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Intro to class 3

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby somethingrandom » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:22 am

At this point, not sure if the OP is still looking for suggestions, but I will second (or third) the Bierstadt East Ridge.

I did this route with Derek as my first class 3+ 14er and there are a few things to keep in mind about it. First, I think the most 'dangerous' part of the route provided you take your time on the ridge, is the descent into Abyss Basin from the parking spot. It is steep and loose shitty rock for about 700-800'. If you dont make the Sawtooth, you have to go back UP that pile of crap. If you do make The Sawtooth, dont underestimate it, that is a really, really long day with very few bailout times. Having not done the Sawtooth, I cant make recommendations on it.

Most importantly, and why I recommend this route is you can make it as hard as you want. Generally the harder parts of the climb have lower exposure. The extreme exposure is on the easier parts (the exposure is there though). A few times we made it more difficult than class 3 for fun. Follow the route described here and it is a great hike. It was also fun making our way up to the summit of 200 people wearing helmets :D

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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby SurfNTurf » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:32 am

I can't believe no one has mentioned the Diamond on Longs Peak yet. It's the perfect starter Class 3. I did a few laps up and down it this summer with my friend's poodle Cuddles and it was freakin' SICK. The rock is really solid and the exposure is pretty manageable. The trail is easy to follow because there are huge cairns. It's probably more of a Class 2+. You can downclimb it to make it a little more interesting. Actually what I meant when I said I climbed it with Cuddles was that I looked at it through binoculars from a few miles away.
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arguing about Ice Mountain

Postby Brian Thomas » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:41 am

SurfNTurf wrote:I can't believe no one has mentioned the Diamond on Longs Peak yet. It's the perfect starter Class 3. I did a few laps up and down it this summer with my friend's poodle Cuddles and it was freakin' SICK.


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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby scott goldberg » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:04 pm

my suggestion for an introduction to class 3, would be Pettingell Peak's east ridge...it has all kinds of possibilities (exposure, route finding), it's close to Denver, and you can even make some easy class 4 moves if you're feelin' it.

and, you'll probably have it all to yourself.

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Re: Intro to class 3

Postby Jay521 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:54 pm

uw_m77 wrote:my suggestion for an introduction to class 3, would be Pettingell Peak's east ridge...it has all kinds of possibilities (exposure, route finding), it's close to Denver, and you can even make some easy class 4 moves if you're feelin' it.

and, you'll probably have it all to yourself.


+1 on that route. I did a TR on this last fall - it's a GREAT route!
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