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Soliciting some suggestions

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby huffy13 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:39 pm

I am looking at the possibility of the Buffalo Peaks....can anyone give me some fairly detailed info on this hike? Would it be a good hike to take a bunch of teenagers on? Looks like a great hike and the TRs I have looked at make it seem feasible.
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.

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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby Jim Davies » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:29 pm

I've done this route (from FS 431) a few times (once as a loop, and another time by retracing the route from the west peak): http://www.summitpost.org/east-loop-route/809834

The routefinding is non-trivial, as you're following old logging roads through the woods for the first few miles, then bushwacking from timberline (even finding the right place to start is tricky). Returning from the west peak also requires bushwacking through some rough wooded terrain and dead-reckoning your way back to the ascent roads. Finally, there are spots on the ridge that are class 3-ish and/or loose talus. It's a fun route, but demanding.

On balance, I wouldn't recommend this route for your group, especially if none of you has done it before.

There's another route from the Buena Vista side that sounds less tricky, but I'm not familiar with it. Another alternative is to follow the trail from the end of FS 431 up Rough&Tumbling Creek, through Buffalo Meadows to the far end, then ascend the tundra/talus to the west peak. This is simpler to follow and has trail most of the way, but longer than the east route. It might be a good choice if you want to backpack it, as there is good camping near the meadows. There's a popular 12-mile loop trail that you could also use to access this area. Here's a CS Gazette story about it:
http://www.gazette.com/articles/peaks-59729-buffalo-colorado.html
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby huffy13 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:44 pm

Thanks Jim,
Sounds like it might be a bit much for some of the kids to handle. I will keep researching. There are tons of 13ers that look awesome and since we are usually a pretty big group (around 20) I really think a 13er is going to be the way to go so I can get the kids out away from crowds. There are so many 13ers, it's just hard to narrow it down and figure out some that aren't too long and then also aren't too hard for these kids.
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.

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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby Lemmiwinks » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:54 pm

Jim Davies wrote:Whatever you do, don't do Princeton.


I'll second that. Haven't done Harvard, so I can't comment there. I have done Yale, and it definitely fits what you're looking for.
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby bigredmachine » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:59 pm

I'd suggest Democrat or Lincoln from Kite Lake. It's close to Breckenridge and Fairplay, the road is pretty good and the scenery is great. The hike itself is fairly short (you can do Democrat/Cameron/Lincoln/Bross in less than 8 miles), the terrain is mostly class 1 with a little class 2.

The only downside is that it will likely be crowded

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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby Shawnee Bob » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:16 pm

I'll throw in for Yale. The steepest parts are above treeline and then the switchbacks to the saddle below the summit; the summit ridge is actually kinda fun, with some good boulder hopping. The summit is not big, however. But it's readily accessible, there are good campsites at Denny Creek and it's close to BV.

You're right about Holy Cross. Not sketchy or anything like that, just a really big day mile-wise and having to gain Half Moon Pass on the way to the summit, and then on the way back again.
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby Tornadoman » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:29 pm

Yale and La Plata would be my votes. Princeton isn't as interesting as those. I haven't done San Luis (well got stormed off on Stewart Creek route), so can't comment there.

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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby Jim Davies » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:28 pm

Horseshoe Mountain from Leavick might be a good choice. Class 1 all the way, interesting geology and mine ruins, and if it isn't enough you can run the ridge to Peerless, Sheridan and even Sherman, and still have an easy return to your car (mine roads connect back from every saddle along the ridge). Passenger cars can readily make it to where the Horseshoe road turns off the road that goes on up the valley to Sherman - this is a good place to park if you're doing a loop.
http://www.13ers.com/routemain.php?route=201208120738083
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby huffy13 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:01 am

bigredmachine wrote:I'd suggest Democrat or Lincoln from Kite Lake. It's close to Breckenridge and Fairplay, the road is pretty good and the scenery is great. The hike itself is fairly short (you can do Democrat/Cameron/Lincoln/Bross in less than 8 miles), the terrain is mostly class 1 with a little class 2.

The only downside is that it will likely be crowded


I have done that one already and I was underwhelmed by that hike....It's amazing how bland that hike is while just to the north, Quandary has much more to offer.

Now that Peerless, Horseshoe route looks a little more enticing.
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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby peter303 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:51 pm

Mt Elbert and stay in the Leadville Hostel.

I've been in the hostel before when school groups have been there. They can devote a floor to a group. Plus the hosts will cook a 5AM warmup breakfast fro the crowd. People do 14ers from there all the time.

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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby huffy13 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:04 pm

peter303 wrote:Mt Elbert and stay in the Leadville Hostel.

I've been in the hostel before when school groups have been there. They can devote a floor to a group. Plus the hosts will cook a 5AM warmup breakfast fro the crowd. People do 14ers from there all the time.



I am actually looking at this as a possibility too. I have heard good things about the hostel and, since I have already done Mt. Elbert, I know exactly what the hike is like. I may even look at some of the 13er hikes in that area. Does anyone have any hiking ideas that start at the independence pass area?
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.

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Re: Soliciting some suggestions

Postby denvermikey » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:29 pm

Jim Davies wrote:Horseshoe Mountain from Leavick might be a good choice. Class 1 all the way, interesting geology and mine ruins, and if it isn't enough you can run the ridge to Peerless, Sheridan and even Sherman, and still have an easy return to your car (mine roads connect back from every saddle along the ridge). Passenger cars can readily make it to where the Horseshoe road turns off the road that goes on up the valley to Sherman - this is a good place to park if you're doing a loop.
http://www.13ers.com/routemain.php?route=201208120738083



+100

Just did Horseshoe and Peerless today with my 10 year old son. Very easy trail (follow an easy 4wd road all the way to 13000' saddle, turn left), very unique looking mountain, plenty of interesting mine ruins along the route, etc, etc. We did Horseshoe and Peerless in just over 3 hrs 15 minutes. We did drive to just under 12,000' though...
You can actually see Horseshoe as you are driving into Fairplay. Really neat mountain.
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