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Easiest 14er?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby CRSpeedy » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:47 pm

Grays, Torreys, Quandary and Bierstadt are all great first climbs in my opinion. Sherman is a good one as well, as long as they don't mind a bit of exposure on the ridge. I took my girlfriend, mom, my moms friend, and two dogs up Sherman for all of their first, and was surprised by how skinny the ridge was. Not a big deal--just wasn't expecting it on what I had heard was the easiest fourteener out there.

The thing I didn't like about Sherman, though, was the flat summit. There's just something more special about standing on a traditional style "peak", versus standing on a slightly higher point on a relatively flat path.

If I could do it over again, I would have taken them up Grays and Torreys or Quandary instead.

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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby headeulogy » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:34 pm

Hey everyone, I'm new here, and thinking about doing my first 14er this weekend. This thread brings up a questions for me. Since I am not experienced, I figured I would start with the Mountains on this 14ers site that are grouped by difficulty. http://www.14ers.com/routes_2.html If this site is saying that Mt. Elbert is the easiest, are you all saying that this is wrong? Or is you reasoning for easiest hike combination of the views, difficulty of the hike, how far away it is from Denver/Boulder?

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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby Andy » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:37 pm

headeulogy wrote:Hey everyone, I'm new here, and thinking about doing my first 14er this weekend. This thread brings up a questions for me. Since I am not experienced, I figured I would start with the Mountains on this 14ers site that are grouped by difficulty. http://www.14ers.com/routes_2.html If this site is saying that Mt. Elbert is the easiest, are you all saying that this is wrong? Or is you reasoning for easiest hike combination of the views, difficulty of the hike, how far away it is from Denver/Boulder?

In the list you referenced, the peaks marked "easiest" are ordered by their elevation, not their difficulty within the category "easiest". Like others have said, Bierstadt, Grays, Sherman, etc are easier than Elbert because they are shorter mileage wise.
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby CorduroyCalves » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:39 pm

headeulogy wrote:Hey everyone, I'm new here, and thinking about doing my first 14er this weekend. This thread brings up a questions for me. Since I am not experienced, I figured I would start with the Mountains on this 14ers site that are grouped by difficulty. http://www.14ers.com/routes_2.html If this site is saying that Mt. Elbert is the easiest, are you all saying that this is wrong? Or is you reasoning for easiest hike combination of the views, difficulty of the hike, how far away it is from Denver/Boulder?


Compared to the other 14ers mentioned in this thread, I wouldn't classify Elbert as being easy.
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby smoove » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:01 pm

Bierstadt. I've taken four 14ers newbies up that one and they all made it. Granted, two of them said it was the most difficult physical thing they'd ever done (but it's all relative, right?).

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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby JayMiller » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:09 pm

pika says:
Ok. I thought maybe you could infer that I said "hike" that I wanted to do some hiking. Howerver, walking up and riding the cog train down sounds like a great idea!

Not such a good idea. The Barr Trail starts at the Cog Rail. It's 7,500 ft of vertical and about 13 miles one way. The trailhead at Craigs Campground is over 30 miles from the Cog Rail. The trail from Craigs Campground is a steep old climb until you reach the shoulder leading to The devil's playground.

I agree that Sherman is the easiest. With only 2,100 ft. of vetical from the Four Mile Creek Trailhead and only 2,850 if you start from Leavick Site. That said, I wasn't much impressed with the views from Sherman. There are some interresting mines.

I think Bierstadt is the next easiest. First it's only 2850 ft of vertical gain and 200 of that is on the way back. That means the actual climb in only 2,650 vertical feet. Also it's kind of divided. You hike a mile of so losing about 200 ft to get your legs warmed up. Then you have a bit of a climb to the shoulder. Then it's flatten out for bit to give you a bit of a breather. Then you have a not so terribly steep slope to the boulders and a little boulder hopping to he summit. The views are better than Sherman IMO.

Quandary is, I think, the hardest of the three. It's 3,450 feet of vertical gain. It to has some flatter trail sections to give you a bit of rest. I think the views from Quandary are close or as good as the views from Bierstadt.
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby mtn_hikin » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:33 pm

CO Native wrote:There's got to be some sort of parameters, or hands down it's Pikes Peak. Drive or take a train to the summit, get a burger at the restaurant, buy a t-shirt in the gift shop and ride back down. Even Evans requires you get out of your car and hike 50 feet to get to the summit.

You can also drive to the very summit of Bross, but it takes a more capable vehicle and then of course there's the trespassing issues.


Thats perfect, hit REI on the way out, buy a bunch of new gear and then ride the cog. When you are finished offer to buy the gear for half price from them since its used.

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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby Tory Wells » Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:32 am

JayMiller wrote:pika says:
Ok. I thought maybe you could infer that I said "hike" that I wanted to do some hiking. Howerver, walking up and riding the cog train down sounds like a great idea!

Not such a good idea. The Barr Trail starts at the Cog Rail. It's 7,500 ft of vertical and about 13 miles one way. The trailhead at Craigs Campground is over 30 miles from the Cog Rail. The trail from Craigs Campground is a steep old climb until you reach the shoulder leading to The devil's playground.


To clarify some misconceptions on Pikes........it is possible to buy a one-way ticket down (from the summit) if there is room on the cars for you. I was there on a Saturday a couple weeks ago and was forced to ride the cog down due to blistering on my feet after running up the Barr. The one-way ticket is $20 and, again, is dependent on there being space for you. I was alone so it wasn't too hard.

It would be possible to hike from any TH on Pikes and ride the Cog down, although it would require a vehicle shuttle.
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby Mooney Pilot » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:02 am

headeulogy wrote:Hey everyone, I'm new here, and thinking about doing my first 14er this weekend. This thread brings up a questions for me. Since I am not experienced, I figured I would start with the Mountains on this 14ers site that are grouped by difficulty. http://www.14ers.com/routes_2.html If this site is saying that Mt. Elbert is the easiest, are you all saying that this is wrong? Or is you reasoning for easiest hike combination of the views, difficulty of the hike, how far away it is from Denver/Boulder?


In that list the easiest hikes are ranked in order of elevation, with the highest (Elbert) listed first.

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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby CO Native » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:06 am

Also, that list is based on a easiest being the least technically challenging. Not which one takes the least amount of effort.
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby nativedad » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:25 am

Any thoughts on reclassifying the categories e.g. instead of "easiest" etc. maybe lableing the peaks "challenging", "more challenging", "most challenging"....maybe that could help alleviate some misconceptions as to the level of exertion necessary for a summit. I am not sure that any of the hikes are truly "easy" for a great majority of people (including myself).
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Re: Easiest 14er?

Postby nativedad » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:36 am

.....scratch that last post, a little further reading and there is a lot of info on the class ratings of the peaks already available on the site..... #-o .....apparently I like to see myself talk.
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