NY 46er to CO 14er

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: NY 46er to CO 14er

Postby highcomm » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:56 am

I've climbed a few 14'ers and I've hiked in the White Mountains extensively. Hiked Mt. Marcy in NY a couple of weeks ago (tough, wet hike!). Bad things can happen to a hiker in the East as well in CO. Of course, the terrain and the weather are a little different. The altitude in CO is a big factor. Just do your research before you climb a 14er and prepare for the worst. This web site has an amazing amount of info to help you. Good luck and have fun!
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time."

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Re: NY 46er to CO 14er

Postby nyker » Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:11 pm

Hey doodleman,

In addition what everyone has said here, which has all been good:

Some of the other differences between Colorado and the Adirondacks include wildlife! (so make sure you bring a good
camera on your hikes).

While in NY, you may run into the occasional deer or bear, red-ailed hawk, possibly a coyote. Out on a trail in Colorado
you may see mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, deer, marmots, pika, golden eagles,
possibly bobcat, moose (not too common), or black bear, coyotes, fox, maybe even a mountain lion (rarely though).
Pronghorn are seen also along the roads, especially further south midpart of the state down.
Oh, yea, don't forget Bigfoot. LOL.

One of the key differences for me is the altitude and the need to go slower - in the 'daks, I can move as quickly as I want
and don't get out of breath unless I am really pushing it; above 10-12,000ft, I am moving slower the first few days for sure.
You'll also drink more water at the higher elevations due to the drier air among other things, at least to begin with,
maybe one you're here for a while, you'll not notice a huge difference.

Also, in NY, few summits have great views (maybe Marcy, Algonqin, a couple others) with many covered in trees,
but once you are above treeline in CO, the views are awesome and are reason enough to walk them. What this
also means, as many have mentioned, is that there is more exposure to the elements and weather, lightning, etc.
The skies are huge here and you can see for miles with more diversity in the landscape than in upstate NY.

75% of time I do a hike upstate NY, my legs and pants are covered in mud. I rarely get that muddy in Colorado.

Another difference, I hate to say it, but most people I run into on a trail in Colorado are just plain nicer than those I see in New York
and almost always say hello and/or stop and chat. I've been on countless hikes in NY where even with nobody else on a trail,
I'll pass somebody and they won't even look up...

Solitude - I've been on many 14ers and other less travelled trails in CO and been alone on the summit or on trails
for hours...try that in the daks in the summer!

Also, not sure where in NY you live but most peaks in Colorado are with a few hours drive to the trailhead.
From NYC or Long Island, the Adirondaks are a full day drive up (unless I leave at like 2AM, then maybe its 6.5hrs drive).

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Re: NY 46er to CO 14er

Postby aliciaf » Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:39 pm

Hey Doodleman! My boyfriend and I just moved from Upstate NY (1/2 hr north of Albany) to Colorado about 2.5 months ago. We didn't really hike too many of the 46ers in NY, but we did a few and we've done a handful of 14ers since we've been here. There are a lot of differences between hiking in NY vs. CO, but many people have already commented on those. Main points.... having to start earlier due to chance of storms (you can start later, but it will suck to turn around due to weather so close to the summit); better views at the top; having to take it a bit slower due to altitude changes; different trail conditions and wildlife. Overall, I really prefer hiking in Colorado over the ADKs. There are places to hike that are more wooded from what I've seen online and heard, but I don't think the views will be as good at the end.

As far as the hikes being "scarier" because of higher exposure, etc., you really get used to it. Start out with easier 14ers like Quandary, Bierstadt, Grays/Torreys and then work your way up. The website has Exposure ratings for all of the routes. The lower exposure ratings really aren't bad at all!!

Good luck on your pending move. My boyfriend is a mechanical engineer and actually had been applying to jobs while we were still in NY for about 6-8 months before he even got an interview. So, I'd start ASAP for sure.

Where in Upstate NY are you living?

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Re: NY 46er to CO 14er

Postby peter303 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:00 am

There's plenty of "in-between" territory from 5,000 to 14,000 feet to build your skills and confidence on before going after the main summits.

In the winter I hike or run trails in the foothills on the west side of town- Lakewood, Golden, Boulder.
You can maintain strength and balance there.

