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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 12ersRule » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:20 pm

Thunderbolt, Rainier, and Sunlight Spire.

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby Stephen Butler » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:34 pm

I would have to say Little Bear followed by North Maroon and Capitol.

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:42 pm

"Sunlight Spire"

But I think I fear the train ride more than the climb. I hate that friggin' train!
Only SNOW will end the madness

Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby Bean » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:47 pm

Mt. Hunter. Probably won't ever attempt it.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby Billy the Kid » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:58 pm

I think I am only echoing what others have said over and over on this thread, but of my 9 remaining 14ers, DEFINITELY Little Bear is the one that gives me the most anxiety! That hourglass just looks nasty and unpredictable! From what I have gathered from trip reports and other peoples’ accounts, the ascent isn’t too bad. It’s coming back down that is the tough part. I did the Bells and Pyramid last summer, and for me, they were not near as bad as I thought they were going to be. Other than the lose rock issue, I found there to be very little exposure and I would go back and do them again, anytime! I just can’t wait until Little Bear is behind me!!
"Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So, be on your way."- Dr. Seuss
"I'm not superstitious, but I am a little stitious."- Michael Scott

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby sheller » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:02 pm

The Bells and Little Bear. We did Snowmass in April and I felt the worst part was the river crossing. We cramponed up the glacier which was long and tiring, but definitely nothing to fear. Glissading down was a blast, just watch out for crevasses.

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby screeman57 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:09 pm

Interesting, the variety of responses. Many of the ones I feared the most before I did them (Pyramid, Snowmass, Crestone Needle) I realized afterwards I had catastrophized. But perhaps my fear generated some necessary vigilance and care--I've heard too many stories of over-confidence leading to carelessness.

Anyway, to answer the question, North Maroon and Little Bear. I've turned around on Little Bear twice--once in the hourglass when I realized my boots were worn-out and slipping, again last weekend on the SW ridge because the day got away from me after bushwacking for 2 1/2 hours to find the ridge.

I suppose, in general, nothing scares me more than loose rock--the seeming randomness of it.
"Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was." -Dag Hammarskjold

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby snowypeaks » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:57 pm

For me, I don’t know at “fear” is the right word.

There are clearly situations that garner heightened awareness, judgment, skill, and precision going into them. Focused decision-making is key, based on one’s ability, weather, team, and a myriad of other factors. If you handle a situation well and on-average make wise decisions, one would expect perhaps a challenging, but relatively calm and fear-free climb. This is why climbing challenging peaks is so fun.

Fear jumps front and center when something goes unexpectedly south and I have lost control of my situation, even momentarily.… count among them a big bolt of lightning that is too close for comfort, climbing beyond my ability with a poor belay, nasty fall, or something of that sort. For me, fear is usually a sign that I did something wrong somewhere along the way and I need to learn from it.

So, for example, I often fear too many people on a mountain (like Little Bear, Bells, etc.), so I climb when there are fewer folks around and my sense of safety isn’t violated before I even begin climbing.

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby wildlobo71 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:07 pm

scalba123 wrote:The next one.

This has been my go-to standard answer. I didn't fear any I climbed - I knew I could handle the task before me and I was in control of what I could control. That being said, I have nerves before every climb I go on, no matter how simple or hard. Lastly, I have sweaty mad respect for Little Bear and Mount Wilson; I will probably repeat them both - and I am looking forward to them the least.
Bill W.
Yes, I have my Scotch.

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby geojed » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:12 pm

I don't feel "fear" for any of them. Just respect them for each of their unique challenges.

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby Tornadoman » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:28 pm

I knew when started this thread that 'fear' might not be the correct word. Replace it with 'gets the most respect from me', is 'intimidating', I think I am most likely to get killed trying to climb, etc.

I have never been afraid while actually climbing any of the 14ers due to the route being too difficult. However, I was afraid on Antero when I was caught in a snow thunderstorm above treeline!

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby Tornadoman » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:29 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.

I think we are in agreement. My order would be Little Bear, Snowmass, then probably the Bells.


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