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Easiest Sawatch 14er route.

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Re: Easiest Sawatch 14er route.

Postby Kapelmuur » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:35 am

shaberer0511 wrote:The reasons why I failed on the Sawatch Range:

Elbert 1st Time: Weather

Elbert 2nd Time: Weather and Knee Pain

La Plata: Another climber had a heart attack, so we waited and tried to call in Flight For Life. Another climber with a personnel locator beacon got a signal and called in Flight For Life. We stayed with the other climber and his friends until Flight For Life took off. After that, it was way too late and the weather was coming in.

Huron: Knee Pain. I had a very busy week before I climbed, and was on my feet for a solid week before climbing.

Antero: Got a late start, and hadn't climbed in a month or so. The weather was moving in too fast, and we were moving too slow. I think I could have driven up farther and we could have made it. Next time I will drive up farther and leave Denver earlier.

* All of these trips were day trips from just North of Denver.



Shaberer: Wondering if you really need to find an easier route? Sounds more like you've had some seriously bad luck more than anything...

That said, I'm wondering if you might want to try the standard route on Massive:

http://www.14ers.com/routemain.php?route=mass1&peak=Mt.+Massive

It's longer than your average route, but as such, spreads out the gain for an easier average grade. The first half of the approach is on a good and relatively easy trail.

I often suffer knee pain the descent and would second Nyker's suggestion of trekking poles. Also, I usually pop a few ibuprofen on the summit and this can take the edge of any discomfort.
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Re: Easiest Sawatch 14er route.

Postby shaberer0511 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:33 am

Thanks for the tips. I just started using trekking poles this year. I do feel that it was mostly bad luck. I plan on trying Antero from as high as I can drive without killing my Expedition. I'm thinking like 12,700 or so. I saw a stock Chevy Blazer up there on Sunday. If we leave earlier than usual and have good weather I should make it this time.
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Re: Easiest Sawatch 14er route.

Postby rijaca » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:42 pm

shaberer0511 wrote:Thanks for the tips. I just started using trekking poles this year. I do feel that it was mostly bad luck. I plan on trying Antero from as high as I can drive without killing my Expedition. I'm thinking like 12,700 or so. I saw a stock Chevy Blazer up there on Sunday. If we leave earlier than usual and have good weather I should make it this time.


Are you trying to climb a mountain, or just summit a peak? 8)
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Spent a little time on the hill"

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Re: Easiest Sawatch 14er route.

Postby DeucesWild » Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:44 pm

rijaca wrote:
shaberer0511 wrote:Thanks for the tips. I just started using trekking poles this year. I do feel that it was mostly bad luck. I plan on trying Antero from as high as I can drive without killing my Expedition. I'm thinking like 12,700 or so. I saw a stock Chevy Blazer up there on Sunday. If we leave earlier than usual and have good weather I should make it this time.


Are you trying to climb a mountain, or just summit a peak? 8)


You mean those things are different? Damn, I might have to do Pikes and Evans over again.
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Re: Easiest Sawatch 14er route.

Postby shaberer0511 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:22 pm

I am trying to get to the top of a 14er in the Sawatch Range. If I drive up Antero most of the way and climb the last 1,500 feet or less to the top, then that would be awesome. It might be considered cheating, but I don't care at this point, haha I am set on conquering the Sawatch Range. I've climbed 12 other 14ers, so I know I can do it, but I have just had some bad luck on the Sawatch 14ers.
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Re: Easiest Sawatch 14er route.

Postby DanielL » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:43 pm

I just climbed Huron Peak a few weeks ago, for the second time - that is hands down my favorite Sawatch 14er. But as you said, peaks like Princeton or Antero are a lot shorter, if you can drive high enough. As far as weather goes, the forecast predicts pretty much perfect conditions in the Sawatch range this weekend, and I'm planning on heading up there on Saturday.

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Re: Easiest Sawatch 14er route.

Postby SilverLynx » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:48 pm

Yale standard route is pretty easy. It's 8 miles RT or something like that. Most Sawatch are very long days, but I think Yale took me somewhere in the ball park of 7 hours.
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Re: Easiest Sawatch 14er route.

Postby Tortoise1 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:05 pm

shaberer0511 wrote:I am trying to get to the top of a 14er in the Sawatch Range. If I drive up Antero most of the way and climb the last 1,500 feet or less to the top, then that would be awesome. It might be considered cheating, but I don't care at this point, haha I am set on conquering the Sawatch Range. I've climbed 12 other 14ers, so I know I can do it, but I have just had some bad luck on the Sawatch 14ers.


Just go back and do Huron. If you've climbed 12 14ers you were just having a bad day on your last Huron attempt. You'll have a cleaner conscience than driving up Antero and your vehicle will thank you.

Re: Easiest Sawatch 14er route.

Postby Somewhat of a Prick » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:43 am

jdorje wrote:Sorry for massively diverting this thread.

I stand by my statements, but I don't feel this thread is the place for a debate (feel free to start a new thread on just this topic and we can go at it to our hearts' content). I will point out that during anaerobic exercise (sprinting, lifting weights) your heart rate soars: heart rate alone is not sufficient as a comparison.

In the end, the more exercise you do, the more prepared you will be for hiking up mountains.



Disagree 100% Cardio is HUGE.

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Re: Easiest Sawatch 14er route.

Postby ezabielski » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:51 am

On Princeton we accidentally drove past the radio towers to above treeline. The road keeps going to at least 12,000 or 12,500 feet. From where we parked, we actually walked down to get back to the trail. Our driver was using a Honda CRV I think to get to this part, but I think this road really challenged it.
Not really sure if I would recommend this as a common practice, but it made it a very easy climb for us and a long drive down! There is basically only two or three places you could park up there.

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Re: Easiest Sawatch 14er route.

Postby mtree » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:26 am

Antero is the easiest if you can drive to the upper creek. You shouldn't have any problem in an Expedition. Beyond that the road gets drastically more narrow. Jeeps, ATVs, or Pinzgauers only. Otherwise you might find yourself in a pickle.
Princeton would be my #2 from some place above the radio towers. I've seen folks parked on the road at the trailhead.
Huron would rate #3. Although it doesn't top 4000' elevation gain, it is steep in many sections.

Yale would not make my 'easy' list. Yes, it's fairly short. But it is steep. If your knees bother you, Yale will be very difficult. I'm not going to address the merits of cardio vs. strength training. There are too many biochemical and physiological issues in play that would require too much effort just to lay the framework for a basic understanding. The best training is to keep hiking/climbing 14ers. Climb every weekend and you will see improvement. Or not. Depending on what you do during the week. Most of all, have fun. If you're not having fun, what's the point?
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