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I wish I wouldn't have done that one....

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I wish I wouldn't have done that one....

Postby tators_tots » Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:27 pm

We all have those bonehead mistakes that we've made that we kick ourselves for. I'm wondering what mistakes in the mountains all of you have made that can be shared to spare us all from the pain/humiliation of making the same mistake or at least give us all a good laugh.

My bonehead mistake occurred a couple years ago when some friends and I were going to climb Bierstadt. I was looking at a guidebook while driving to the trailhead. I came to a fork in the road and I elected to go right. Right took us to a parking lot with a few other cars in it and we believed it was the trail head and we found a very nice trail. There was a registration board there but we didn't look at it. We took the trail for about an hour and then it ended. Our map didn't match with anything. Being set on climbing a peak, we started bush whacking our way up and eventually got to a ridge. We climbed the ridge and I was stoked to get to the top and find a summit log. I was ticked however when I read the summit log which read ‘Mount Wilcox’. I just about threw that summit log down the mountain. We then bush whacked our down the mountain, and ended up going through a ton of willows and down a small stream to get back to the original trail. Hiking down a stream will kill a man and is only for a fool.

I would put a simple 'moral to the story' to conclude this story but there are too many morals to be learned here to even shake a stick at.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful.
-Hebrews 10:23

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Postby JHopper » Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:38 pm

don't BS with your friends so much you don't pay attention and miss the trail head.

we did La Plata a couple of weeks ago and went 2 miles down that road before we realized we missed the trail head.

We still summited that day but could have done without the 4 mile warm up..lol

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Postby Floyd » Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:46 pm

Tried LaPlata from the Winfield side. Started predawn and didn't see the trail. I went up the trail by the gate next to the register. Climbed the wrong mountain. At least I have an unnamed 13er summit to my credit.

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Postby tators_tots » Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:00 pm

Climbing some stupid 13er you didn't even know was out there instead of the 14er you wanted is like kissing your sister.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful.
-Hebrews 10:23

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Postby Doug Shaw » Fri Jul 13, 2007 5:06 pm

Floyd wrote:Tried LaPlata from the Winfield side. Started predawn and didn't see the trail. I went up the trail by the gate next to the register. Climbed the wrong mountain. At least I have an unnamed 13er summit to my credit.


If I am interpreting your description correctly, that's actually the right trail... you just turned the wrong way at the saddle. :)

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Postby coloradokevin » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:38 pm

g wrote:Starting too late. That's my biggest one.


I do that more often than I would like too! It is the most irritating thing about working a shift that doesn't end until after midnight!

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Harvard/Columbia traverse

Postby jford » Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:46 pm

We were summitting Harvard when 4 teens were descending. I asked why they didn't continue on to Columbia since it was 9 am and still had time. They said it looked hairy and decided not to try it. We're 44 and thought "how bad can it be, it's a Grade 2 Class 2"....Well, we now know we are never going to try Grade or Class 3!!! We climbed ACROSS scree for 4 1/2 hours. When we got home after 13 hours of hiking, we saw a post on 14ers that said climbing down to Frenchman's Gulch actually saves time (even though you're going all the way down and then all the way up the mt.) and is the 2,2...If that post had been a day earlier, we would have known... :cry:
Mark and Julie
Colorado Springs

Postby KevinK » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:38 pm

tators_tots wrote:Climbing some stupid 13er you didn't even know was out there instead of the 14er you wanted is like kissing your sister.


So you spent a day in the mountains, had the summit of a nice 13er to yourselves (while about a million were packed onto Bierstadt), and lived to tell about it, that must have been horrible for you. :-({|=
Oh mama ain't it good to be alive
On your mountaintop and feeling high

-Railroad Earth

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Postby Bullwinkle » Fri Jul 13, 2007 9:48 pm

That note may have been mine. Frenchman Creek Basin is normally the fastest option from Harvard to Columbia and, in an emergency, is the only real bail-out option down to the Colorado Trail--which is a substantial distance from where you would normally leave your car. The only benefit in that option is departure from brutal weather or severe injury.

My worst decisions are a couple times when I violated my own rule: Stick to the climbing plan. In each case I planned and equipped myself for a single ascent. Then, feeling pretty good and ahead of schedule, I got greedy and did some difficult doubles. The first time my wife called the police on me for not showing up even remotely when I committed to. The second time was a painful, wet and cold 13 hour day. Some doubles like Grays/Torreys are no big deal; others can put your life in imminent jeopardy.

That brings up an important issue to members of this forum. There is a wide array of skill levels and experience represented here. And some with lesser skill just got lucky the first few times out. We need to be very careful in encouraging novices to "go for it" or underplaying risks. What is a completely doable for some may be severe jeopardy for others.
As a mountain more fully reveals itself to a man, so the true nature of the man will be more fully revealed

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Postby tators_tots » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:05 pm

tators_tots wrote:
Climbing some stupid 13er you didn't even know was out there instead of the 14er you wanted is like kissing your sister.


So you spent a day in the mountains, had the summit of a nice 13er to yourselves (while about a million were packed onto Bierstadt), and lived to tell about it, that must have been horrible for you.
_________________

It was not horrible for me. I was thankful for a day spent on a mountain with just my friends and I'm even more thankful that none of use were hurt. I made a big mistake by not reading the directions to the TH completely and that could have put us into some series trouble. You are very much correct in pointing out that there was a lot of good about that day.

The only bad part about that day was getting to the top of Mt. Wilcox, thinking we had made it to the top of Bierstadt and then finding out that we had not.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful.
-Hebrews 10:23

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Postby Scott P » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:15 pm

...

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Postby Floyd » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:27 pm

Doug Shaw wrote:
Floyd wrote:Tried LaPlata from the Winfield side. Started predawn and didn't see the trail. I went up the trail by the gate next to the register. Climbed the wrong mountain. At least I have an unnamed 13er summit to my credit.


If I am interpreting your description correctly, that's actually the right trail... you just turned the wrong way at the saddle. :)


Unfortunately, I was in the wrong drainage. I didn't have sunlight until I had completely gained the ridge, I may have made a wrong turn below treeline, but I'm heading for the standard route next time.

I was hiking over extremely loose talus around some abandoned mines. When I gained the ridge, I noticed the next drainage over was where I wanted to be. The ridge between LaPlata and the 13er I was on was pretty nasty. I turned around and summited Huron (I had hoped for both that day though)

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