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Class III stuff (fairly) close to Denver

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Class III stuff (fairly) close to Denver

Postby hberry » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:56 am

I was wondering if there are any good class III hikes fairly (within an 1.5 hours) of Denver that are at lower elevations so as to hopefully avoid too much snow?

I am hoping to introduce my friend to class III but don't want her first attempts to be in the ice and snow.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Re: Class III stuff (fairly) close to Denver

Postby Monster5 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:01 pm

Indian Peaks and Lost Creek Wilderness have plenty of II-IV options on 11ers, 12ers and 13ers. About an hour to the THs. Neva, Arapahos, Bison, Cooper, Taryalls... This still may be a little too high if you want to avoid snow/ice.

I've been exploring the open space parks in Jefferson County this fall. While typically dry year-round, I haven't seen any real, sustained class 3 options. You can do some short, light scrambling along with easy 6 mi loops in a few of the parks (look out for rattlesnakes). Maybe the easier routes at Cathedral Spires.

Try going to Summitpost and searching for peaks within 50 mi from Denver. Many of the standard routes up the lower front range peaks (9-10k) are class 1/2 with no defined class 3 options. Your best bet would be to hike the easy trail and find a few rock outcrops to explore along the way. Bishop Rock, Rampart Range, easier Flatirons (Dinosaur Mtn)...


http://www.summitpost.org/object_list.php?object_type=1&state_province_1=Colorado&distance_1=50&distance_city_1=Denver&sort_select_1=object_name
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Re: Class III stuff (fairly) close to Denver

Postby Trudger » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:18 pm

If you're looking for low exposure rock to start with and then a climb with scrambling options, you can scramble around on the rocks of Alderfer/Three Sisters Park (Jefferson County park near Evergreen). After climbing around on the park's rock formations, Elephant Butte is just north of the park. It can be ascended with or without scrambling, so you can pick and choose your spots for scrambling. I think the peak rises roughly 800-1000 feet from the park, with a round trip of somewhere around 5 miles. The summit is ~8,500 feet.

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Re: Class III stuff (fairly) close to Denver

Postby hberry » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:29 pm

Thanks for the info!

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Re: Class III stuff (fairly) close to Denver

Postby gurlyclimber » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:47 pm

Try the Mountaineers Route on Mt. Morrison above Red Rocks. Options exist to take the climbing to low 5th class if you get on the Off Route Beer Bottle Route.
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Re: Class III stuff (fairly) close to Denver

Postby Ish » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:09 am

gurlyclimber wrote:Try the Mountaineers Route on Mt. Morrison above Red Rocks. Options exist to take the climbing to low 5th class if you get on the Off Route Beer Bottle Route.


Agreed. Awesome training route.

Great moderate snow climb training when the conditions are right as well.
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Re: Class III stuff (fairly) close to Denver

Postby Ned-man » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:10 pm

Ish wrote:
gurlyclimber wrote:Try the Mountaineers Route on Mt. Morrison above Red Rocks. Options exist to take the climbing to low 5th class if you get on the Off Route Beer Bottle Route.


Agreed. Awesome training route.

Great moderate snow climb training when the conditions are right as well.


+1!

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Re: Class III stuff (fairly) close to Denver

Postby Erox72 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:38 pm

Just last week I climbed Pacific and Atlantic peaks. Located just south of Copper Mountain. The parking lot is only 6 miles on the left after you get off the Copper Mtn exit of I-70. If you approach Pacific from the north, the ridge to the top was solid class III. It looked really fun! We actually climbed the east ridge because we neglected to bring our helmuts. We still found some fun class III pitches to climb up from that direction. Be safe, wear a helmut!
-E

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Re: Class III stuff (fairly) close to Denver

Postby kmaley » Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:09 pm

The Flatirons area above Boulder has some scrambling. Get a copy of Gerry Roach's book "Flatiron Classics" -- it was out of print for awhile, but now there is a new version in the stores. It includes a lot of class 3 and 4 scrambles as well as climbs in the 5.0 to 5.6 range (maybe a few that are harder than that). I'm afraid I've mostly done hiking in the area rather than scrambling, but one of these days I'll go check out some of the easier-rated scrambles.

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Re: Class III stuff (fairly) close to Denver

Postby Kapelmuur » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:20 pm

kmaley wrote:The Flatirons area above Boulder has some scrambling. Get a copy of Gerry Roach's book "Flatiron Classics" -- it was out of print for awhile, but now there is a new version in the stores. It includes a lot of class 3 and 4 scrambles as well as climbs in the 5.0 to 5.6 range (maybe a few that are harder than that). I'm afraid I've mostly done hiking in the area rather than scrambling, but one of these days I'll go check out some of the easier-rated scrambles.


Some quick and easy Class 3 options in the Boulder OSMP are climbing Dinosaur Mountain and the Nebel Horn. Look them up on Summitpost for more route info.
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