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Why so windy!

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Why so windy!

Postby AndrewFine34 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:48 pm

Just climbed Mt Sherman today from Iowa Gulch, and once again was accompanied by extreme winds as soon as I gained the saddle progressively getting worse all the way to the summit. Was turned back from Elbert last week after reaching S. Elbert under geared and was met by 50+ mph winds. Both times I feared for my dog being blown off the cornice, but she hung on just fine. Is it always this windy around the Leadville area 14ers or are these winds unusual for this time of year?

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Re: Why so windy!

Postby randa » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:11 pm

Climbed Sherman on Wednesday, same story. My 10 lb mutt was riding in my pack due to his lack of hair, but another group ahead of us had some sort of small terrier who seemed just fine, maybe the wind is not so bad close to the ground. Pretty miserable for those of us who rise more than a few feet above the ground though.

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Re: Why so windy!

Postby randa » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:14 pm

Snow blowing off the Sherman ridge:

Image

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Re: Why so windy!

Postby AndrewFine34 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:24 pm

Great Pic! That is the same direction the wind was blowing today, but I came up from the other side, so going down was directly to the face. There was one other guy on the summit who was much more prepared with gear than me, and he hopped on his snowboard and disappeared right down to that lake where you took the pic. Ya, my Lab/Rott is about 55lbs and didn't seem to care as much as I did about her standing directly on the cornice with those fierce winds. Mine has been in my backpack before too, but a 10 lb dog summiting 14ers...impressive.

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Re: Why so windy!

Postby tmathews » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:05 am

AndrewFine34 wrote:Just climbed Mt Sherman today from Iowa Gulch, and once again was accompanied by extreme winds as soon as I gained the saddle progressively getting worse all the way to the summit. Was turned back from Elbert last week after reaching S. Elbert under geared and was met by 50+ mph winds. Both times I feared for my dog being blown off the cornice, but she hung on just fine. Is it always this windy around the Leadville area 14ers or are these winds unusual for this time of year?


A weather graphic I saw this morning places the Jet Stream over central and northern Colorado yesterday and throughout the weekend. This contributes to the increased windiness.

Here's a page I found with a graphic: http://www.annandaleweather.com/links/jetfor.htm

Longer arrows represent stronger winds. The arrows over Colorado are depicted as being generally long.

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Re: Why so windy!

Postby TomPierce » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:19 am

I wonder if the Arkansas River valley (Buena Vista > Leadville) acts as a funnel, vortex, whatever? Just speculation...
-Tom

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Re: Why so windy!

Postby cbauer10 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:00 am

I was headed up there tomorrow, but we might bail. I am really trying to get my wife hook on climbing as well, but if there is high wind she will not have a good time and not want to do it anymore. She was already thinking about bailing so when I tell her this she will probably not want to go. If I do though I will let you know if it is still windy.

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Re: Why so windy!

Postby CoBornCOS » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:33 am

IT has been windy there over the past few weeks as I have been looking at doing the hike. Not sure but the Jet stream comment makes sense. I am doing it Sunday will let you know if it continues.

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Re: Why so windy!

Postby AndrewFine34 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:34 am

cbauer10. If your wife does not like winds, don't think your gonna get her hooked now...it is miserable up there. I hit the summit around 10am yesterday and usually enjoy the nice views while having lunch at the top, but I bailed as soon as I signed the registry, looking for cover...which is non existent up there. I still enjoyed my self, because I love climbing, and the wind is just another challenge on an easy hike like Sherman, but I took a rookie on Elbert last week and he was miserable because of the winds. If you do take her...bring warm layers, wind proof gear, gloves, etc...but I would recommend goggles. Goggles are the one thing I didn't have that I wish I did to help keep the wind off my face/eyes, and help visibility with the glaring snow.

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Re: Why so windy!

Postby cbauer10 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:41 am

AndrewFine34 wrote:cbauer10. If your wife does not like winds, don't think your gonna get her hooked now...it is miserable up there. I hit the summit around 10am yesterday and usually enjoy the nice views while having lunch at the top, but I bailed as soon as I signed the registry, looking for cover...which is non existent up there. I still enjoyed my self, because I love climbing, and the wind is just another challenge on an easy hike like Sherman, but I took a rookie on Elbert last week and he was miserable because of the winds. If you do take her...bring warm layers, wind proof gear, gloves, etc...but I would recommend goggles. Goggles are the one thing I didn't have that I wish I did to help keep the wind off my face/eyes, and help visibility with the glaring snow.


I hear ya. I don't want her to get a bad taste in her mouth because of the wind. That is why I am rethinking it anyways. Thanks for the information though!!!

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