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Mount Meeker Questions

Colorado 13er peak questions, condition requests and other info, including topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports, Condition Reports
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Mount Meeker Questions

Postby SilverLynx » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:48 pm

Looking at my options for the weekend and Meeker is one of several ideas. I have been craving this mountain's summit for 2.5 years now...

What are the easiest routes up Mount Meeker and how can I best access them? Is it easier to do it from Sandbeach via Dragon's Egg Rock or from Longs Peak Trailhead via another route? Round trip distance?

Would a difficult route on Meeker (like Iron Gates) be too complicated this time of year?

I heard conditions were pretty snow-free for the most part right now - can someone verify that? Granted there is supposedly snow on the way and I will take that into account.


Thanks!
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Re: Mount Meeker Questions

Postby rickinco123 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:17 pm

I've been procrastinating on a trip report from Keplingers in August. It will be loaded with beta. I ended up going back on a large part of the Meeker trail on my descent. The approach trail that runs along Hunters Creek is quite good. There is a little dead fall here an there but it goes. Take the Sandbeach trail and when you hit the foot bridge over Hunter's Creek you will see the trail right next to the bridge. You have Southern exposure on Meeker from this side so it might work now unless there is a big dump up there. Both trails are gradual and smooth, very easy hiking.

GPS signals are difficult along that part of Hunter's creek ( signal reflection? ). It is easy to shoot a point off the dragon's egg ( or whatever its called ) and the peak proper, since you are following the creek you can track your progress where these vectors intersect with the creek, quite convenient.

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Re: Mount Meeker Questions

Postby goingup » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:17 am

http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=14537&cpgm=tripmain&ski=Include

Got Meeker via the Iron Gates a couple weeks back. LOVED the route. Fairly good description and pictures in the beginning portion of my trip report. There was barely any snow to contend with until we hit the Loft route on the way to Longs.

I am new to mountain climbing so for me going from Meeker Ridge to Mount Meeker was the most exposure I have ever experienced however I did not feel the scrambling was unmanageable. It was a ton of fun. Also you get amazing views going this way.

Hope this helped some.
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Re: Mount Meeker Questions

Postby cougar » Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:26 am

the most direct route and probably easiest is up to the Loft then over to Meeker, which is about 10-11 miles round trip, most of it on trail. Getting up to the Loft will be icy rock in spots, especially the exit ramps, and some snow. There's been above average snowfall in some areas to the north this fall, don't know about Longs but it seems drier. The route from Sandbeach Lake/Dragons Egg Rock is very long (maybe 16-18 miles and more elevation gain). Similarly there's a route up Meeker Ridge from the east (Camp Malo area). Any of those longer routes will be exposed to wind.

Re: Mount Meeker Questions

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:01 am

Note: Loft looked like a slog fest in sugar right now. There may be a boot pack, but kinda doubt it due to the wind.

If you go Loft make sure you know the route (not terribly difficult). If you find yourself climbing steep ice on slabs you didn't take the left turn :)

Have fun.
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Re: Mount Meeker Questions

Postby flyingmagpie » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:23 am

I agree with cougar. Meeker was elusive for me. My first attempt was up Meeker's east ridge. I was turned back very high by rain and slick rock. To descend, I came down the Iron Gates route (either way is a big talus hop). Twice I gave up coming in from Hunter's Creek and Sandbeach Lake. I was just too tired by the time I reached the final, imposing and huge pyramid of the mountain to climb it. I finally succeeded by going up the Loft. There are many advantages to the Loft route. First, you are on a big, established trail most of the way--until the final push up. This time of year, it is good to be on trails and routes that aren't too remote, just in case you get into trouble. Second, the Longs trailhead is higher than Wild Basin trailheads, so there is less total elevation gain. Third, if you have ever hiked to Chasm Lake, you know most of this route already. Fourth, you climb up to the Loft, and the Meeker summit is right there, close and easy. The crux of this route is the ledge you must cross right after you exit the initial ascent gully. There will be ice here this time of year, and the ledge slopes downward toward a big drop. A number of people have slipped off this ledge, even in summer, and died in the fall. Microspikes at the least, and preferably crampons are called for here. You should be climbing with at least a partner, preferably a group. The first time, I climbed it solo in summer and felt comfortable. I have gone up a number of times since, twice to catch Meeker again, and at least twice to go up Longs past Clark's Arrow. I have also descended the route at least two additional times that I remember. I really like the route because it offers some spectacular and different views of some beautiful country. Good luck. Enjoy. But be especially careful on the ledge.
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Re: Mount Meeker Questions

Postby Dave B » Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:40 am

My one time up Meeker was via Dreamweaver, but descended via Iron Gates and, despite the fact that the last stretch dropping though the gates is a miserable sliding scree fest, the route is really not to be missed. Traversing along the precipitous eastern ridge and the views of the Diamond, Ships Prow and Upper Kieners make it worth while. There is some good exposure between Meeker Ridge and Meeker proper, but nothing incomprehensible, IMO.

Good luck, it's such a purty and under appreciated peak.
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Re: Mount Meeker Questions

Postby bohlsen » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:29 am

Agree with some of the previous posts: Iron Gates is an incredible route (on of my all time favorites) and not too difficult although I've only done it in the summer. I'd imagine snow/ice wouldn't be too much of an issue for most of the route and might actually help hold the scree in place in the area below the actual Iron Gates. The final traverse across the knife edge would probably be pretty dicey though if it gets covered in rime.
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Re: Mount Meeker Questions

Postby d_baker » Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:26 am

Lynx, you should do the Iron Gates route. If you get to Meeker Ridge and you're not comfortable crossing it, I bet you still will be glad that you had gone that way.

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Re: Mount Meeker Questions

Postby CarpeDM » Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:15 pm

d_baker wrote:Lynx, you should do the Iron Gates route. If you get to Meeker Ridge and you're not comfortable crossing it, I bet you still will be glad that you had gone that way.


Agreed!
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Re: Mount Meeker Questions

Postby AndYouSeeMe » Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:33 pm

We already slogged up Hunter's Creek for Pagoda, no need to do that again.

Iron Gates is the way to go!

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Re: Mount Meeker Questions

Postby unclegar » Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:45 pm

I think that Iron Gates or the Loft would be the way to go. The Loft has the advantage of not having to cross the knife edge. Just make sure you go to the summit closest to Longs since it is the true summit. It is easy to think the other summit is higher. Agree with a lot of what has been written here. Iron Gates is pretty straightforward. Go through the gates and gain the ridge. Follow the ridge. The Loft is also not too hard to find as long as you stay off the cliffs to your right and left until you make a left turn at the exit ramp. From there make your way to the Loft proper and then follow the ridge up Meeker. Definitely some caution advised on the icy areas on both routes.
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