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Storm King Peak, a realistic goal?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Storm King Peak, a realistic goal?

Postby rhinos00 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:17 am

Hey everyone! New to this site and I figured this was the best place to come for advice. After climbing Elbert, Bison Peak, Torreys, and Grays this past fall, I've had the itch to start climbing anything and everything, whether it be 13ers, 14ers...anything really. One of the goals I wanted to achieve this summer was to summit Storm King Peak in late July. Couple questions though:

Question #1: Is this a realistic goal given that I only have experience with Class 1/2 summits? Especially since Storm King is a 3/3+.

Question #2: If it is possible, what are some climbs that can get me on the right path to reaching my goal and in what order should I do them?

A little about myself and this trip I have planned. I'm 27 years old and have been a backpacker for about 12 years. I'm in great shape, but really don't have any experience with difficult Class 2+ or Class 3 summits. I'm really serious when it comes to reaching this goal (I've already started training; i.e. running, stairs, hiking, etc.), but I just don't want to get in over my head. Tentatively, I will be traveling with 3 other guys with similar age, shape, endurance, experience, etc. One of them has had some exposure to technical rock climbing, but that was 8 or so years ago.

Anyhow, thanks for the patience. I've just had a difficult time finding information on Storm King Peak. Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated. :D

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Re: Storm King Peak, a realistic goal?

Postby MtHurd » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:53 am

Storm King is similar to Crestone Needle, perhaps a little easier. I'd probably give it a class 3 rating myself, but most of it is loose class 2. Getting to it is more difficult than Crestone Needle. Make an attempt on Crestone Needle first and you will know if you are ready. PM me if you want logistics and route info.

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Re: Storm King Peak, a realistic goal?

Postby planet54 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:56 am

You should develop your route finding skills before you attempt Storm King Peak. There might be some cairns to follow but you can't always trust them,you need to be able to stay on route to stay out of trouble. Also Storm King is a long way from help if something bad happens, it could be a few days before someone can help you. Plan for that.
What peaks should you climb before? It depends on where you live. There are a ton of Class 3 peaks to get comfortable on .
Read guidebooks and look for climbing partners here and elsewhere to get some experience.
You are young and I think that it is realistic for you to climb it . Some people have a knack for it and some don't. The way to find out is practice. Good Luck :)
"The world is a great book,of which they that never stir from home read only a page." St. Augustine
"Climbing K2 or floating the Grand Canyon in an innertube;there are some things one would rather have done than do." Edward Abbey

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Re: Storm King Peak, a realistic goal?

Postby rhinos00 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:19 pm

Thanks for the responses so far! I think part of the allure is that we will be in the middle of nowhere, just to be able to get away from it all makes it worth it. However, one of us does have a SPOT device, so that should help (or give us a little more comfort...)

As far as reading books, I've started to read "Best Summit Hikes in Colorado." Sort of how I got the fever to climb. Anyhow, I currently live in Broomfield and based on the book, I've thought about doing the following hikes to get some experience (in no particular order):

Deming Mountain 2/3
Lead Mountain 3/3+
Mount Richthofen 3
Mount Alice 3
Jasper Peak 2+
Pacific Peak 2+/3
Peak 1-Ten mile Peak Traverse 3

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Re: Storm King Peak, a realistic goal?

Postby rijaca » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:49 pm

It's a realistic goal. As stated previously, your route finding skills on class 3 terrain should be very good. There is no trail to the summit (I don't recall any cairns for that matter) and you are a long way from rescue. Garratt and Martin's Guide to the High 13ers has a route description.
"Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill"

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Re: Storm King Peak, a realistic goal?

Postby gdthomas » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:43 pm

rhinos00 wrote:Hey everyone! New to this site and I figured this was the best place to come for advice. After climbing Elbert, Bison Peak, Torreys, and Grays this past fall, I've had the itch to start climbing anything and everything, whether it be 13ers, 14ers...anything really. One of the goals I wanted to achieve this summer was to summit Storm King Peak in late July. Couple questions though:

Question #1: Is this a realistic goal given that I only have experience with Class 1/2 summits? Especially since Storm King is a 3/3+.

Question #2: If it is possible, what are some climbs that can get me on the right path to reaching my goal and in what order should I do them?

A little about myself and this trip I have planned. I'm 27 years old and have been a backpacker for about 12 years. I'm in great shape, but really don't have any experience with difficult Class 2+ or Class 3 summits. I'm really serious when it comes to reaching this goal (I've already started training; i.e. running, stairs, hiking, etc.), but I just don't want to get in over my head. Tentatively, I will be traveling with 3 other guys with similar age, shape, endurance, experience, etc. One of them has had some exposure to technical rock climbing, but that was 8 or so years ago.

Anyhow, thanks for the patience. I've just had a difficult time finding information on Storm King Peak. Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated. :D


In addition to ramping up on class 3 climbs, you may want to do an overnight trip to treeline with full packs to see how that feels if you already haven't. Missouri Gulch comes to mind.

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Re: Storm King Peak, a realistic goal?

Postby DaveLanders » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:24 pm

That whole area is beautiful. Even though it isn't ranked, and is the lowest peak in the area, I think the east ridge of Peak Eight is
the best climb in that area. Also the Guardian/Silex combo from Leviathan Creek is a nice climb. Storm King is somewhat
loose in places, and I agree with the other comments that you need good route finding skills.

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Re: Storm King Peak, a realistic goal?

Postby rhinos00 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:42 pm

This is all great info guys! In terms of acclimating to the altitude with heavy packs, I think we will be fine. Most recently, during the fall, we did a 2-night stay right at the tree line in the Sangre de Cristos. I believe it was Lakes of the Clouds. We'll still do some overnight trips at high altitude to get ready for this trip once the weather gets warmer. I'm more worried about route finding on ridges lol. Seems like this can be cured with some practice runs on other Class 2+/3 summits. :-k

We're planning for late July. Tentatively, our plan is to leave the Denver area late Thursday/early evening and drive to Silverton (at least get somewhere close) and car camp. That would leave us with a relatively short drive to Beartown on Friday. The way I'm looking at it, we'll have most of Friday and all of Saturday and Sunday to do what we want. Probably hike out Monday morning for a long ride home. So if you have any suggestions, feel free let me know or even shoot me a pm.

So aside from staying in shape this winter, it seems like the consensus is that this is a realistic goal. If that's the case, I'm really looking forward to warmer weather and hitting the mountains for some practice. If there are any in particular that some feel are great gateway into Class 3 summits for a beginner climber, definitely let me know.

Cheers!

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