Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
forbins_mtn wrote:Class 3+ wear a helmet and solid shoes. The one time you stray from the rule you might pay the price. It took me a while to realize it's not about your comfort on rock but the fact that you never know who's above you on the route
And the Needle was the closest I ever came to losing my life climbing fourteeners. Soft ball size rock blasted within inches of my head. Actually skinned my hand which I had instinctively raised to shield my face. No one above us as well. Maybe one of those big white pesky mosquitoes??? I would say IMHO that the most crucial helmet required 14ers are the Bells, Little Bear, and the Crestones and prob Wilson as well, although there are still many others. So like the others said: helmet.
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I think the hardest thing about climbing Crestone Peak, is the return climb back over Broken Hand Pass after your dead tired. Wear a helmet... There are lot's of loose rocks in the gulley. It was mid August and we had no skeeters, just goats. When I go back to get the other four peaks there, I'm planning on camping at the South Colony Lakes for all of them. I've heard a lot about the bugs around the Willow Lake area.
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I wore approach shoes (Five-Tennies) when I climbed Crestone Needle. In retrospect, I shoulda worn ankle high boots from the TH to the top of BHP and back. The approach shoes were great when it got steep on the fantastic conglomerate of the Crestones, but I suffered on the trip back down BHP. The trip back down from BHP was the only part of the climb I didn't like. But I was still riding the high of doing the Needle that it mitigated it some.
I take the mountain climber's approach to housekeeping - don't look down
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Thanks for all the input. Pretty sure I will wear ankle high hiking boots, but pack in my approach shoes with me. They are actually ankle high as well so I should have good support and great traction. As for the helmet, it will be a definite.