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Another Noob Hike Suggestion Needed

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Another Noob Hike Suggestion Needed

Postby Pitreau » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:15 am

My girlfriend and I will be in Summit County the first week of August. I'm trying to pick out a 14er that would be good for the two of us as a day hike. We hike quite a bit around New England in the Whites, but we've lived our whole lives at sea level. We're both active, hike on the weekends and run roughly 20 miles per week. After some research I've come up with the following possibilities:

Quandary
Bierstadt
Gray's and then potentially Torrey's
Lincoln, Bross, Democrat Loop

It seems like there is some legal issues with the Lincoln Loop, so I'm not sure whether that is something I should be concerned about. We plan to hike mid week, so I'm hoping that will alleviate some of the over crowding issues. We will be in Keystone for 2 nights and Breckenridge for two nights, hence the clumping of options.

Any suggestions, recommendations, or tips for a lowlander would be greatly appreciated.

Brian

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Postby Jcwhite » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:17 am

Personally of the ones you mentioned, I think that Grays and torreys are the more intersting ones, and might provide a little more challenge than Bierstadt and/or Quandary. But everything you mentioned are easy hikes, so I'd go with what looks best to ya.
J
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming WOW! WHAT A RIDE."- Hunter S Thompson

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Postby Hunter » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:30 am

If you're going to rate the hikes you've mentioned I would put them in the following order of dificulty from easiest to most difficult excluding DeCaLiBro since you would be tresspassing:
Bierstadt, Greys, Quandary, Greys and Torreys
Jcwhite is correct though- these are all considered easy by most accounts. Remember to bring enough water and gear. Hit the TH before 7:00. And don't be afraid to turn around if the weather turns bad.
Have fun!
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Postby summitrunner » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:51 am

There are many hikes here in Summit other than 14ers too that are worthwhile and won't have as many people. Check out Breckenridge Climbing on the main page. Plus there is the Gore Range and 10 Mile Range up here that offer plenty of great hikes.
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Postby MountainHiker » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:58 am

If your vehicle is an issue - car verses 4WD - the Quandary trailhead is the easiest, then Bierstadt followed by Grays & Torreys.

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Postby Hunter » Mon Jul 09, 2007 11:27 am

MountainHiker- excelent point.
I took my Prius (lower than a Civic) up to Bierstadt last year and was fine. I just had to take the washboard parts slow. It was nothing like the N Cottonwood Creek TH which I had to take our Excape. Greys & Torreys I had to take the Excape too. If you have something low slung like a sports car (or Prius) consider Quandary. The TH is so close to Blue Lakes Rd you could be fine parking there and only hiking in 0.2 miles as Bill mentions in the directions.
"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."

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Postby Pitreau » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:34 pm

I'll be in an SUV while we're out there, so my vehicle shouldn't be an issue. I appreciate the advice given by everyone.

In terms of hiking recommendations, I think that hiking any of the mountains listed shouldn't be an issue. I'm a little concerned about how we do with the elevation, but I don't think any of those mountains will really be an issue more than the others.

Are there any of these that you would recommend over the others for the enjoyment of the hike and to get a good feel for hiking in Colorado?

The other question I had is whether or not I'll need gaiters. I plan to wear boots, but with all the scree I've seen on the upper trails, it seems as though gaiters may be helpful. Do most people hike with gaiters in Colorado?

Thanks again.

Brian

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Postby JimR » Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:57 pm

Pitreau wrote:Do most people hike with gaiters in Colorado?

Not in early August. I wear 'em for snow or mud, but you're not likely to need them for what you're planning. As for the choice of mountain(s), given your fitness/activity level and vehicle, of the ones you mention I'd say Grays/Torreys--two for the price of one.
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Postby Jim Davies » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:01 pm

Pitreau wrote:Are there any of these that you would recommend over the others for the enjoyment of the hike and to get a good feel for hiking in Colorado?

I'd vote for Grays & Torreys for the views, trail quality, and the overall awesomeness of the valley you'll be hiking through. It really won't be that crowded on a weekday; you'll probably see a few dozen people during your seven-mile hike.
The other question I had is whether or not I'll need gaiters. I plan to wear boots, but with all the scree I've seen on the upper trails, it seems as though gaiters may be helpful. Do most people hike with gaiters in Colorado?

No, you won't need them. Nobody wears gaiters unless there's snow to walk on, and there's almost none left at this point (especially on well-trampled trails).
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Postby newbieMike » Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:02 pm

I personally thought Gray's and Torrey's was a prettier hike and much easier on the joints coming down than Quandary.


Mike

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Postby Pitreau » Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:54 am

Well I think that settles it. My original thought was Gray's and Torrey's, but then I started second guessing myself. After this thread, I think I'm sticking with G&T. Thank you so much for your help, its nice to find a place where people seem very willing to help out.

Thanks again!

Brian

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