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New beginner and OUT of shape!

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Postby Greg777 » Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:51 pm

TLT,
I totally undestand...2 months ago I weighed 260 and had a desire to get back in shape after a friend at work told me of a quote "Dream with Deadines" that says make a plan with a do date and prepair to accomplish the goal.
May 3rd, I started with Red Rocks stairs to expand my lungs and when I could to two sets of stairs up and down (after three weeks) May 24th I went on my first trail. with me 11 year old daughter..the Deer Creek trial above Deer Creek Park. From there I started doing more distance hikes all over chatfield to get some endurance. Then last week I did some higher altitude stuff above Bailey.
Well Saturday and 10 pounds lighter I attempted Quandry and starting at 8:15...I took it slow keeping watch on the cloud situation made it to the summit at 2pm...rested took some pictures with my 14 year old son and headed back and got to the car at 5pm. Learned a lot and am glad to be back on the health track.
You can do this...I'm rooting for you.

by the way...Grays is a great one to start for your first 14er...it will be my next :)
><greg777>
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Postby Whoopsie » Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:57 pm

I'd start with the Beaver Brook trail to get yourself back into the woods, good and close to Denver. You can do half of it by parking near Mt. Vernon Country Club. http://www.co.jefferson.co.us/placename ... 85&search=

Then hike one of the many trails in Crested Butte, and take along a Colorado Wildflower book. It'll make you forget any and all bad memories.

Then, an easy short hike from Berthoud Pass up Mines Peak to see the wierd and somewhat creepy radio towers.

Then, treat yourself to a nice outdoor burger and beer at the Bucksnort Inn in Foxton, just a great place to relax.

For a first 14er, I'd go with Sherman, you start at about 11,700' and it is a nice climb with a great view up on top. Bierstadt is good, and so is Quandrey.

Best of luck, glad to hear you've got your life going in the direction you desire, and the great outdoors of Colorado is the best therapy
Don't Be In Such a Hurry That You Can't Stop At A Lemonade Stand

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Postby texaschick » Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:21 pm

Just wanted to add that no matter which way you start - a strong mind is the most important thing! If you are determined that this is what you want to do - it will happen.

Good luck!!

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Postby Greg777 » Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:44 am

Bump
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New Beginner

Postby kiliclimber7_17_02 » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:00 am

Here is a suggested compromise you might think about. Try to seriously work on diet and conditioning including hiking, stairs etc. There are great hikes in RMNP and other locations in the state. Set a goal, perhaps as soon as the end of the summer, to try Greys or Quandary. Start early and go slow. Come down if you have to. Quandary was my first and it about killed me. But it was so great to be on top, I got motivated and finished the 54 last summer. You might also check to see what your doc says so you don't blow a gasket up there.

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Postby michaelverdone » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:48 am

gdthomas wrote:
KeithK wrote:
michaelverdone wrote:Just go for it! If you don't make it to the top try and figure out why. Keep trying until you make it. Everyone who has told you to take it slow and try easier routes is right on in that it will make your initial 14er attempt easier. But, if you want to climb a 14er then just go out there and try it. Stay safe.


I agree with this assessment. I tried my first 14er at the WEE gathering! Elbert in 3 feet of snow, and it was the first time I ever wore snowshoes. I had no delusions; I just went up as far as I could, and then came back down. Did the same thing a month later with Quandary, and then just started banging away at the non-14er hikes, like Brainard lake, Bear and South Boulder, and spent most of the month of May postholing in the Lost Creek Wilderness. I highly recommend anything there! I did my first 14er on Memorial Day, Bierstadt, and then Sherman last week and Quandary today. I want to lose at least 50 pounds, so I think I have a decent idea of where you're coming from. Except I wasn't depressed, I was married! LOL

Don't be afraid to try!


I rarely see extremely overweight people on the top of even the easiest of 14ers. It's asking alot of your body to haul an additional 70 pounds up any mountain. The risk you run "going for it" without working up to it is misery and probable failure. Lose some weight, ease into hiking as others have suggested, then when the time is right, climb your first 14er.



Did I ever elude to a certainty of success? His probability of failure may be very high, indeed. But, I can say with near complete certainty that he will learn more by trying and failing than if he had a series of micro-successes on lesser hikes.

The guy wants to hike 14ers! Should he only be hiking them when his chances of success are near 100%? Give me a break!

