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Class 2+ with dogs

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
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Class 2+ with dogs

Postby MountainDawg » Wed May 23, 2012 8:07 pm

My dog Syrus has 19 summits under his belt. Most of them being the easy hikes. Tabeguache and Yale gave him some trouble. I plan on climbing Lindsey, Missouri, Massive and Holy Cross in the near future. I would like to take him with me without the possibility of turning back only a few hundred feet from the summit because he couldn't make it. He is a four year old, 100 pound, collie/healer mix. He did summit Yale, however, the 2+ down climb move on Tab from the Jennings creek side near the summit was a no go. Thoughts?

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Re: Class 2+ with dogs

Postby DaveSwink » Wed May 23, 2012 11:36 pm

Massive and Holy Cross would not be difficult for an agile dog. Your dog sounds huge for his breed mix, so I will leave assessing his comfort on rough talus to you.

I would not recommend Missouri for a dog. The ridge has a couple sections of steep, slippery scree and there is a short downclimb (16 feet?) that could be very challenging for a dog.

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Re: Class 2+ with dogs

Postby peter303 » Thu May 24, 2012 7:09 am

Many people have claimed to have done every 14er with their little best friend and I believe them.

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Re: Class 2+ with dogs

Postby edhaman » Thu May 24, 2012 11:44 am

The scree gulley on the standard route up Lindsey might pose a problem for a dog, both from the standpoint of the dog negotiating the loose rock and being able to dodge rocks knocked down by climbers above.

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Re: Class 2+ with dogs

Postby JB99 » Thu May 24, 2012 12:22 pm

MountainDawg wrote:I would like to take him with me without the possibility of turning back only a few hundred feet from the summit because he couldn't make it.


I would say that if you would rather make the summit than have your dog with you then you shouldn't bring your dog. That said we got our family Golden Retriever (RIP) up Lindsey many years ago (she also made it up the West Ridge on Quandary, so she wasn't a bad climber), so it's certainly doable. Haven't been up the standard on Massive but we descended that way and if I remember right it wouldn't be bad for a dog. Missouri has the one down climb that might be tough, but like others have said, dogs have been up every 14er, and Missouri isn't one of the harder ones, so it's certainly possible. Haven't been up Holy Cross, so you'll have to see what others say about that one. Either way though, if it's about the summit more than being with the dog, I'd leave the dog at home and go for that summit. I hiked up Grays several times last summer just for the sake of taking the dog up a 14er that would be fun for him, but when it came time to head to Little Bear, doggy stayed home. (LB is on the extreme end of things, but if it was any climb that there was a question of the dogs ability to make it and I cared about getting to the summit I'd leave the dog home.)
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Re: Class 2+ with dogs

Postby doggler » Thu May 24, 2012 1:55 pm

Bring the dog. Leave the wanker.

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Hixon and Brownie rockin' it atop Blanca.
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Re: Class 2+ with dogs

Postby Floyd » Thu May 24, 2012 3:23 pm

edhaman wrote:The scree gulley on the standard route up Lindsey might pose a problem for a dog, both from the standpoint of the dog negotiating the loose rock and being able to dodge rocks knocked down by climbers above.


couldn't agree more. I would try to make sure you're the only one (or first/last one) on the mtn if you take them up Lindsey - a week day or a REAL early start. I had a close encounter with a microwave in that gully on the descent (human activated). Being in there with your dog and a crowd may quickly elevate you to one of "those" dog owners that people keep referring to in these threads. Floyd, my 85# yellow lab, has done a handfull of peaks too, Castle/Conundrum probably being the hardest and I wouldn't want him on anything harder, but that's just me as I'm very protective of my pup. I think it would be cool for him to be on a 14er in each range though. He's missing the Sangres and Humboldt would be the only potential there to satisfy my standards but hopefully a 13er or 2 can satisfy his list he keeps buried in the backyard.
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Re: Class 2+ with dogs

Postby BKS » Thu May 24, 2012 4:23 pm

For whatever its worth, here's my experience on those peaks with my 40# wheaten terrier, Samson.

