Elbert yet, but of the ones I have climbed, I think there are many good choices for a first 14er- Bierstadt, Grays, Torreys, Handies, Sherman, Quandary.
"The mountains are calling, therefore I must go."
tweaked by me but originally John Muir

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Postby beegee » Tue May 01, 2007 2:58 pm

Beth,

here is a link to a good conditioning program I thought you might find of interest:

http://outside.away.com/outside/bodywor ... eener.html

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