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Tour de Longs Advice?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Tour de Longs Advice?

Postby Hungry Jack » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:13 pm

My friend and I plan to hike Longs Peak in mid-July during midweek. We are flatlanders from Chicago, but are in excellent shape and have done several 14ers during recent summer pilgrimages to CO.

I think it would be great to see Longs via the Keyhole and Kepplingers/Loft routes (ascend one, descend other). My only major concern is if we ascend via the Keyhole and descend via Kepplingers, how difficult is it to find the route down via Kepplingers once you depart the Homestretch? If finding our way back is an issue, we'll just ascend via Kepplingers and descend the well-marked Keyhole route. Any advice for a pair of Longs newbies?

HJ
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Re: Tour de Longs Advice?

Postby jimlup » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:44 pm

Sorry, I can't help but that sounds like a good choice. I'm jealous! I may get a chance to try this hike in August. I've only gone up via the cable route and a more experienced partner.

I would think the route finding isn't too bad - Longs has lots of dramatic and recognizable terrain. I assume you checked the trip reports.
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Re: Tour de Longs Advice?

Postby Phill the Thrill » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:19 pm

You may consider ascending the Loft route and descending the standard Keyhole route. I have not done this yet, but am planning it for July/August this year. A good friend of mine has done this route. The Loft route is much less traveled and offers some fun scrambling. Be sure to study the route to keep it at class 3. Descend the Keyhole route to make a nice loop. This is a very long day and you should start early, like 3 am, to maximize your chances of reaching the summit before afternoon thunderstorms.

You can find a map of this route here:

http://www.denverdavis.com/hikes/maps/longs.png
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Re: Tour de Longs Advice?

Postby MikeyC » Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:34 pm

I have gone up the loft route and down the keyhole route. I really enjoyed the route. I thought the scrambling was more sustained and enjoyable than that of the keyhole route as well as the fact that my group was the only one on the route. With that being said, I don't knw that I would have wanted to go up the keyhole and down the loft for route finding reasons. Clarks arrow isn't easy to spot to find the exit route in my opinion. Now that I have done the loft route I certainly would reverse it since I know the way. Whatever you choose it will be an awesome day and you will get to see a side of the mountain that not very many people visit. Enjoy!

-Mike

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Re: Tour de Longs Advice?

Postby Brian C » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:29 pm

I'd go up from the Clark's Arrow side and descend the Keyhole route for routefinding. You could do it the other way but it would be easier to follow the standard trail down. You could get Meeker too if you wanted. Here is my trip report from last summer...

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=4807&parmuser=saxmotor&cpgm=tripuser

It was a wonderful route, you get the top two peaks in the park, have lots of scrambling, and lots of alone time. If you want a bit more of a challenge it'd be a fun outing!
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Re: Tour de Longs Advice?

Postby thebeave7 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:38 am

Agree that ascending the Loft and descending the Keyhole is the way to go. Makes route finding easier, but you need to make sure you reach chasm lake at/near sunrise so you can see the route and where you are supposed to go. Below are a few TRs/albums that utilize the loft ascent, the keyhole descent is straight forward, follow the masses.
Longs Radical Slam photos
Longs Radical Slam TR
Longs/Meeker photos #2
Longs/Meeker TR #2

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Re: Tour de Longs Advice?

Postby Hungry Jack » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:49 am

Thanks for the helpful advice and some really cool TRs!
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Re: Tour de Longs Advice?

Postby Sigsterrr » Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:34 pm

Seems like the weather is nice that time of the year. I will be attempting longs via the keyhole route on July 23rd with atleast myself. I am from florida and figure the temps will be around 50 - 60 degrees farenheit? I notice in some of the pictures of last year at that time some are wearing shorts and some are wearing pants / long sleave. I understand weather changes, but what do you veterans thing I should expect temperature wise?

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Re: Tour de Longs Advice?

Postby Brian C » Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:43 pm

I've lived basically at the trailhead for the last few years and in July it's most likely going to be nice but...it also could be a icy/snowy mess up there.
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Re: Tour de Longs Advice?

Postby mcutt » Sat Jun 13, 2009 6:54 pm

Has anyone been up to the keyhole recently? I have thought about going up to the keyhole this week, wanted to know what the conditions are at this point.

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Re: Tour de Longs Advice?

Postby Two Headed Boy » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:36 am

I think it seems to be standard to ascend the loft and descend the keyhole. I have done it both ways (Longs is my baby) and I didnt have any issues, if I had to say any route finding was difficult it would be finding the loft from the couloir or vise versa. I dont know if you know how to rappel but if you do I highly recommend rappin down the diamond rap route. There are bolted anchors all the way and it is something you will not soon forget.

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Re: Tour de Longs Advice?

Postby Scott P » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:31 pm

Any advice for a pair of Longs newbies?


Longs (at least the west side which I view almost daily) looks like it still have a fair amount of snow on it, so be aware that it may be under "technical status" by the time mid-July rolls around. I would suggest calling the NPS just before your trip to see what current conditions are.

I am from florida and figure the temps will be around 50 - 60 degrees farenheit? I notice in some of the pictures of last year at that time some are wearing shorts and some are wearing pants / long sleave. I understand weather changes, but what do you veterans thing I should expect temperature wise?


40's would be more average, but it could get as high as 60 during a heat wave. Anyway, see the average weather data for Pikes Peak:

http://www.summitpost.org/fact-sheet/337874/pikes-peak-weather-statistics.html

Longs Peak is similar, but might be a few degrees colder and is windier on average.

40's in the mountains and in direct sunlight feels much warmer than it is and is warm enough to wear shorts, but you want to carry good pants, rain gear and a jacket in your backpack. T-storms are very common and nice and sunny can turn into cold, wet and windy within a matter of minutes. It can easilhy snow on top in any month of the year.
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