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LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?

Location of the Spring Gathering?

Castle/Conundrum (Castle Creek TH)
38
45%
Shavano/Tabeguache (Shav/Tab TH)
20
24%
Mt. Yale (Dispersed camping near Avalanche Gulch TH)
4
5%
Mt. Elbert (S. Elbert TH)
5
6%
Mt. Lindsey (Lily Lake TH)
11
13%
Grays/Torreys (Stevens Gulch TH)
7
8%
 
Total votes : 85
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LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Postby SurfNTurf » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:31 am

My main criteria for suggesting locations were the availability of a large free camping area, easy-ish 14ers in the immediate vicinity and 13ers in proximity. I've only been around since ~2010, so if any of these are recent repeats, don't vote for them. :wink:

I excluded the San Juans from the poll because they'll either be too difficult with snow for beginners, were the site of a recent Gathering (Lake City), or would raise concerns about large groups traipsing around in secluded wilderness (San Luis). Otherwise, all ranges are represented.

*Please keep in mind that some of these areas may still have dangerous avalanche conditions and difficult trailhead access early in the season.

Sites of Recent Gatherings (as far back as my memory goes...)
Winter 2010-11: Horn Fork Basin (Harvard/Columbia)
Spring 2011: Missouri Gulch (Missouri/Belford/Oxford)
Fall 2011: Lake City (San Juans)
Winter 2011-12 (x2): Mt. Massive and Holy Cross
Spring 2012: Horn Creek (Sangres)
Fall 2012: Marble (Elks)
Last edited by SurfNTurf on Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper

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Re: LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Postby mtn_nut » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:38 am

I think the sangres would be great. Voted for lindsey.

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Re: LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Postby SilverLynx » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:41 am

If I go, C & C. I need them and none of the other mountains on this list. Mother's Day is probably not the best day for me to ditch my mom and go to Aspen, though...
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Re: LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Postby Scott P » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:50 am

Castle and Conundrum are great peaks and beautiful early spring, but they are also some of the most potentially dangerous 14ers when it comes to avalanches.

If conditions are good, then they would make great climbs, but the problem is that it's hard to plan in advance for such conditions (I have climbed Castle in mid April and had great conditions, but we couldn't plan in advance for them). They might be excellent, but have a plan B as well.

Also, I'm sure that you already know, regardless if there is snow on the road or not, in the spring, the gate is locked at Ashcroft and you have to hoof it in from there. If you plan on a one day ascent, get a very early start in order to still be on top before the sun softens the snow. Given the length of the approach in spring, 1:00 am is not an unreasonable time to start a one day ascent.

I'm voting for Grays and Torreys just because there are so many different types of routes available (Dead Dog, Kelso Ridge, standard, etc.), though depending on when it is done, some of the couloirs might not be in condition yet (?) and avalanche conditions will have to be stable (if not perfect, you just just switch to a ridge route).
Last edited by Scott P on Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Postby SurfNTurf » Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:56 am

Scott P wrote:Castle and Conundrum are great peaks and beautiful early spring, but they are also some of the most potentially dangerous 14ers when it comes to avalanche.

If conditions are good, then they would make great climbs, but the problem is that it's hard to plan in advance for such conditions (I have climbed Castle in mid April and had great conditions, but we couldn't plan in advance for them).

Also, I'm sure that you already know, regardless if there is snow on the road or not, in the spring, the gate is locked at Ashcroft and you have to hoof it in from there. If you plan on a one day ascent, get a very early start in order to still be on top before the sun softens the snow. 1:00 am is not an unreasonable time to start a one day ascent.


When does that gate open? I did Castle/Conundrum last 5/12 and it was a fairly easy daytrip from the bridge crossing. Never encountered a gate. Granted, it was a record-low snow year and I'd be very wary of trying these peaks before mid-May. When I keep saying that some of these choices might not be possible if April 20 is the selected date, Castle/Conundrum was what I had in mind.

Scott P wrote:I'm voting for Grays and Torreys just because there are so many different types of routes available (Dead Dog, Kelso Ridge, standard, etc.), though depending on when it is done, some of the couloirs might not be in condition yet (?).


Exactly. And again, in mid-May, the couloirs stand a good chance of being in condition.
Last edited by SurfNTurf on Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Many Miles to Go (Blog)

“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper

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Re: LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Postby Scott P » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:01 am

When does that gate open? I did Castle/Conundrum last 5/12 and it was a fairly easy daytrip from the bridge crossing. Never encountered a gate. Granted, it was a record-low snow year. I'd be very wary of trying these peaks before mid-May. When I keep saying that some of these choices might not be possible if April 20 is the selected date, Castle/Conundrum was what I had in mind.


Unless things have changed in recent years, usually not until around Memorial Day.

It was definitely closed on our trip in mid April, even though most of the lower road was dry:

http://www.summitpost.org/castle-peak-trip-april-15-16-2006/189147
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Re: LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Postby MountainHiker » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:07 am

I voted Shavano mainly because I wanted to stay with a shorter drive. (and there's a potential for a good glissade) I'd also be fine with Grays Torreys. In recent years the springs have been goofy, so I was also voting to stay with a tamer mountain. My avatar is near the summit of Castle June 5, 1999. We got to snowshoe in much of the way that day.
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Re: LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Postby Lemmiwinks » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:09 am

I voted Castle Creek, but I'd ultimately be ok with any of those options (except maybe G&T).
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Re: LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Postby SurfNTurf » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:12 am

I voted for the S. Elbert TH because I have my eyes on a nearby couloir, but it appears I'll be in the minority. :lol:
Many Miles to Go (Blog)

“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper

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Re: LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Postby nkan02 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:38 am

Snowpack is still pretty low, and barring a miracle (lots of snow in late March - April), a lot of lines will be melting out by mid-May. I am ok with most of the choices (esp C&C, Shav/Tab and Elbert), as long as there are some skiable lines in the vicinity

ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/CO/Snow/snow/watershed/daily/basinplotark13.gif

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Re: LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Postby semitrueskerm » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:46 am

Castle & Conundrum! I'm totally into that idea. Plus...it's near a place where the beer flows like wine, and women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano...

Re: LOCATION POLL - Spring Gathering

Postby dubsho3000 » Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:46 am

Has there been discussion of the dates? Maybe I missed that.

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