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1st 14er - Mt Massive

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: 1st 14er - Mt Massive

Postby MtHurd » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:09 pm

On a Monday it shouldn't be too crowded. Even if you had a rental car 4x4, the contract will say not to take it off road. The standard route isn't bad, it's just a longer hike and slightly less scenic, so you might keep that open as an option.

Drive the speed limit through Leadville on your way out, they patrol it even that early in the morning. If you want to go cheap, Leadville has a hostel.

http://www.leadvillehostel.com/home.htm

I've stayed at the Columbine Inn and the Silver King Inn and Suites. Nothing to write home about but acceptable for a night stay. Silver King Inn was a little cheaper than the Columbine Inn.

I'm not much into museums, but my parents said the mining museum they have in town was pretty nice.

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Re: 1st 14er - Mt Massive

Postby Phill the Thrill » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:10 pm

tjwildcat,

I know it's tough to get up that early, but I can't emphasize enough the importance of starting early, as mentioned by others, in order to maximize the chances of successfully summiting. Coming from KY, the hike will likely take longer than you think, especially if you take the standard route on Massive. The SW slopes route is much less crowded and much shorter also. Personally, if I had 2WD and couldn't make the last 1/2 mile, I'd park there and hike the extra 1/2 mile. If you can't start early then you could consider a shorter Sawatch 14er hike, like Huron Peak or Mt. Yale. Enjoy your trip to CO!
"Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it." - Andy Rooney

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Re: 1st 14er - Mt Massive

Postby tjwildcat » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:04 pm

We're planning to do the SW slopes. I'm open to other peaks. I first thought of Mt Evans from Summit Lake because it has a short route that I thought would be better for my wife. She didn't like that idea though. She's now scared of seeing bears or mt lions so getting her on the trail in the dark may be harder than the climb. :D

Thanks for all the advice. I've always enjoyed this site

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Re: 1st 14er - Mt Massive

Postby Phill the Thrill » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:15 pm

Just tell your wife that you bought mountain lion/bear insurance with the package, guaranteeing that you will not see any on this trip. The SW slopes is a fun route - make sure to keep an eye out for the blonde marmots - there are several who make their home on that route.
"Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it." - Andy Rooney

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Re: 1st 14er - Mt Massive

Postby letourneau41 » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:25 pm

That's funny you mention the blonde marmots... I did the route about a month ago and saw a ton of them. Do they stay blonde year round?
Every man Dies, but not every man truly lives.

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Re: 1st 14er - Mt Massive

Postby tjwildcat » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:28 am

Phill the Thrill wrote:Just tell your wife that you bought mountain lion/bear insurance with the package, guaranteeing that you will not see any on this trip. The SW slopes is a fun route - make sure to keep an eye out for the blonde marmots - there are several who make their home on that route.



She knows my company is too cheap to spring for the mt lion/bear insurance.

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Re: 1st 14er - Mt Massive

Postby tjwildcat » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:58 am

We're all set. We leave for CO tomorrow morning. We're spending 2 days around Denver while I work in Aurora the driving to Leadaville Sunday afternoon and climbing Monday morning, weather permitting. Right now it looks pretty bad, thunderstorms predicted until Wednesday.

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Re: 1st 14er - Mt Massive

Postby scalba123 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:36 am

tjwildcat wrote:We're all set. We leave for CO tomorrow morning. We're spending 2 days around Denver while I work in Aurora the driving to Leadaville Sunday afternoon and climbing Monday morning, weather permitting. Right now it looks pretty bad, thunderstorms predicted until Wednesday.


Good luck. GO CARDS!!! :D

Re: 1st 14er - Mt Massive

Postby gonzalj » Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:03 am

Yeah I just did the SW slopes about 2 and a half weeks ago and also saw a blonde marmot. A jeep should be able to make it up to the 4wd SW slope TH (and there's really only 1 potential part that could be 4wd, everything else is definitely 2wd, but ground clearance is needed. I thought that there definitely several steep areas on the SW slopes and it took me about 4 hours to summit, but definitely very scenic and great views (especially once you get above 13,300). Have fun

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Re: 1st 14er - Mt Massive

Postby Frank » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:11 pm

Wildcat, if you don't mind me suggesting you consider changing your plans at this late date...but:

Do Elbert instead of Massive (or, at least 'in addition to'). Don't think Elbert is a push-over, it will definitely test your legs and lungs. Also, more folks to chat with during the hike and on the peak (even if you're not usually socially inclined, talking to other 14er climbers is fun). It's always interesting later on to discuss common climbs with 14er folk if/when you encounter one, and Elbert is a climb that almost all have done. And, I know this sounds a little pathetic, but it's a bit more of a chest-beater to have climbed the highest peak, not the second highest (even tho Massive is a more difficult task than Elbert). There's also a lot more Elbert memorabilia in Leadville. Just my opinion, tho, Massive is still a good choice, you will have a great time no mater which one you do.

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Re: 1st 14er - Mt Massive

Postby MoonNerd » Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:04 pm

Wildcat - how did the trip go for you?

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Re: 1st 14er - Mt Massive

Postby Fred North » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:58 pm

Hi Wildcat. Hope the trip went well. We live in Louisville and hiked Elbert this past summer. Next time you're in Leadville you've got to hit Quincy's for dinner. Great pre-cimb steak dinner at a great price. Send a PM and we can compare low altitude training notes.
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