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Postby quiznberry » Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:51 am

Flattop is an awesome hike. Then reward yourself by skirting Hallet and sliding down Andrew's Glacier. 8)

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Postby gdthomas » Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:55 am

michaelverdone wrote:
gdthomas wrote:
KeithK wrote:
michaelverdone wrote:Just go for it! If you don't make it to the top try and figure out why. Keep trying until you make it. Everyone who has told you to take it slow and try easier routes is right on in that it will make your initial 14er attempt easier. But, if you want to climb a 14er then just go out there and try it. Stay safe.


I agree with this assessment. I tried my first 14er at the WEE gathering! Elbert in 3 feet of snow, and it was the first time I ever wore snowshoes. I had no delusions; I just went up as far as I could, and then came back down. Did the same thing a month later with Quandary, and then just started banging away at the non-14er hikes, like Brainard lake, Bear and South Boulder, and spent most of the month of May postholing in the Lost Creek Wilderness. I highly recommend anything there! I did my first 14er on Memorial Day, Bierstadt, and then Sherman last week and Quandary today. I want to lose at least 50 pounds, so I think I have a decent idea of where you're coming from. Except I wasn't depressed, I was married! LOL

Don't be afraid to try!


I rarely see extremely overweight people on the top of even the easiest of 14ers. It's asking alot of your body to haul an additional 70 pounds up any mountain. The risk you run "going for it" without working up to it is misery and probable failure. Lose some weight, ease into hiking as others have suggested, then when the time is right, climb your first 14er.



Did I ever elude to a certainty of success? His probability of failure may be very high, indeed. But, I can say with near complete certainty that he will learn more by trying and failing than if he had a series of micro-successes on lesser hikes.

The guy wants to hike 14ers! Should he only be hiking them when his chances of success are near 100%? Give me a break!


You have your opinion and I have mine. However, I will point out that your advice is the minority. It's ultimately TLT's decision. :roll:

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Postby SanibelSandy » Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:24 pm

I live in Lakewood also, and your story sounds familiar! I lost 90 lbs about 5 years ago, and my biggest accomplishment AFTER that was beginning the 14ers! First one was Quandry--and it was amazing, but that was AFTER I lost the weight. The I hiked Green Mountain right there in Lakewood (and still do) on a daily basis for almost a year during the losing phase, and it was a great start on training and close to home. Give it a try! You go girl!!!!

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Clydesdales On The 14ers

Postby Stauffer » Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:34 pm

It certainly can't hurt to work yourself into better shape first then start going after 14ers. But, it really is pretty hard to generalize. Since you claim to have been in pretty good shape before, you are probably better off than someone who's been out of shape for their whole life. I am speaking with relative authority on this one because I would be one of those rarely seen overweight people you see on the trail/summit. I'm 260, 5'10". I'm a relatively active 260 (lots of walking, non-summit hiking/backpacking), but still classified as obese by my doctor. I did Princeton 8 years ago (at about 275 lbs), and did Elbert on June 25, 2007 (I was gone from Colorado for a while), and I am intent upon doing many more. Hopefully, I'll lose weight too, but I believe the keys are mental focus, positive attitude w/o summit fever, and weather plannning for the average big man/woman. It will take you a lot longer (I figure 1.5 to 2 times the slower times I read on 14ers), so buy a head lamp, start much earlier, know how to read the weather, and figure on turning around on every attempt without a summit unless the weather is exceptional and allows summitting later in the day. Good luck.
"You can't change the wind. You can, however, adjust your sails." Old Sailing Saying

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Postby cheeseburglar » Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:42 pm

Get some trekking poles and other dayhiking equipment.
Then go out and wander up a trail. If a 14er is at the end, you might make or you might turn back due to exhaustion, weather, or any number of things.
If you think you will feel better making it to the top of something, than you should start with something smaller to ensure success. But I've found one of the best parts of climbing 14ers is that you don't always make it up the first time which makes the eventual accomplishment sweeter!

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Postby RonElm77 » Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:52 pm

I know the feeling. I had done about 15 14ers 10+ years ago. Now I'll be 60 in September and am 5' 9" and weigh about 250 (60-70 extra pounds from before). I wanted to get back into it, so started hiking some this year. Saturday we climbed Mt. Sherman and made it, although it took us 6 hours round trip. We just put 1 foot in front of the other and slogged up the old girl. I don't care how long it takes me. It's the feeling of accomplishment and the view at the top that will keep me working on getting better. Good luck. Sherman is a good hike for anyone determined to improve. Ron

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