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October 3rd Suggestions

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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October 3rd Suggestions

Postby djbritton » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:43 pm

Hey All,

I'm looking for suggestions for a peak the weekend of October 3rd. I would be heading into CO from Kansas City, so the closer to I-70, the better. Also, I've done some hiking out there before, but just recently got serious about bagging some 14ers. I did three this summer, but I am really unfamiliar with what the ice/snow conditions might be like in early October. I don't own crampons or an ice ax and really don't want to purchase right now.... so I'm looking for a peak that likely won't require the ice/snow equipment. Any suggestions on peaks that fit the profile would be greatly appreciated.

Oh yea, and my comfort level basically tops out with something similar to the standard route on Snowmass..... I guess thats considered an easy class 3, so nothing harder than that.

Thanks!
Dan

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Re: October 3rd Suggestions

Postby TylerStorm » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:48 pm

Depending on the conditions, I'd recommend the West ridge of Quandary. I could probably even go along with you, if you'd like some company. Quandary is my backyard. :D
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Re: October 3rd Suggestions

Postby djbritton » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:39 pm

Thanks Tyler! I read the route description and a few trip reports... is the exposure not that bad?? It looks like the two spots high up on the ridge might be difficult. Would you be able to compare it to anything on Snowmass?

Is snow not likely to be an issue in early October?

Thanks again!
Dan

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Re: October 3rd Suggestions

Postby djbritton » Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:36 pm

bumping...

any other ideas??

Cheers!

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Re: October 3rd Suggestions

Postby Kiefer » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:48 pm

Speaking about just 14ers,
You could also look at The Sawtooth on Bierstadt. Some really cool, fun class-3 scrambling with stellar views. I just did this a few months ago and was actually impressed with it. I would be comfortable doing it solo if you didn't have anyone with you.
Plus the traverse over to Evans is on a climbers trail and makes for an enjoyable albeit long day. Kinda leaves your body tired but a huge smile on your face! :)
Bill's link to the same route.

Not 14ers, but you could also look at Mt. Parnassius, Mt. Bard and Woods Mountain as an in and out loop.
The trail ascends via Watrous Gulch at exit #118, just before the Eisenhower Tunnel. Great views of the I-70 corridor from this ridge.
You can also take the left turn on this trail and head up into Herman's Gulch instead and ascend Pettingel Peak, The Citadel (some good class-3 scrambling) and (or) Mt. Bethel.

Tyler's suggestion of the West Ridge on Quandary is a good recommendation. I haven't done this route yet but the pics I've seen look really decent.
"Wisdom comes from making mistakes.
Experience, is the knowledge of knowing what to do when one makes a mistake and wisdom,
stems from the changes we go through while learning from those mistakes."

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Re: October 3rd Suggestions

Postby djbritton » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:03 pm

Thanks Kiefer! I came across the Bierstadt/Sawtooth/Evans loop doing some research the other day and thought it looked like a good fit. Giving it serious consideration....

Dan

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Re: October 3rd Suggestions

Postby peter303 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:48 am

Whats the average time of year Guanella Pass closes for the winter?
Evans is permanently closed frot he winter according to DOT site. They seem to shut
that one down the first snowflake after Labor Day. :?

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Re: October 3rd Suggestions

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:49 am

I think they always close Mt Evans road at Summit Lake right after Labor Day, whatever the weather is.
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Re: October 3rd Suggestions

Postby TravelingMatt » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:54 am

There's unlikely to be enough ice and packed snow anywhere to create "winter conditions", that is, what you'd need winter gear for. If it snows it snows, and crampons and an axe are useless in two feet of fresh snow. Gaiters and snowpants might help.

I've always heard Pikes gets less snow than other high peaks, and is hikable longer without special gear, but I don't live there. Maybe a local can chime in.
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: October 3rd Suggestions

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:19 am

Grays and Torreys would fit your requirements really well. If you're serious about doing class 3, Kelso Ridge is a classic, and access from I-70 just got a lot better when they graded the road last week. =D> It will be crowded, however.

Note that the I-70 side of Guanella Pass is closed by a rockslide.

The west ridge of Quandary is dangerous; if you do go that way, plan on descending the east ridge route and walking back up the Blue Lakes road to your car; the other options are kind of bad (scree, loose rock and/or being stranded overnight on a cliff waiting for S&R to retrieve you).
The men ascended Quandary Peak by the west ridge. But they became disoriented as they descended and lost the route, said Summit County Rescue Group spokeswoman Anna DeBattiste. After realizing they were stuck, the men spent the night on a ledge.

“These people were in almost the same place as the last cliffed-out people in July,” DeBattiste said, adding that they were 10 feet away from the July location.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: October 3rd Suggestions

Postby Guitrwiz » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:29 am

Pikes is much easier via north-west route; nice winter route as well. The peak got some light powder this past weekend but was pretty well melted by end of day yesterday (Sun). Early season (Oct?) is anyone's guess. Guanella Pass Rd I believe is still closed indefinitely at Clear Lake(Georgetown) due to rock instability, but you can do the scenic route via 285 if you want to do Bierstadt. Have fun! :-)

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