Another idea are "quickies" off a mountain pass like Loveland, Echo Lake(Evans), Berthoud, Vail, Independence, Trail Ridge, etc.
That gets you up to above-treeline terrain and views fairly quickly. Several of these are accessible in the winter, some closed.

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Re: NY 46er to CO 14er

Postby mtn-grown » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:29 am

I spent many years in upstate NY, Vermont, NH, Maine (basically all over NE). Beautiful in the fall, but honestly can't compare to the west for the other 11 mos. of the year, especially if you climb/hike and like great weather. The limited access in the east sucks, along with way too many safety police/regs. There seems to always be a ranger/cop or a sign telling you not to do this, dont do that, blah blah blah. You see a big meadow of the fresh lake effect lol and you cant go bust it. Nice slab of granite, nope cant climb that, its restricted. And I agree people are generally kinda rude. Maybe its just me, but no one back there has ever stopped to chat for a sec, or share a libation, etc. I've had day hikers walk by as I'm taking a break and they shield their children, like I'm frickin Dahmer or something. Nothing like the laid-back folk of this great state. Colorado rules for pretty much everything, IMHO.
Anyway I wouldn't hesitate to make the move, you have some valid concerns but those will be alleviated quickly. If you plan your adventures accordingly you'll probably be fine, there is obviously more risk here than a walk in the ADK's but bigger rewards too. The real concern is finding a decent job in this crap economy.
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Re: NY 46er to CO 14er

Postby Scotzman » Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:52 am

Really enjoyed the info in this thread; I am looking to do the same transition from ADK 46er to CO 14er. Curious if Doodleman ever made it out...
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Re: NY 46er to CO 14er

Postby peter303 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:41 am

2/3rds of the 14ers have basic "walk-up" trails. Not that up to 7,000 feet of climbing and 20 miles is a breeze. But doesnt require special technical equipment.

I's recommend doing you first ones in the summer- June-Sept- to get a feel of it. After that you can expand your scope to full year. There are plenty of lesser hikes and endurance activities you can do in the non-summer months to prepare.

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Re: NY 46er to CO 14er

Postby djkest » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:54 am

Might not be a bad idea to hit up a "12er" first before you go straight for the 14ers. There are plenty of good 12er hikes that will get you out above treeline. You'll want to see how your body reacts to altitude and how your water consumption is. Funny thing about the water, I've "ran out" of water a couple times, but on a dayhike I've never stopped to filter or treat water- I always bring what I think I'll need.

Interesting thing about this thread, I'm contemplating doing some East Coast hiking next year.. hopefully I can make it out there. Wondering if I can move a little quicker out there- maybe, but if it's muddy that will slow me down.
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Re: NY 46er to CO 14er

Postby Scotzman » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:12 am

Oh yes I plan on working my way up to the 14'ers and getting acclimated to the altitude and such; while I have goals of working on the 14ers I by no means plan to neglect those of lesser height. The 14'ers, as with any type of list, are a sexy thing to go for but I know from experience that there are many gems and joys to be had outside of those "on the list". :)
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What we do in life echoes in eternity.

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Re: NY 46er to CO 14er

Postby LetsGoMets » Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:53 am

I spent about 25 years in Burlington VT before moving to Denver (with a couple year lame stint in Dallas, TX) and put back about 95 of the 115 peaks of the Northeast 111 club (4000 footers encompassing the ADK's, VT, NH and Maine). You will thoroughly enjoy climbing out here!

Plan on starting much earlier in the morning during the summer months out here, and generally getting acclimated to high elevation if you haven't spent much time in it before. I've just begun the 14er quest (10 down two months) but I've found it really helps to practice scrambling/basic rock climbing skills where you can. Challenge yourself to get used to exposure that we don't have normally in the Northeast, depending on what you are climbing of course.

Out here we started with some of the standard Class 1 peaks (Grays, Torreys etc) and then have worked myself into some more challenging routes for practice (such as the West Ridge of Quandary) and even playing around on the Flatirons.

You won't regret the move, enjoy! Track your climbs on hundreds of lists. It's super cool (and free), for iOS and Android devices.


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