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Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Re: Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Postby Johnson » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:49 am

Chicago Transplant wrote:The 3000' foot rule was invented by lazy people who wanted to be able to drive up the Princeton Road to the radio towers and still count a climb of Princeton, rather than have to start at the bottom of the peak and gain 5000' :P


If a person does Sherman from the gate and then drives over and does Princeton from the bottom they gain about 7,000 feet. Another guy parks down the road on Sherman to get the 3,000, then drives over to Princeton and up to the towers and gets a total of about 6,400 feet. The guy not "obeying" the 3,000 foot rule did more work.
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. - Psalm 95:4

"I would be doing myself a disservice and every member of this band if I didn't perform the hell out of this." - Gene

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Re: Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Postby Bodacious » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:04 am

Kiefer,
M. John Fayhee, Mountain Gazette #156? :)
"To travel, to experience and learn: that is to live."
- Tenzing Norgay

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Re: Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Postby Jon Frohlich » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:08 am

I've done most of my 14ers via the rule with a few exceptions. Most of it was just circumstance. I wound up climbing many of the closely connected peaks seperately or didn't make the second peak first try so I wound up doing most of those hikes twice (Belford/Oxford for example). Bierstadt and Sunshine I did not. I have no intention of hiking down the road on Bierstadt to claim 3000' (and I've done it 3 times which has to count for something) and I have no desire to go back and climb Sunshine again anytime soon. Also, once I started doing centennials the 3000' rule goes out the window and no one bothers. Finishing the highest 100 is hard enough without accounting for not counting the 2nd peak in a day.

The rule is a bit silly and it's about enjoying being out there. I've done some relatively silly things to get 3000 (parking on the road below Fourway for Culebra comes to mind) but overall who cares if it's 2900 or 2800. As long as you don't drive to the summit then it's good with me.

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Re: Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Postby peakmind » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:45 am

People who like clear rules and definitions seek them out

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Re: Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Postby TravelingMatt » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:01 am

While we're on the topic, what's the comprehensive list of 14ers that DON'T give you 3000' from their traditional trailheads?

Demo/Lincoln/Bross from Kite Lake (counting ascent only to one peak)
Bierstadt
Evans (straight up from Guanella Pass)
Sherman
Antero (from 4wd trailhead)
Uncompahgre
Sneffels
Handies (from 4wd trailhead)
Castle (from 4wd trailhead at end of road)

Princeton from the radio towers is close, but right on 3000' I think.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Postby Two Headed Boy » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:41 am

Someone should make up a new rule that if you don't use ropes you didnt actually climb a peak. Even Grays you should have to rope up and either belay or simo climb the route...well now that I gave it some more thought the free soloists would be pissed because even though they did'nt use ropes they would not have actually climbed anything and I guess that would'nt be fair.

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Re: Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Postby Mark A Steiner » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:57 am

Frankly, I don't agonize about a 3,000 foot rule or any other requirement whether the peak is a 14er or lower in elevation. If some one doesn't ask I won't tell. This discussion surfaces occasionally on 14ers.com. I wouldn't worry about it - just be thankful your healthy, have the time and when day is done, some good photos and memories to share with others to build their enthusiasm about hiking the magnificent Colorado high country.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content - Paul the Apostle.
Good day.

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Re: Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:07 pm

Ever notice that all of the peaks on which the 3000' rule is an issue are the easy ones? (Where by "3000' rule" I mean the CMC rule, which allows traverses.) Nobody quibbles over 3000' on Capitol Peak or the Maroon Bells, only on Bierstadt, Sherman, Pikes, Handies, etc.

Ted Keizer, holder of the 14er speed record, has a discussion of the 3000' rule as it applies to speed records here.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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Re: Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Postby TravelingMatt » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:21 pm

Come to think of it, I'd be more impressed by someone who did all the 14ers WITHOUT doing 3000' on ANY of them. That would require a lot of planning and creativity.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Postby derbbre » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:40 pm

Gerry's words, my emphasis.
From http://www.climb.mountains.com/Word_Tent_files/What_is_a_Peak.shtml
A good minimum criterion for climbing a peak is that you should gain a vertical height under your own power equal to your peak’s rise from its highest connecting saddle with a neighbor peak. If you do less than that, you are just visiting summits, not climbing mountains. Beyond this minimum gain, you are free to gain as much altitude as your peak-bagging conscience requires. The greater your elevation gain, the greater your karmic gain. Except for ridge traverses, 3,000 feet seems to satisfy most people.

I say you know when you've climbed a peak and you know when you've had a nice walk.

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Re: Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Postby 12ersRule » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:42 pm

If you get all the 14ers, 3000' rule or not, you've accomplished something. All of the interesting scrambles on the 14ers occur in the last 1500 feet of elevation: knife edge on Capitol, Hourglass on LB, summit block of Sunlight, etc. etc. Most everything from 3000-1500 feet of the summit is just a trail or on some mountains, a road even.

Agree with TravellingMatt's post!

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Re: Where did the 3000' rule come from?

Postby Chicago Transplant » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:45 pm

TravelingMatt wrote:Come to think of it, I'd be more impressed by someone who did all the 14ers WITHOUT doing 3000' on ANY of them. That would require a lot of planning and creativity.


With the wilderness areas (no motorized or mechanized travel) you would have to ride a horse to pull it off :wink:

The "hardest" thing about getting 3000' on ascents is having to hike up roads because they are so lame to hike on. The best part about it is it forces you to try a different route than the standard route. For example, Lincoln is over 3000' from Montgomery Reservoir via the Lincoln Amphitheater Route (although with the recent "rules" for those peaks, may be technically trespassing?) and Handies is over 3000' when done from Grizzly Gulch instead of American Basin.
"We want the unpopular challenge. We want to test our intellect!" - Snapcase
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