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Challenging but safe mountains?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Challenging but safe mountains?

Postby GreenEyedMonster » Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:51 am

Howdy guys,

I'm really interested in getting into mountaineering. However, I really don't want to die or get my loved ones killed by convincing them to come with me. I welcome the physical challenge but don't want to take unnecessary risks that I see so many mountaineers willing to accept.

So, what I'm basically looking for is a list of mountains in North America that are extremely challenging to climb physically but without the cliffs that will kill you with one wrong step and without the random fatal environmental factors which are out of your control such as avalanches, crevasses, falling boulders, huge ice formations hanging above you that you pray don't collapse, etc. I'd also really prefer to avoid vertical rock climbing as well which require ropes and harnesses which could kill you if they fail. Being out of the reach of relatively quick emergency services is also a big no-no for me. I don't mind hiking through snow or mountains that demand great cardio or facing rough (but safe) conditions.

Yeah, I know you guys probably think I'm a wuss but that's just the type of ultra-safe climbing I'm personally interested in. Maybe as I get more competent/bored I'll move up to the more dangerous climbs.

There's gotta be people out there who have the same climbing interests as me so I'm interested in reading your input.

Thanks a million in advance!
Last edited by GreenEyedMonster on Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Challenging but safe moutains?

Postby jsdratm » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:49 am

Just look for the class 1 or 2 peaks and you should be pretty safe. There are a lot of mountains where you are walking up an alpine slope with no exposure at all.

Re: Challenging but safe moutains?

Postby LynnKH » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:26 am

A list of peaks that are challenging but totally safe doesn't really exist IMO. If you want to climb some exciting peaks and minimize your risk, 1) start small and work your way up to gain the skills and knowledge you need for harder mountains, 2) find loyal hiking partners with the same safety mindset, and 3) make safe choices when you are actually on the mountain. Start with the "easy" class 1's this summer, meet some friends while you are on the trail, and go from there.

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Re: Challenging but safe moutains?

Postby mattpayne11 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:46 am

LynnKH wrote:A list of peaks that are challenging but totally safe doesn't really exist IMO. If you want to climb some exciting peaks and minimize your risk, 1) start small and work your way up to gain the skills and knowledge you need for harder mountains, 2) find loyal hiking partners with the same safety mindset, and 3) make safe choices when you are actually on the mountain. Start with the "easy" class 1's this summer, meet some friends while you are on the trail, and go from there.


I really could not agree more. Even class 1 "walk-ups" have dangers associated with them, albeit, these can mostly be mitigated through common sense and a little education.

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Re: Challenging but safe moutains?

Postby JEyez » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:35 am

Meeker.
Last edited by JEyez on Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Challenging but safe moutains?

Postby MtHurd » Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:45 am

Mountaineering is too dangerous. I would look for another hobby.

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Re: Challenging but safe moutains?

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:34 am

Ask about a more specific location and I'm sure you'll get some serious answers. And "Colorado" is not a specific location.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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Re: Challenging but safe moutains?

Postby Gahugafuga » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:36 am

Barry Raven wrote:Mountaineering is too dangerous. I would look for another hobby.



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Re: Challenging but safe moutains?

Postby peter303 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:41 am

Ironically, popularity like in "14ers" may contribute to safety. The "goat men" (and ewes) have clearly marked possibly the safest trails to the summits and documented them. Plus passing company means potential help if you get in trouble. This is not good news if you like solitude.

The popularity factors applies to hikes in major national parks too like Yosemite and Rock Mountain: relatively safe marked trails with lots of company.

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Re: Challenging but safe moutains?

Postby peter303 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:42 am

Summitpost.org lists thousands of peaks both above and below 14,000 feet all over the states and world.
The trip reports can be useful.

Re: Challenging but safe moutains?

Postby AndYouSeeMe » Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:44 am

Sounds like you will fit in perfectly around here, since the only mountaineering that meets your criteria is of the armchair variety.

On a more serious note, Lynn's post is dead on, no safe mountains, only safe mountaineers who mitigate risk factors via experience, knowledge, choice of partners, common sense, and luck from objective dangers.

Get out, live a little, and have fun!

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Re: Challenging but safe moutains?

Postby Boggy B » Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:22 am

My trolldar is going nuts. =D>

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