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What Front Range 13ers Melt Out Fastest?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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What Front Range 13ers Melt Out Fastest?

Postby Aug_Dog » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:36 am

I'm starting to get antsy. I want to get out and hike/climb. I'm not quite done skiing, but I am ready to hike. I secretly want the snow to melt everywhere except Loveland so I can both hike and ski.

That said and this might make for an interesting discussion, but what Front Range 13ers melt out the fastest? Parnassus' standard route above treeline is almost always doable year-round because of its aspect, but the basin up to treeline will most certainly be deep with snow right now.

Any ideas?

EDIT: oh and I am not really a winter hiker/climber ... yet.
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Re: What Front Range 13ers Melt Out Fastest?

Postby Carl » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:03 am

Aug_Dog wrote: I want to get out and hike/climb. I'm not quite done skiing, but I am ready to hike. I secretly want the snow to melt everywhere except Loveland so I can both hike and ski.



You want to hike/climb stuff and want to ski? If only there was some way of combining both of these things...... :-D

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Re: What Front Range 13ers Melt Out Fastest?

Postby Lemmiwinks » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:20 am

Obviously the south facing routes will melt out fastest. Parnassus and Bard would be a good spring choice. I also did Chiefs Head's south slopes route last May and it was relatively snow-free (~15 minutes of hiking through snow near treeline). I haven't done it yet, but Silverheels south ridge would probably melt out quickly as well.



Chiefs Head TR (pic 7 shows the south slope): http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=11907&parmuser=Lemmiwinks&cpgm=tripuser
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Re: What Front Range 13ers Melt Out Fastest?

Postby Aug_Dog » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:37 am

Carl wrote:
Aug_Dog wrote: I want to get out and hike/climb. I'm not quite done skiing, but I am ready to hike. I secretly want the snow to melt everywhere except Loveland so I can both hike and ski.



You want to hike/climb stuff and want to ski? If only there was some way of combining both of these things...... :-D


yeah yeah yeah ... :)

i just don't feel that i'm educated enough yet to climb to ski ... i'm gonna start by taking some avy classes soon though ...
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Re: What Front Range 13ers Melt Out Fastest?

Postby TravelingMatt » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:19 am

You want to choose routes that have a minimum of cover below treeline. Even better, something that's plowed or used by snowmobiles and is thus packed down. Above treeline you want smooth, gentle terrain.

There's always the Cupid/Sniktau/Grizzly D group. Otherwise the most obvious candidate is Flora from Berthoud Pass.
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: What Front Range 13ers Melt Out Fastest?

Postby Jay521 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:39 am

If you expand your scope to include 11ers and 12ers, there are some GREAT climbs in the Lost Creek Wilderness Area that tend to melt out early. Check out any trip report by user Derek.
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down

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Re: What Front Range 13ers Melt Out Fastest?

Postby Aug_Dog » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:47 pm

pretty much already had those on the list ... any 13ers in the Sawatch that would melt out quick?
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Re: What Front Range 13ers Melt Out Fastest?

Postby TravelingMatt » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:02 pm

You can drive pretty high up (stock 4wd) to bag Taylor and Aetna, and it's a southern exposure.

Ouray as soon as Marshall Pass opens might be worth trying.

Everything else I can think of would require Highway 82 to be completely open.

Bull Hill from Black Cloud comes to mind, although it sort of follows a gully which will probably hold a lot of snow. And if box-checking isn't a priority you might as well just do Elbert.

You didn't ask about the Tensquito, but Hoosier Ridge is mostly open and gentle, with some willow bashing at the beginning. Actually a lot of Tensquito peaks might work, depending on road access.
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: What Front Range 13ers Melt Out Fastest?

Postby Aug_Dog » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:11 pm

TravelingMatt wrote:You can drive pretty high up (stock 4wd) to bag Taylor and Aetna, and it's a southern exposure.

Ouray as soon as Marshall Pass opens might be worth trying.

Everything else I can think of would require Highway 82 to be completely open.

Bull Hill from Black Cloud comes to mind, although it sort of follows a gully which will probably hold a lot of snow. And if box-checking isn't a priority you might as well just do Elbert.

You didn't ask about the Tensquito, but Hoosier Ridge is mostly open and gentle, with some willow bashing at the beginning. Actually a lot of Tensquito peaks might work, depending on road access.


great thanks for the help ... yes, the tensquito ... go on sir! :)

i'm kind of a box checker but not really ... i just like variation and different scenery ...
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Re: What Front Range 13ers Melt Out Fastest?

Postby ChrisRoberts » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:59 pm

Mummy Mountain, SE slopes
Some rise, some fall, some climb to get to terrapin
Read all about my schemes and adventuring at NoCo Chris Latest TR: Kansas City for the summer

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