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Peaks around Nederland

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Peaks around Nederland

Postby gspliler » Wed May 05, 2010 9:40 am

I will be in Nederland the first week in June. I was looking for recommendations on hikes, preferrably with a peak involved. Would not have to be a 14er or even a 13er, just preferrably something interesting and not over a class 3. What should i expect for weather and snow? I have done some hiking, but would still consider myself fairly new to dealing with Colorado mountains. I will be doing several hikes, preferrably of different lengths and difficulty, but no overnights. Thanks!

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Re: Peaks around Nederland

Postby clemsonmtneer » Wed May 05, 2010 10:10 am

There will still be a lot of snow in the Indian Peaks the first week in June, but if you have the right gear (ice ax, gaiters, snowshoes, crampons, etc.) you can still bag some peaks. Mt. Audubon's probably your best bet for a walk-up, it's over 13k but has a gentle ridge in comparison to other peaks. I hiked South Arapaho Peak (class 2) and mid June last year, and it was beautiful, highly recommend it, but there was a lot of snow and an ice ax was needed. Both of these peaks are around 8 miles roundtrip with 3,000 ft. vertical more or less. I'm sure others on this forum will have great suggestions, and you could also look into picking Gerry Roach's book on the area, "Colorado's Indian Peaks", which details summit hikes and climbs. As long as you're prepared to deal with some snow, you really can't go wrong hiking in that area.

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Re: Peaks around Nederland

Postby kimo » Wed May 05, 2010 11:19 am

Approx. 30 miles north of Nederland is the Longs Peak trailhead. 13er Mount Lady Washington is just five miles up the trail. Technical gear and snowshoes will not be required unless we receive a major late-season snow storm. You will not need to pay the National Park admission fee if you use the Longs Peak trailhead.

Two years ago, the road to Brainard Lake didn't open until late June. No telling how this year will turn out. If the road is closed when you come out, it will add a few miles to a hike of Mount Audubon. But Audubon is still a good one to attempt.

June is a great time to hike in the mountains. The weather can be varied through out the course of a day hike. Clear blue skies in the morning, followed by passing snow flurries while the sun is out, followed by a little rain, and then blue skies. Early start is recommended because nasty thunderstorms are possible, but they occur with less frequency then in July and August.

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Re: Peaks around Nederland

Postby gspliler » Thu May 06, 2010 6:56 pm

Anything requiring an ice ax is probably out of the question. It sounds like i should avoid trying any peaks this time of year unless i have a little more experience in the snow. I am bringing some folks with me that may be hiking in tennis shoes so.....

Being from Iowa, its just feels odd to worry about snow on a June vacation.

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Re: Peaks around Nederland

Postby Eph 2 5 » Thu May 06, 2010 7:46 pm

I hiked Niwot Mountain 2 weeks ago. It's 11,471 ft. You start by hiking up the road to Left Hand Reservoir at the Brainard Lake Road closure gate. The Brainard Lake road is roughly a 20 minute drive north of Nederland. Then, it's a 5 minute bushwack onto a ridge where the view really opens up. You get great views of the Indian Peaks from the Arapahoes to Audobon, and then north to Long's Peak. It's only 2.3 miles to the summit. Snow was a non-issue. I carried my snowshoes, but never used them. When I got to the summit (mainly class 1 the whole way) I started hiking west up Niwot ridge. The views get better and better as you go west. I made it to the base of the ridge which leads to Navajo Peak. Again, snow was a non-issue. We've had snow since I hiked it, but by the time you get here I can't imagine snow will be a problem. I've hiked it on New Year's Eve and didn't even have to use snow shoes. On my hike up Niwot Ridge I hiked a total of approx. 10 miles without a lot of elevation gain. If you're interested I could post some pictures, or, possibly a trip report.

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Re: Peaks around Nederland

Postby Kapelmuur » Thu May 06, 2010 8:02 pm

+1 on Niwot.

Also if you head down into Boulder you can do one or more of the foothill peaks: Green, Bear and S. Boulder. Doing the Bear & S. Boulder combo or all three together would be a challenging, scenic and snow-free day.
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Re: Peaks around Nederland

Postby kimo » Fri May 07, 2010 7:08 am

gspliler wrote:Anything requiring an ice ax is probably out of the question. It sounds like i should avoid trying any peaks this time of year...

You can summit many peaks in the Nederland region (~30 mile radius) without an axe at that time of year. Gaiters will be nice to have due to soft snow and postholing. The shaded trails could have sections of soft snow drifts followed by sections of dry trail. Snowshoes will be of dubious value.

The Boulder 8ers (Green, Bear, S. Boulder Peaks) are a good choice for snow-free hiking. 33 miles north of Ned is the trailhead for 11K Twin Sisters. Twin Sisters offers a class 1 trail and fine views of Longs Peak. There may be some drifting up to treeline that you'll have to hike through, esp. right at treeline. But it's a great summit and worth the effort.

Further north is the loop trail around the Lumpy Ridge. In the Park (you'll have to pay admission after 6:30 AM) is 10K Deer Mountain. In the Park, 12K Flattop Mountain is also a viable option. You may have to walk through some snow but no technical gear will be needed.

If you want completely dry, the 8K peaks above Boulder will be your best bet.

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Re: Peaks around Nederland

Postby peter303 » Fri May 07, 2010 7:24 am

There will be better snow conditions an hour to the south at Evans, Beirstadt, Grays, Torreys.
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Re: Peaks around Nederland

Postby TravelingMatt » Fri May 07, 2010 7:47 am

The worst snow will probably be right below treeline and on eastern aspects, which is pretty much the whole Front Range from the Nederland side. Snowshoes will probably help the most. Happy postholing.
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!
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Re: Peaks around Nederland

Postby gspliler » Fri May 07, 2010 3:18 pm

Thanks for all the replies, they definitely help.

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