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1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Have an interesting or epic climbing story? Post it here.
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Re: 1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Postby JROSKA » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:16 pm

Quick question. I noticed in the locked thread that someone made a crack of "I wonder if they hugged each other for warmth??", and then a few others made jokes about it. So why does no one take exception to a comment like that regarding the near-death experience for these women; yet speculation about a few weather / go / no go decisions throws folks into an absolute tizzy?? People are weird . . .

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Re: 1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Postby VagabondSurveyor » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:22 pm

I was kinda wondering the same thing..

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Re: 1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Postby rickinco123 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:25 pm

martinleroux wrote:
rickinco123 wrote:Their account makes no sense to me. Why were they looking for Clark's arrow? What beta would have told them to do that? They needed to head toward the homestretch which is fairly obvious and well cairned. Did they end up on the Loft? Did they exit out Keplingers?


Their account seems clear enough. When they refer to Clark's Arrow they mean the final part of the traverse that starts at the Loft, crosses Keplinger's and finishes up the Homestretch. The traverse to the Homestretch may be fairly obvious in normal conditions but at the time visibility was down to 20-30'. There's nothing in their account to suggest they were looking for the painted arrow itself, and they certainly weren't trying to do the traverse in reverse back to the Loft. It's also clear that they descended the way they came up, i.e. Keplinger's.


They gave out GPS coords that show them on the Loft and they kept refering to "downclimbing" to get back to the Keyhole route and Clark's arrow. I guess in this instance I am taking things a little too literal, they are calling the top of Keplinger's the "Clarks' Arrow". Where would they get that idea from? I still see a lot of confusion in their story.

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Re: 1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Postby rickinco123 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:30 pm

crossfitter wrote:Wouldn't you have felt like a jackass if it was a typical short-lived storm and the sun came out 3 hours later? I'm not saying that decision was right, but I think most people wouldn't have done anything different - and that's the point.


Answer to 1st question.... No.

You are wildly speculating. Having been on Keplingers, I would have turned back in this situation, especially after getting in there and seeing how rotten that ravine is. From their story, it does not seem to me they did an excellent job either assembling their beta or understanding it.

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Re: 1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Postby TallGrass » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:50 pm

JROSKA wrote:Quick question. I noticed in the locked thread that someone made a crack of "I wonder if they hugged each other for warmth??", and then a few others made jokes about it.

"... we carried appropriate gear, including a small backpacking tent, a 2-person 30 degrees F sleeping bag, ultra-light sleeping pads, ..." PDF link :-k

lodgling wrote:Maybe we can agree to focus some criticism on Backpacker? Granted, I've only been on Keplinger's twice and I was going down both times, but isn't this a crappy way to climb it? http://www.backpacker.com/media/originals/RockyMountainNationalParkGrandLoop95507.jpeg Isn't it much better to stay climber's left in the gulley/couloir and avoid most of the traversing below Palisades? Or is the route drawn in red the way to do it (if at all) when the snow is gone?

So would #1 be Longs, #2 "Southeast Longs", and #3 Mt. Meeker? I also see "VABM 14,251" so would that be a VA (?) Bench Mark for SE Longs or just a shoulder of Longs proper?

OTlongs.JPG
OTlongs.JPG (135.39 KiB) Viewed 443 times
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

Re: 1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Postby lodgling » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:11 pm

OTlongs.JPG
OTlongs.JPG (255 KiB) Viewed 378 times

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Re: 1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Postby Monster5 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:15 pm

The account states they were searching for "the entrance" to Clark's Arrow and wished to "go through" Clark's Arrow. If they ascended Keplinger's, which they think they did, then there is no reason to start at the Loft, descend Clark's, and cross Keplinger's. They'd already be at the top of Keplinger's! Perhaps slightly right for the easier scrambling. Just hook a left at the Palisades.

Previous posters have already mentioned that the GPS route incorrectly goes far right of Keplinger's up to the Loft. The same website provides a route picture which shows the proper route left of the GPS track, however the ladies might not have been able to see the proper route in poor weather (they probably didn't have service until the Loft, so phoning in a forecast would be tough). I likely would have made the same decision as them given their current information and circumstances, though with better route familiarity.

They followed the incorrect GPS track until the batteries died. I think that is where the issue began and why those experienced with the route are confused; they didn't actually take Keplinger's Couloir, either up or down.

From their description and the GPS, I think they left Keplinger's couloir early:

longs.jpg
Ladies took yellow, Keplinger's is left of orange or optional orange (no big deal)
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Now, there's baseless, ignorant speculation with poor facts (like the original thread), and there's also informed speculation. Now that we have their statement, speculation actually has a basis. But of course, my opinion isn't valid because I'm a 20 something and the majority of posters here are actually 30s-60s with fully developed, functioning brains and an inherent wealth of mountaineering knowledge.
"The road to alpine climbing is pocked and poorly marked, ending at an unexpectedly closed gate 5 miles from the trailhead." - MP user Beckerich

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Re: 1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Postby rickinco123 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:18 pm

Nicely done Monster5. Awesome. That has me even more amazed. Keplinger's is such a natural line. Even in poor conditions they should have been able to find it and if conditions were that bad they could not find the couloir, it was a definite no go...... at my risk acceptance level.

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Re: 1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Postby rickinco123 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:25 pm

From their report:
We had no idea whether the highly unusual weather would continue or even worsen.


I have read nothing unusual about the weather on Longs Peak. Windspeeds have been recorded up there over 200mph. Not sure expectations were lined up with reality here.

If anything, it can get a lot worse.

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Re: 1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Postby Hungry Jack » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:31 pm

Unless one had significant experience on the Loft and in Keplingers beforehand, I don't think one would stand much of a chance of finding one's way from Keplingers to the Loft in crappy weather.
I need more dehydrogenase.

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Re: 1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Postby BHallDDS » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:38 pm

longsroute.jpg
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From their first-hand account when they talk about "downclimbing to find Clark's arrow only to end up at 200 ft cliffs", this makes me think they went up either the yellow, red or even the green route (therefore, not Keplinger's at all) and then ascended to the tops of the Palisades (indicated by the green arrows) hence, being at the edge of the cliffs. I've never been in either of those couloirs some I'm not sure how nasty they are. But if they are anything like Keplinger's, certainly gross.

Why's everyone getting all butthurt by the analysis? Get over it. It's fun.

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Re: 1st Hand Account of Women Stuck on Longs

Postby 12ersRule » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:45 pm

BHallDDS wrote:Why's everyone getting all butthurt by the analysis? Get over it. It's fun.



all this speculation is like a trip to the dentist

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