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Which 14er do you fear the most?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby EmmaM » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:53 pm

Snowmass. Really not looking forward to that one.

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby MountainHiker » Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:57 pm

I have repeated all of the fourteener standard routes. Some, many times. Most, I’ll do again. With a lot of the harder fourteeners there are variations within the standard route that can make your day harder or easier. There are several places I wouldn’t want to be in bad weather. But on a nice day, in dry conditions, with the best route finding, on most fourteeners, I know I should be okay.

But even in nice weather, the Hourglass can be oozing water. While the top of the hourglass has choices for the exit, the bottom is a choke point. Little Bear is the only fourteener standard route that gives me pause about returning for a summer hike.

When people ask me what the hardest fourteener is. I say I don’t know. But I then tell them Little Bear Hourglass is the sketchiest place on a fourteener standard route.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby kushrocks » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:02 pm

SilverLynx wrote:Little Bear by far, but also The Bells and Snowmass... Not only for their appearances but their histories of taking the lives of experienced climbers.


Well said. Mt. Wilson in slick snow and ice conditions covering the top crux was pretty damn scary to.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby SurfNTurf » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:04 pm

Before I did them, Pyramid, Capitol, North Maroon, Little Bear, Crestone Needle, Sunlight, El Diente and Mt. Wilson all gave me pause. The Wilsons and LB especially; I questioned for a while if I'd ever do them.

Sure enough, Little Bear and Mt. Wilson were probably the only two deserving of any trepidation. It didn't help that both were done in pretty demanding conditions. I would repeat any of the others without a second thought (and have), and I'm actually eager to return to the Hourglass with good snow. Pyramid and the Needle are just plain fun and will be repeated whenever an excuse arises.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby MountainHiker » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:05 pm

kushrocks wrote:
SilverLynx wrote:Little Bear by far, but also The Bells and Snowmass... Not only for their appearances but their histories of taking the lives of experienced climbers.


Well said. Mt. Wilson in slick snow and ice conditions covering the top crux was pretty damn scary to.

Snow can be a real game changer. I’ve had Mt Wilson be easier with early summer nice snow. I’ve had my biggest scare on El Diente with early summer nasty snow.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby fleetmack » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:05 pm

Little Bear
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby FCSquid » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:17 pm

EmmaM wrote:Snowmass. Really not looking forward to that one.


Snowmass really isn't that bad if you take it seriously and distrust all of the rocks (just like Little Bear). I've done both, and Little Bear is the one mountain that I have no desire to go back to, but I'd love to do Snowmass again some day.

Little Bear is a one-and-done mountain for me. That thing is just mean.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby ameristrat » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:25 pm

Well this just gives me a bundle of positivity for a Little Bear attempt this summer! ](*,)

North Maroon looks perdy steep.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby ChrisinAZ » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:30 pm

Without a doubt, Snowmass for me. That whole mountain just felt rotten and ready to slide, bad ju-ju...I'm planning to go back for the S Ridge and N Snowmass, but I'll be breathing a very large sigh of relief upon reaching safe ground at the base! While the exposure is more daunting on Capitol, I feel like that added steepness actually meant quite a bit of the loose, crappy stuff has already sloughed off; I was very cautious, but not overly freaked out a handhold or rock I was standing on on Capitol would suddenly come loose, like I was on Snowmass.

A few others were moderately to fairly scary--Capitol, Mt. Wilson, NE Crestone--but I could theoretically have my arm twisted into returning to them under the right circumstances. Little Bear's Hourglass scared the sh*t out of me, but the SW ridge/Mama Bear traverse honestly wasn't that bad from a technical/scary standpoint, so I'd go back for LB provided it was that route. Pyramid, the Bells, Chicago Basin, and the Crestones were a blast.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby justiner » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:37 pm

Cycling the road at Mt. Evans is the most frightening, as there's vacation-mode tourists barreling down in the cars, unaccustomed to the road conditions, elevation, dramatic views - and I'm usually very tired myself. Until the last switchbacks, and then everyone seems to be rallying you on. That's nice. Much funny road when it's closed, though.

I've also ha the worst partner luck on Evans. Every time, my partner for the days seems to get a horrendous headaches, and I'm doing my best to get them down safely.

I've only ever been scared to the point of not being able to move forward once. And 15 minutes later, I realized that however stupid it was to get into that situation (equipped improperly), and it totally felt great to be out of it, and I couldn't wait to get into it, again.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby TallGrass » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:49 pm

Any that I over-think based on 2nd/3rd-hand opinions and photos versus just seeing it in person, 3-D, to scale, no camera tilt, and doing one step at a time.
Weather, water, wildlife, and or other people (including one's own imagination) are more dynamic and thus easier to raise the pulse.
Fear is like farts: things get better if you just keep moving, and conversely.
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby big_red_pride » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:56 pm

I would say LB for me then followed by most of peaks in the Elks. Sunlight and the Wilson's also look intimidating.

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