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Easiest Senior 14er

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Easiest Senior 14er

Postby flipper » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:12 am

Hi folks, newbie posters seeking the easiest way to try 14ing. First some background: Colorado Springs husband and wife in early 60s, reasonably fit and willing to put in the preparation effort, want to make first 14er ascent this Labor Day weekend, drive a RAV4. So we're looking for Class 1 routes, minimal exposure, shortest round trip distance, and good road access. The distance factor knocks out Elbert, Bross, Grays, Quandry, and San Luis. Democrat is temptingly short but its Class 2 routes vote against it. That seems to narrow the field to Handies (C1, E1, 5.5mi) and Lincoln (C1, E1, 6.5mi). We're leaning toward Lincoln because it is closer and offers a Class 2 section that we might take on the descent. Still we worry that we might be overlooking some other factors we should consider and would appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

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Re: Easiest Senior 14er

Postby elkheart22 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 11:15 am

Bierstadt or Sherman would be other considerations.

T..
Lakes below the mountains
Flow into the sea
Like oils applied to canvas,
They permeate through me. --- Jimmy Buffett

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Re: Easiest Senior 14er

Postby glodder » Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:01 pm

Sherman would appear to sound perfect for you, since you're in the Springs and it would be one of the most accessible peaks for you from there. It's also one of the easiest and shortest 14er hikes, I believe.

Todd
"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." - Sir Edmund Hillary

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Re: Easiest Senior 14er

Postby ontopoftheworld » Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:25 pm

Can I ask why you would be against Class 2 routes? The only difference from class 1 to class 2 is that you might have to navigate through a boulder or talus field. That does add slightly more difficulty, but most folks who are fit enough to handle making to the top of a 14er can handle a boulder field as well. I'm not trying to encourage you to exceed your comfort zone, but if you felt comfortable with class 2, it opens up a lot more possibilities. If I remember correctly, even Lincoln has a little section at the end that could qualify as class 2.

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Re: Easiest Senior 14er

Postby coloradonative » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:05 pm

Mt Sherman has been the easiest 14er for me thus far.
take the road less traveled. You might learn something about yourself.

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Re: Easiest Senior 14er

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:46 pm

The reductio ad absurdum of short 14ers is driving up Pikes Peak. :D

Some other options in increasing order of difficulty:
Driving the Mount Evans highway to the end and climbing the last 60 feet.
Driving the Pikes Peak Highway to the base of the final 500' talus field and hiking the rest of the way.
Driving as far as possible up Antero and hiking the road/trail to the summit.
Sherman from the gate at the end of the Leavick road (near the mine ruins).
Bierstadt from Guanella Pass.
Princeton from the saddle where the trail leaves the road.

If you want it to feel like you've earned it, I'd go for Bierstadt.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Easiest Senior 14er

Postby ray06 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:05 pm

I'm also in my early 60's and, assuming you acclimate properly and are in good physical shape, I believe you will find that most of the class 1 and 2 14ers, including the ones mentioned by others in this thread, should be within your capacity. I would especially add Quandary to the list of those mentioned (class 1, 5.4 mile round trip and 3300 feet of elevation gain). It's also good to see a few more of us old timers making physical goals. We can't let the kids have all the fun.

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Re: Easiest Senior 14er

Postby zacob » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:13 pm

Don't just think of the easy ones. Keep with it and you won't belive what is in your reach. on July first I topped out mt Rainier standing atop with my climbing partner and his Father, Bill. Bill is a 69 years old retiree. His determination on the first day kept me moving. The only thing we did to help or compensate for his age was to carry the group gear on the approach his pack was 20 lb lighter than ours but otherwise he was as strong as all the rest of us up there. And as for preperation he stays in shape but is not an exercise freak. he doesn't go running 4 miles a day or lift weights he is about 5'8" and 140 lbs. So don't limit yourself.

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Re: Easiest Senior 14er

Postby elkheart22 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:18 pm

Zacob! havn't seen you post for awile, good to see you are still around.
Lakes below the mountains
Flow into the sea
Like oils applied to canvas,
They permeate through me. --- Jimmy Buffett

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Re: Easiest Senior 14er

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:19 pm

Have you ever noticed that every time someone asks for an "easy hike" recommendation here, eventually respondees will start recommending class 3 routes?
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Re: Easiest Senior 14er

Postby zacob » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:56 pm

Don’t see any recommendations to class three hikes. Just reminders of why I walked away from this site thanks for the reminder.... if I remember you always were a self righteous prick…Time walk away again

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Re: Easiest Senior 14er

Postby moff » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:53 pm

My daughter, dad (who just turned 70) and I climbed Handies last weekend. I figured that would be the most enjoyable for my Dad, including the drive up to the American Basin. Might be a little tricky getting right up to the American Basin trailhead with a Rav4 though, but we did it with an xterra without too much trouble.

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