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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 BillMiddlebrook » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:16 am

Bean wrote:I'm terrified of going back to Bross. Miners need to tear down the top couple hundred feet of that miserable gravel pile.

It's ain't so bad - try pegging a snowmobile to the top. Yeehah! O:)
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:18 am

It's interesting that Crestone Needle hasn't been mentioned much (if at all) in this thread. I'm pretty sure it's had more casualties than any other 14er in the past decade.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby kansas » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:28 am

Jim Davies wrote:It's interesting that Crestone Needle hasn't been mentioned much (if at all) in this thread. I'm pretty sure it's had more casualties than any other 14er in the past decade.


I think the majority of deaths on the Needle are from getting off route or falls, things that are in the climbers control. The mountains that people fear (like Little Bear) kill you via means you have little control over. There is a big difference between a difficult route and a dangerous one.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:38 am

Quite true about the perception of control (whether correct or not). Here's an analogy in skiing: the recent Post series about ski resort accidents prompted a big flamewar on a ski forum, mostly about drunk skiers, collisions, and rude snowboarders. Only about 3% of skier deaths in the past 5 years were because of collisions. The typical ski resort accidental death is a 37-year-old experienced male skier (not snowboarder) who falls on a groomed blue run and slides into a tree. I'm sure most of those in that discussion feel it can't happen to them, as they're in control.

I wonder how often accidents are caused by climbers fleeing from lightning?
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby timberlinecolorado56 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:02 am

This is a great thread! While the rock is loose on the Bells I found them very enjoyable hikes. I didn't do the traverse which is where it seems much of the trouble for hikers comes though. As far as Little Bear goes, I was only 14 when I hiked it so I think I was too young to fully understand the danger. Having 2 friends die on it and another family member have a close call since, I don't think I have the desire to do it again. Capitol is the only mountain I've had to turn back on but the exposure of the knife edge with an incoming storm did not sound like fun. With Snowmass, Mt. Wilson, the Needles, and El Diente ahead of me it definitely helps me to remember to give the mountains a lot of respect!
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby Wish I lived in CO » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:02 pm

As many people have stated, Little Bear.

Some of my remaining peaks will have me concerned and get my attention, however LB is the one that I have any deep down concerns about safety. For that reason I'll be doing it as snow climb. Likely as a guided climb since Michigan does not offer much opportunity to learn the basics of snow climbing and I'm very a novice snow climber.

Snowmass I'm looking forward to and am considering it as a finisher. I'm a sucker for an overnight at a lake and Snowmass seems to fit the bill. The climbing portion of the standard route looks enjoyable, though I realize it is loose and there's been some fatalities up there.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby Exiled Michigander » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:23 pm

Wish I lived in CO wrote:
Some of my remaining peaks will have me concerned and get my attention, however LB is the one that I have any deep down concerns about safety. For that reason I'll be doing it as snow climb. Likely as a guided climb since Michigan does not offer much opportunity to learn the basics of snow climbing and I'm very a novice snow climber.



How far are you from the U.P.? Wouldn't be quite the same, but you could probably learn the fundamentals of using crampons and an ice axe in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness . . . but much better to get out to Colorado in May or June and get some couloir climbs in!

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby KentonB » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:22 pm

Exiled Michigander wrote:How far are you from the U.P.? Wouldn't be quite the same, but you could probably learn the fundamentals of using crampons and an ice axe in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness

The Porkies are pretty remote (and a long drive from almost anywhere), but there are areas all over the U.P. that would work... Marquette/Munising have some cliffs (and LOTS of snow)... as does the Keweenaw Penninsula. For trolls, I'm guessing Sleeping Bear Dunes might even work. :-)

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby awilbur77 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:01 pm

Reading through this thread, I think a important point is missing. No one should "fear" these mountains. Having a bigger dose of respect for Little Bear vs. Sherman is certainly warranted, but fear is not the word I would use. Fear can only hurt a climber in my opinion by causing panic, poor decisions, etc. A larger amount of respect however can make for more cautious decision making, double checking a map / route, etc.

Short story:

Fear sucks.

Respect is a good thing.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby KentonB » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:56 pm

Yep, and Little Bear respected the daylights out of me! :-D

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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby Wish I lived in CO » Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:10 am

KentonB wrote:
Exiled Michigander wrote:How far are you from the U.P.? Wouldn't be quite the same, but you could probably learn the fundamentals of using crampons and an ice axe in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness

The Porkies are pretty remote (and a long drive from almost anywhere), but there are areas all over the U.P. that would work... Marquette/Munising have some cliffs (and LOTS of snow)... as does the Keweenaw Penninsula. For trolls, I'm guessing Sleeping Bear Dunes might even work. :-)


I'm in Bay City, flatest part of the state. I do travel to the U.P. 2 or 3x per year (and drive right thru Munising and Marquette, Porkies v. much out of the way), but usually I'm in a hurry to get to my destination with limited time off. Maybe I should pencil in an extra day sometime in Munising and have some fun on the snow and ice.
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Re: Which 14er do you fear the most?

Postby djkest » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:35 am

Little Bear! We were thinking of doing it in early June, but have no snow/ice climbing experience, so that might actually be worse. :/

Not looking forward to Snowmass, or Descending Mt. Wilson, or Pyramid either.
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