Missouri and Massive were both easier for Samson than Yale. The crux on Missouri is a smooth steep dirt ramp (maybe 45 - 50 degrees) with some small embedded rocks that provides some handholds for a human. He ran up and down both without hesitation. The summit ridge on Yale however has some larger talus that requires a dog to jump and hop from rock to rock. He gets a little tentative in jumping down 2 -3 feet onto angling talus. We could have taken the time to find a better route, but it was easier to lift him down in a couple of spots. I didn't help him on the up however. The summit ridge on Massive is mostly a trail, I didn't help the dog up or down through any boulders or ledges.

I climbed Lindsey but not with the dog. In the bottom 1/3 of the loose gulley mentioned above, there is a step up of about 3 feet or so that I'd have to lift my dog up. Also, Samson gets a little tentative in sliding, shifting rocks like what the Lindsey gulley has. Loose shale he doesn't mind, but larger stuff that would hurt his legs he doesn't like.

Samson has done two other 2+ routes - Castle and Sneffels. Castle (NE ridge) has several steeper smooth ramps like Missouri. He had no problem on these. Going down the NW ridge however in the loose junky ledgy rock, he had to be lifted down a couple of times. He had trouble doing the larger boulders in the upper coulior of Sneffels.

So for us, its large talus and boulders that my dog has trouble with, but steep smooth stuff where he can get his claws in, no problem.

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Re: Class 2+ with dogs

Postby MountainDawg » Thu May 24, 2012 11:27 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I had my doubts about Lindsey and Missouri. I think the real issue for my dog is the scrambling on larger talus. Does anyone have a photo of the steep down climb on the Missouri ridge?

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Re: Class 2+ with dogs

Postby DaveSwink » Thu May 24, 2012 11:38 pm

[quote="MountainDawg"]Does anyone have a photo of the steep down climb on the Missouri ridge?[/quote]

There are several good photos near the end of rjansen77's trip report: [url]http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=10926[/url]

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Re: Class 2+ with dogs

Postby Jeremy Bauman » Thu May 24, 2012 11:46 pm

A few years ago my dad and I brought two of our labs on Uncompaghre and Wetterhorn. Uncompaghre wasn't a problem, however we didn't think they could make it up the last little scramble on Wetterhorn. We told them to stay where they were, thinking they would be too scared to continue.

We finish the climb and after a couple minutes we see them wagging their tails coming to greet us.

Image

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But it all depends on your dog. My dog, "tipper" (the black one in the photo), trusts me completely and will let me carry her up and down technical sections of trail. She's quite the climber too and has made it up some short bits of 5.4 or so. With her, I would probably take her on some of the 4th class 14ers no problem, but honestly it all depends on your dog and how much they trust you.



Jeremy

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Re: Class 2+ with dogs

Postby Waggs » Sun May 27, 2012 5:53 am

MountainDawg wrote:Thanks for the feedback. I had my doubts about Lindsey and Missouri. I think the real issue for my dog is the scrambling on larger talus. Does anyone have a photo of the steep down climb on the Missouri ridge?


You can see the dirt trail, middle right-ish in the pic, hits a short solid rock portion then turns to dirt again and exits lower left. Was no problem for my (then 10 mos. old) lab:

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We then descended via the Iowa/Emerald saddle.
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shadow_crop.jpg (97.24 KiB) Viewed 237 times


Jeremy Bauman wrote:A few years ago my dad and I brought two of our labs on Uncompaghre and Wetterhorn. Uncompaghre wasn't a problem, however we didn't think they could make it up the last little scramble on Wetterhorn. We told them to stay where they were, thinking they would be too scared to continue.

We finish the climb and after a couple minutes we see them wagging their tails coming to greet us.


I'm finding, too, that my dog is probably far more capable than I realize (but that's a good thing). When I get through a tough section of trail I turn around to see how the dog is doing. More often than not, his nose is in my crotch and he's looking up at me and appears to be saying, "whatdjoustopfor?"

One thing I do keep in mind is that he will attempt everything I do so I do pick out easier solutions. When I have no choice he'll find his own solution (and I love to watch him work!)

Waggs
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