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What are the top 10 toughest 13ers/12ers?

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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Re: What are the top 10 toughest 13ers/12ers?

Postby Scott P » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:13 am

There are a lot more low-elevation technical ranked peaks than 12ers and above


True. Peak 7071 is 3 pitches 5.10. Steamboat Rock, 6 feet short of being a ranked peak, is 5.10 A3. Several of the peaks in Dinosaur National Monument (even the ranked ones) remain unclimbed.
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Re: What are the top 10 toughest 13ers/12ers?

Postby opticstalk » Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:11 am

Which ones remain unclimbed?

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Re: What are the top 10 toughest 13ers/12ers?

Postby tlongpine » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:08 am

Scott P wrote:
There are a lot more low-elevation technical ranked peaks than 12ers and above


True. Peak 7071 is 3 pitches 5.10. Steamboat Rock, 6 feet short of being a ranked peak, is 5.10 A3. Several of the peaks in Dinosaur National Monument (even the ranked ones) remain unclimbed.


Why?
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: What are the top 10 toughest 13ers/12ers?

Postby Scott P » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:29 am

Why?


Loose rock, technical difficulty, remote, and lack of interest.

A zoom shot of the summit block of this one, for example, shows that it is overhung on all sides:

Image

Slowly but surely though, some of the peaks are being picked off.

Peak 7071 was finally climbed in 2010 (it's hard to tell the scale by looking at the photo, but the face you are looking at is over one and a half times higher than the Diamond on Longs).:

Image

At 1600 feet, this ranked peak has one of the highest cliffs in Colorado. Luckily the peak has an easier route up.

Image

The summit of South Split Mountain was finally climbed for the first time in 2012:

Image

Peaks such as 6799 remain unclimbed and are very difficult.

We made the possible 1st ascent of 6489 in 2006 and called it Outlaw Peak, though it's a much easier peak than the surrounding ones, even though it is technical.

http://www.summitpost.org/outlaw-peak/225744

Image

If you look in an updated almanac that list natural arches and bridges you can see that the arch we discovered on the descent of Outlaw Peak is currently known as the world's 13th largest, and the largest in the world that was discovered between 1950 and 2010.

In over 30 years of exploring the region, other than at Harpers Corner and Jones Hole, in the backcountry, not only have we never ran into anyone (including on holiday weekends), but we've never found so much as even a footprint that wasn't ours. We did find one cairn in over 30 years. Other than scattered pictographs, petroglyphs, a couple of historic signatures, and that one cairn, we haven't found any signs of humans. Despite its beauty, there doesn't seem like there is much interest in the other than among the rafters.
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Re: What are the top 10 toughest 13ers/12ers?

Postby Brian C » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:58 am

I'd like to make a trip out to DNM this spring and spend a week out there exploring some of these peaks. Scott, what is the first photo you posted? Seems like a great area to go tromp around with some FA potential.

BC
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"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." - Wordsworth

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Re: What are the top 10 toughest 13ers/12ers?

Postby 12ersRule » Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:14 pm

Brian C wrote:what is the first photo you posted?


Looks chock full of chossy goodness to me.

Thanks everyone for all the replies so far. Some good stuff here, yes, I am making a wishlist from this.

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Re: What are the top 10 toughest 13ers/12ers?

Postby Scott P » Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:18 pm

Scott, what is the first photo you posted?


It's in the Jones Hole area and is one of the unranked buttresses of Diamond Mountain. Plenty of good peaks around there (Jones Hole). Two nearby ranked ones in the Ely Creek drainage are also very technical and have first ascent potential. As far as I know, 6140 and 6235 are still unclimbed.

This is 6140:

Image

Higher resolution:

http://images.summitpost.org/original/411906.JPG

http://images.summitpost.org/original/198186.jpg

It looks like it has several reasonable lines.

I believe this one is 6235:

Image

Higher resolution:

http://images.summitpost.org/original/411912.JPG

It doesn't appear to be extremely hard.

The Canyon of the Ladore South Quad also has some unclimbed ones. 6799 would be extremely difficult and is certainly unclimbed. It probably would require aid, is plagued (or blessed?) with fierce overhangs, and will be much more difficult than the ones above. It's also a lot bigger. 6300 is probably unclimbed, but I think I know of a reasonable route, but very loose.

The highest summit of South Split Mountain was finally climbed in May 2012, but South Split has two ranked summits. I don't know if the other one has been climbed. Probably not since it would be harder to access than the main summit and the main summit wasn't climbed until 2012.
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Re: What are the top 10 toughest 13ers/12ers?

Postby jkirk » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:09 pm

A subjective top 20 hardest list of ranked 13ers - top 10 is a difficult cutoff
(listed by descending elevation):
Jagged Mountain - 13824'
Teakettle Mountain - 13819'
Dallas Peak - 13809'
Ulysses S. Grant Peak - 13767'
Pilot Knob - 13738'
Peak Fifteen - 13700'
Monitor Peak - 13695'
Coxcomb Peak - 13656'
Clark Peak - 13580'
Sleeping Sexton - 13460'
"Heisshorn" - 13411'
Peak Nine - 13402'
Precarious Peak - 13380'
South Lookout Peak - 13380'
"El Punto" - 13300'
"Peak Q" - 13230'
Babcock Peak - 13180'
Lizard Head - 13113'
13060 - 13060'
13017 - 13017'
Since it was mentioned, and most tend to do this peak on its knife edge, it's worth noting "P 2"'s knife edge can be completely avoided by sidehilling below to the SW, making for a comparatively trivial 3rd class ascent.

Haven't finished the 12ers yet (250 left of the 676), (Most notably haven't done Twin Peaks and Turret Ridge), but here's the top 10 subjective list of those I've done:
"Dragons Back" - 12968'
"The Elephant" - 12865'
Dunsinane Mountain - 12742'
12740 - 12740'
Chair Mountain - 12721'
Sharkstooth, The - 12630'
"Angel Knob" - 12580'
12500 - 12500'
"McReynolds Peak" - 12450'
Sheepshead - 12260'

To some degree think I'd replace one of these with Silver Plume, but that's because the last ascent of it I did at the end of December and boots weren't sticking to the rock in subzero temps. Had to rig a handline over the top using webbing. Way more difficult than summer climbing up Teakettle...

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Re: What are the top 10 toughest 13ers/12ers?

Postby TomPierce » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:57 pm

I've done 7 of the 14 originally listed, and have been close on 2 more. Haven't gotten to Turret Ridge yet, but Lizard Head was technically the hardest of those listed that I've led, although the hard part was only 10 feet or so and really wasn't hard at all, just atypically steep and thin for an alpine peak. Very solid rock on the crux. And I wouldn't discount lowly Silverplume. Although it appears many/most? use stacked rocks/logs to top out, for a shorter climber (I'm 5'8"…maybe :lol: ) doing it from the ground up cleanly is an interesting boulder problem. Not 5.0. Finally, I agree with Scott that the hardest peaks in Colorado aren't alpine, but that's just my opinion.
-Tom

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Re: What are the top 10 toughest 13ers/12ers?

Postby justiner » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:00 pm

What's the exceptionally overhanging boulder problem on the summit block of Green Mountain rated as? ;)



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