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Best 13ers and routes

Colorado 13er questions, conditions, and other info should be posted here. Also includes topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports
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Best 13ers and routes

Postby tlongpine » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:25 pm

As I hike and climb I'm becoming more aware of the qualities that personally distinguish a great climb from a good climb (or even a bad climb).

For me, one of the most important qualities is sustained difficult class 3, class 4 or low class 5 above treeline.

I've rounded out a list of non-standard routes for the 14ers that should whet this appetite, but I'm curious to explore routes on 13ers that fit the bill.

Any recommendations?
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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Re: Best 13ers and routes

Postby TravelingMatt » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:39 pm

Yes. Get thee to the Gore Range.
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!
-- Alexander Pope

Re: Best 13ers and routes

Postby Chicago Transplant » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:04 pm

Grenadiers in the Weminuche. Vestal Peak's Wham Ridge Center Shift Route and the north face of West Trinity were fun tech routes (5.7 and 5.5 respectively). Trinity Traverse and Arrow standard route were also quite fun, mostly 3rd. Arrow also has a north ridge route that is tech, and I think so does Electric? Garfield was like a mini Eolus in some parts and pretty fun as well. Its is pretty much a dream backpack trip for hardened scramblers, we did a 4.5 day version (pack in day 1, Trinities day 2, Wham/Arrow day 3, Garfield/Graystone/Electric day 4 with pack to Elk Park, pack up to Molas morning of day 5) but it probably is better as a 6 day trip.
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Re: Best 13ers and routes

Postby RyGuy » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:10 pm

The Apostles Traverse and several of the Tenmile peaks (Pacific, Drift, Fletcher) all have some good stuff that fits the bill.
"Climbing mountains is the only thing I know that combines the best of the physical, spiritual, and emotional world all rolled into one." -Steve Gladbach

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Re: Best 13ers and routes

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:33 pm

I always thought RMNP had the best alpine rock in the state hands down, most of these are low 5th class (5.9 and under)

ypsilon - blitzen ridge - 5.4
sharkstooth - north east ridge, not a 13er but still a great climb. 5.6
meeker - flying buttress - 5.9
mount alice - central ramp - 5.6
notchtop - spiral route or south ridge, 5.4 or 5.9
spearhead - northridge, 5.6
hallet peak - culp bossier is regarded as the best route but I haven't done this one, goes at 5.8+
pagoda - crescent ridge, 5.6, and north face is supposed to be good but i haven't done that, it goes at 5.7
Chiefshead - birds of fire, a little more difficult at 5.11, a friend of mine did this and said "the cruxes are bolted but it's not a sport route" so pay heed.

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Re: Best 13ers and routes

Postby seanmstewart » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:09 pm

Mt. Neva
South Arapahoe ridge traverse to North Arapahoe (my favorite hike in CO)
Mt. Meeker via Meeker Ridge
Navajo and Apache Peaks (Navajo Snowfield -> 4th class chimney to Navajo -> South Ridge to Apache)
Lone Eagle Peak (Solo Flight is Class 4, the north face 5.7)

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Re: Best 13ers and routes

Postby MatB » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:06 pm

Hey Sean,

How is the downclimb on solo flight for Lone Eagle? Is it manageable without a rap (being somewhat comfortable with class 4 down climb)? I know it is entirely relative but curious about your thoughts regardless.
"Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived,'"
- Dalai Lama, when asked about what surprises him the most about humanity

Re: Best 13ers and routes

Postby Furthermore » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:08 pm

More of the notable 13ers that fit your criteria would be in the South Sangres near Sand Lake and the Storm King Group in the San Juans. Good rock and plenty of class 3-5 options. There are almost too many 13ers to mention that could fit that criteria.

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Re: Best 13ers and routes

Postby seanmstewart » Thu Sep 12, 2013 6:34 pm

MatB wrote:Hey Sean,

How is the downclimb on solo flight for Lone Eagle? Is it manageable without a rap (being somewhat comfortable with class 4 down climb)? I know it is entirely relative but curious about your thoughts regardless.


Definitely don't need a rap. I think they only call it 4th class because it's a downclimb. If you have experience climbing any kind of 5th class stuff it will be a piece of cake, or even if you just have experience doing 4th class stuff.

It's not any tougher than Neva. I took approach shoes in my pack but didn't use them.

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Re: Best 13ers and routes

Postby MatB » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:20 am

Thanks Sean. I've been wanting to attempt that route for some time and that area is awesome.
"Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived,'"
- Dalai Lama, when asked about what surprises him the most about humanity

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Re: Best 13ers and routes

Postby SchralpTheGnar » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:52 am

highly recommend lone eagle.

The north face route is great, and it's overall pretty easy, mostly low 5th class with only one pitch of 5.7, which is to this day my favorite pitch of all time. the downclimb off the top of solo flight is easy; however, the scree,loose talus, heinous rock fest from the top of the ridge down to the basin was significantly more difficult. I wouldn't want to climb up that, but maybe we were on the wrong route.

Camping at crater lake and the backpack up the cascade falls trail is worth the trip alone, sublime area.

Re: Best 13ers and routes

Postby AndYouSeeMe » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:47 am

The Billy Traverse of the Williams' group off Indy Pass.

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