Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Route review

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:31 pm

Route review

Postby rauchcory » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:19 pm

Hey all, first post here, I really hope this is in the right place. A buddy of mine and I are planning on climbing in CO for the first time in April or May (unfortunately we need to plan pretty far in advance in order to take the required leave) My buddy has climbed all over Montana I have climbed in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada. Neither of us have climbed in CO so we were hoping to hear some feedback on our proposed itinerary (in addition to the dozens of trip reports I've found on here). Specifically weather, snow/ice coverage, and camp locations.

Day 1 Lake Como TH to crater lake. Drop camp. Ellingwood point via south face rt. Return to camp.
Day 2 Blanca peak via Northwest Face. Return to camp and exit.
Day 3 Lower south colony TH to lower south colony lake. Drop camp. Humboldt peak via West Ridge rt. Return to camp.
Day 4 Crestone via South Face/Red Couloir rt. Return to camp and exit
Day 5 flex day for weather or early return etc.

User avatar
Posts: 1515
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: Monument, CO

Re: Route review

Postby globreal » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:13 pm

rauchcory wrote:Hey all, first post here, I really hope this is in the right place. A buddy of mine and I are planning on climbing in CO for the first time in April or May (unfortunately we need to plan pretty far in advance in order to take the required leave) My buddy has climbed all over Montana I have climbed in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada. Neither of us have climbed in CO so we were hoping to hear some feedback on our proposed itinerary (in addition to the dozens of trip reports I've found on here). Specifically weather, snow/ice coverage, and camp locations.

Day 1 Lake Como TH to crater lake. Drop camp. Ellingwood point via south face rt. Return to camp.
Day 2 Blanca peak via Northwest Face. Return to camp and exit.
Day 3 Lower south colony TH to lower south colony lake. Drop camp. Humboldt peak via West Ridge rt. Return to camp.
Day 4 Crestone via South Face/Red Couloir rt. Return to camp and exit
Day 5 flex day for weather or early return etc.



Weather, snow/ice, camp?

For an April/May timeframe, I think your biggest concern is going to be avalanche danger. And that can't truly be determined until pretty much a couple days right before your climb. Sorry.

You will most likely want/need snowshoes and crampons for these months.

I would suggest not camping at Crater Lake but at Lake Como as you will still be in total winter conditions up there. You will have easier access to water, and you will have protection from the wind with the trees. Crater Lake is totally open and exposed.

Most people climb Ellingwood Pt. and Blanca as a combo & so you could possibly save a day...going from one over to the other. (It's not a straight ridge walk though. You will most likely want to down several hundred feet to by pass some more difficult terrain.)

Crestone Peak is a much longer day than Humboldt. You will want a early start due to going up and over Broken Hand Pass both going and coming back to camp. I would suggest you do Humboldt on your last day where you could both climb and also break camp and pack out if you choose.
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die."
~John 11:25

Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:31 pm

Re: Route review

Postby rauchcory » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:45 am

Thank you, I appreciate the help

User avatar
Posts: 1105
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:55 pm
Location: Longmont

Re: Route review

Postby Brian C » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:17 am

Your itinerary is spoken like a true Cascade climber! Huffing it in on long snowy approaches to camp, waking up in the wee hours of the morning to nab the peak while meanwhile not caring about shouldering a disgusting amount of elevation gain. Warms my heart to see such blind enthusiasm, and I'm going to assume you have the skills to back it (although you made no mention of said skillz). Here are a two more points to think about...

*Snow in CO in April/May will likely not be the same as your familiar firmer, denser snow found in the NW. Even in the sub-zero hours, you will find yourself floundering up the unbroken trail while fighting with your partner about who had to break trailer the longest. Let's face it, CO 14er baggers get lazy in the winter and your trail probably won't be trenched for you. Even if it is you better not use it or some nutters will get upset and post about it here.

*ELEVATION! Sitting in a car to plane to car from sea-level to 8,000' (road will be closed higher up due to snow), then packing it in to 11,000' only to drop your stuff and climb Ellingwood Point will be enough to make you see double. Unless you're some super-human hiker like John Prater, the approach will be enough to take the wind out of your sails.
Brian in the Wild
Lists of John
"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." - Wordsworth

Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:31 pm

Re: Route review

Postby rauchcory » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:11 pm

Maybe arrive and head up to camp and just hang out for the rest of the day. Then combine Blanca and Ellingwood as mentioned. We still have that 5th day flexibility in case we aren't feeling strong.

I climbed Shasta (hotlum-bolam) july from sea level to summit in 3 days. That extra day was helpful for sure

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests