Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

First winter 14er

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
User avatar
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:18 pm

First winter 14er

Postby Castlerock23 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:03 am

Okay, so oddly this feels like posting a personal ad, but I guess in a way it is! I have had on my list of goals to conquer the elusive- but attainable - winter 14er. I feel I am ready - I had it on my list the last couple of years, but a hernia 2 years ago and odd arthritic issue last winter precluded me from attempting such. Too much information probably, but I recovered well enough to bag 4 this year, a personal record. So, I am ready to hit the potentially snow-covered and wind-blown peaks. What I would like is a person or persons who would like to do one of the "easier" (with all due respect) peaks sometime over the coming true winter months. I am self-employed so my schedule is flexible. Perhaps anyone potentially interested or in the same boat would like to just keep in touch as the the winter approaches. Also would be interested in some pre-winter hikes to get ready. Thanks....

User avatar
Posts: 473
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:26 pm
Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Re: First winter 14er

Postby Fisching » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:10 am

Join the Winter Welcomer: http://14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=41588&p=504390#p504390

It's a good opportunity to experience conditions that are similar to what can be expected during winter, and you can meet a lot of people who climb during the "off peak" months.
Peter Aitchison on the risks of rock climbing and mountaineering: "That's life, isn't it? We think the challenge and satisfaction you get from doing this is worth the risks."

"Respect the mountain. Train hard. Hope you can sneak up when it isn't looking."

"The mind is always worried about consequences, but the heart knows no fear. The heart just does what it wants."

User avatar
Posts: 5264
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 am
Location: Craig

Re: First winter 14er

Postby Scott P » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:55 am

Kessler (my son) and I would be happy to join you a few times this winter.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

Re: First winter 14er

Postby Urban Snowshoer » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:49 am

The best 14er, if you’re shooting for winter, would probably be Mount Bierstadt; the Guanella Pass route tends to be windscoured, so you’ll probably spend most of your time, above treeline, simply walking. My last winter ascent of the peak was when the entire Guanella Pass road was plowed in the winter, making for easy access. The road isn’t plowed in its entirety anymore, so I don’t know how close you can get to the trailhead now.

Posts: 374
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 11:54 am

Re: First winter 14er

Postby uwe » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:02 pm

Quandary gets my vote

User avatar
Posts: 535
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:25 pm
Location: Broomfield, CO

Re: First winter 14er

Postby smoove » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:11 pm

I think Sherman via the winter route on this site is easier than either Bierstadt or Quandary. Just make sure you stay on the route.

User avatar
Posts: 5264
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 am
Location: Craig

Re: First winter 14er

Postby Scott P » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:29 pm

I think Sherman via the winter route on this site is easier than either Bierstadt or Quandary. Just make sure you stay on the route.


It depends on the road closure. Last winter I'd agree that Sherman was easier than Bierstadt or Quandary, at least when we did it in January. In 2006 though, it was harder because we had to walk/ski/snowshoe much more of the road.

If the road is open, Sherman is probably the easiest 14er unless you drive or train up Pikes.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

User avatar
Posts: 535
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 2:25 pm
Location: Broomfield, CO

Re: First winter 14er

Postby smoove » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:37 pm

Scott P wrote:
I think Sherman via the winter route on this site is easier than either Bierstadt or Quandary. Just make sure you stay on the route.


It depends on the road closure. Last winter I'd agree that Sherman was easier than Bierstadt or Quandary, at least when we did it in January. In 2006 though, it was harder because we had to walk/ski/snowshoe much more of the road.


Right. I've done Sherman a few times in the winter and the road closure certainly affects the distance. But it's easy, flat distance on the road. I think the Guanella Pass road is a little more challenging to walk with the snow (but cutting a couple switchbacks brings the distance down a bit). Quandary has a good deal more gain in a shorter distance. Just my opinion on these three, obviously. All good winter starters. As always, the weather and one's physical and mental state on any given day can have a major impact on the perceived difficulty.

User avatar
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:03 pm
Location: Castle Rock, CO

Re: First winter 14er

Postby colokeith » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:55 pm

+1 on the recommendation for winter welcomer. It is a good time.. There is usually a January Quandary as well which is similar, but will earn you a snowflake :D

I will be looking to get several winter 13er/ 14ers so feel free to message me if you are looking for a partner. I am most interested in ridge routes close to Denver. I have been saving Bierstadt for winter as well. Based on your name I am guessing you are a fellow resident of Castle Rock, which would make for convenient car pooling.
To climb is to push yourself in a way you might not normally imagine is possible. If your stamina, skill, and luck are sound you will get to stand on top. ... I realized that with climbing, I'd found something that nourished my soul and could forge me into a better version myself - Jim Davidson

Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:52 pm

Re: First winter 14er

Postby seanmstewart » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:15 am

How are Elbert / Massive in winter? Slash what month would be best to climb them and what type of gear would they require?

I've done Dead Dog and a couple other couloirs like that in the IPW, but I have always waited until Spring for that kind of thing. Do the walk-ups like Bierstadt just require, at most, snowshoes?

The key question is access.

Postby Urban Snowshoer » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:59 am

seanmstewart wrote:How are Elbert / Massive in winter? Slash what month would be best to climb them and what type of gear would they require?

I've done Dead Dog and a couple other couloirs like that in the IPW, but I have always waited until Spring for that kind of thing. Do the walk-ups like Bierstadt just require, at most, snowshoes?


Mount Bierstadt, via the standard route from Guanalla Pass, merely requires snowshoes. This route tends to be fairly windscoured, so you will likely reach a point where you can take off your snowshoes--leave them somewhere, or strap them to your pack--and walk the rest of the way to the summit.

The issue you really need to consider, more than anything, is how long of an approach are willing to accept. Are you willing to winter camp? If the answer is no, you need to seriously consider how far you'll have to travel from the road closure to the trailhead. Some 14ers can be climbed, in winter, without winter camping and some can't.

User avatar
Posts: 5264
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 am
Location: Craig

Re: First winter 14er

Postby Scott P » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:24 am

How are Elbert / Massive in winter?


Neither have anything technical on the standard winter routes and the standard winter routes are almost always safe from avalanches. Just don't wander off route though!

Mount Massive is by far the harder of the two because the approach is longer and because the trail is seldom broken.

Slash what month would be best to climb them and what type of gear would they require?


March would perhaps offer the best chance the easiest time in the calendar winter, but this varies with conditions (or even day to day). March gets more snow, but the snow is usually a bit more firm, the days are much longer than in late December/January, and it's usually not quite as cold. Of course the difficulty during and after a big snowstorm will change.

The standard winter route on Elbert does not require an ice axe. Other routes do.

Depending on conditions, an ice axe is useful for Massive (often times the steep section is blown clean of snow).

You need snowshoes or skis and very warm clothing. The wind can be brutal. On these two mountains, the main difficulties are the wind and cold rather than technical difficulty.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests