Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

First Fourteener Suggestions

Items that do not fit the categories above.
User avatar
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: First Fourteener Suggestions

Postby Ed Matthews » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:46 pm

I would also advise a less challenging first fourteener, there isn't a lake to camp at but what about a Bierstadt and Evans combo on the Sawtooth, that way if you decide Bierstadt is enough you can climb down. However if you feel good you can go for it! Just based on my limited experience, mountains like Longs are a pretty big endeavor and it is pretty different from the experiences that you have. While I am sure that you are technically sound (judging from you having the ability to rope up) and you have done winter mountaineering in NH, 14ers are different animals, it isn't so much that they are technical (many are though) but they are long and strenuous and altitude can sneak up on you if you haven't been acclimated to it. I always tell people who have never done one that there are no "easy" 14ers, of course some are easier than others but they all require a good amount of effort. But it does depend on the individual so, have fun, and stay safe!

A side note, if you do not need to do a 14er I would highly recommend a backpack in at 4th of July Mine outside of Nederland, and camping close to Lake Dorothy, from this area you can climb South Arapaho (13er) or Mount Neva which offers a very fun little ridge climb at over 12000 or so. There is so much to see and do up there.

User avatar
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:21 am

Re: First Fourteener Suggestions

Postby mtree » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:05 pm

Ed Matthews wrote:
A side note, if you do not need to do a 14er I would highly recommend a backpack in at 4th of July Mine outside of Nederland, and camping close to Lake Dorothy, from this area you can climb South Arapaho (13er) or Mount Neva which offers a very fun little ridge climb at over 12000 or so. There is so much to see and do up there.


Excellent idea! Highly recommend! Now THAT is a fantastic plan. Indian Peaks offers ALOT for every ability.
"Cool Prius!" - nobody

User avatar
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:21 am

Re: First Fourteener Suggestions

Postby mtree » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:52 pm

By the way, relating hikes in the White Mountains to Colorado 14ers. First and foremost, the highest peak in NH is Mt. Washington...a bit over 6000ft. You'll be starting your 14er climb at 8000-9000, but more likely 10,000ish. That's HUGE. I know the difference between the areas. I've climbed Washington, Jefferson, Monroe, Canon, Willard (sp?), Lafayette, and a couple others I'm sure. It's been awhile.

I've climbed Washington via Tuckerman's Ravine. That's a great warmup to 14ers. However, you don't spend nearly as much time climbing above treeline on unstable rock. I'm not talking dangerous rock or real loose rock. I'm talking rock. Solid rock. That is tough on the feet, ankles, knees, etc. Most of NH mountain hikes include lots of time on dirt trails through forest. There are steep climbs, but still easy on the legs...especially when you have trees and branches to grab. Weather is the issue in NH, but it's wind, ice, snow, and fog. These can also be in CO. The difference, CO weather includes alot of lightning which kills you quickly. Be mindful.

So, altitude, steepness, hard rock, and length will all come into play. It's an exponential equation of difficulty. Nonetheless, choose wisely and ENJOY YOUR CLIMB!
"Cool Prius!" - nobody

Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:56 pm

Re: First Fourteener Suggestions

Postby Michael56 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:53 pm

OK, Ed and mtree,

Not sure I NEED to climb a 14er...it seems that's the obvious goal but it's certainly not an ego thing. Beautiful and remote country is really appealing. It seems that's what you're talking about with the Dorothy / Neva area. It looks great. Seems like we could fiddle around and have a lot of fun. I have skiid a lot in CO and climbed some minor 12,000 plus peaks around Montezuma. I adapt well to altitude, although I am coming from sea level, which is why I thought hiking in, spending the night, would help. I'll be in Denver a day or two as well. Exposure doesn't bother me much, and I don't atke big chances anymore. Not afraid to turn back. And don't want to put my daughter at risk, although she is an expert level skier. Both of us are athletes too, I still race road bikes but I think that run is just about over.

Anyway, I really appreciate the input and am leaning toward your suggestion. Thanks again.

Mike

User avatar
Posts: 777
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:34 pm
Location: Thornton (CO Blvd & 136th Ave)

Re: First Fourteener Suggestions

Postby SilverLynx » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:04 pm

For a first 14er:

If you want to prove to yourself you can do a 14er, do Grays, Torreys, Democrat, Sherman, Bierstadt or Quandary.
If you want to prove to yourself you can do any 14er, do Longs or something similar. :wink: However if you do a harder one as your first, take someone with you who has done it before.

Longs was my first and I had no regrets.
"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
~Nelson Mandela

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
~Steve Jobs

User avatar
Posts: 251
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:21 am

Re: First Fourteener Suggestions

Postby mtree » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:09 pm

Funny. Longs was my first 14er as well. A friend - who had already climbed about 20 peaks - convinced me to go because it was on his 'hit list' and no-one else would go. One day climb. Except for being terrified on the ledges? looking at the folks on the homestretch thinking they looked like spiders clinging to a wall, I did fine. But I was very young, naive, an idiot, and bulletproof. I climbed it in worn out sneakers. It took almost a week for the swelling in my feet to go down! I think I fell asleep in a hot bath with beer in hand that night. Not pretty.

Luckily, I always had great endurance, little fear of heights, and altitude was not an issue. I would NEVER recommend Longs for a first 14er! At least I can laugh about it now.
"Cool Prius!" - nobody

User avatar
Posts: 1377
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:58 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: First Fourteener Suggestions

Postby djkest » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:52 am

Side note, in my opinion Crestone Needle is a whole level greater in difficulty than Crestone Peak, which is barely class 3. With Crestone Peak, you can also hit "East Crestone" which is just a short scramble away. But Crestone Peak and Humboldt Peak are both good options IMO.

Willow lake, Challenger Point, and Kit Carson is an excellent choice- awesome scenery. The crux is a steep and loose 2000' slope coming up Challenger. If you do Kit Carson, make sure you study up on the route and be extra-vigalant when you come down. Good men have lost their lives missing the exit ramp on that one.

Longs I wouldn't recommend for a first, it's too long- 14 or 15 miles from the parking lot.
Life is a mountain, not a beach.
Exploring and Wine, my personal blog

Online
Posts: 1984
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 5:19 pm

Re: First Fourteener Suggestions

Postby peter303 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:52 am

Grays & Torrey (if you have 4WD) or Elbert.
Tress should be pretty around then.

User avatar
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 4:24 pm
Location: CO is home. Work is East Coast

Re: First Fourteener Suggestions

Postby lackerstef » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:00 am

peter303 wrote:Grays & Torrey (if you have 4WD) or Elbert.
Tress should be pretty around then.

Did Kelso ridge yesterday (and thus drove to Grays TH). No 4wd needed!

Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:56 pm

Re: First Fourteener Suggestions

Postby Michael56 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:18 pm

This forum is awesome, exactly what I needed to help decide. I spoke to a good friend last night, whom unbeknownst to me had climbed Longs and Quandary. He said same thing, Longs is looooong. And he turned back before the ledge / narrows (a winter climb). And he said Quandary was a very easy walk-up, 4- 5 hours total.

I've kind of narrowed it to Crestone area, or the Indian Peaks / Lake Dorothy area. Area meaning I keep my options open. What do you think?

User avatar
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:53 am
Location: Fort Collins, CO

Re: First Fourteener Suggestions

Postby tehchad » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:57 pm

Long's was my first too and I had trained my ass off at altitude. It was a bear. I don't regret it, but in hindsight, I would NEVER recommend it for a first. Hell, when people say, Hey Chad! Take me up Long's! I wanna climb Long's Peak!!!!!111ONEONE!!! I reply with, no, you really don't..... I'll take you, but be ready for a crazy long day.... Then they say these silly lies like, You totally saved my life! Heh! \:D/

I'd suggest Humboldt, Bierstadt with the Sawtooth/Evans option, even Grays and Torreys while staying in Idaho Springs would be good. Don't do Crestone Needle. Just don't. We've lost so many good people this year and I think more people need to lean a bit further towards conservatism.

User avatar
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:57 pm

Re: First Fourteener Suggestions

Postby rainydayrenee » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:19 pm

I agree that for a 13er South Arapaho Peak is beautiful and a great hike. Anything in Indian Peaks is well worth it, esp as colors are changing now - James Peak for a 13er would be a great hike in and camp at a lake spot (Heart Lake) I think that had some of the best wildflowers I'd seen when I did it! also for day hikes Shoshoni, Audobon/Paiute...etc. are all good options.

I really enjoyed Quandary, it was my 7th, but very enjoyable, great scenery, and close by. My first was Belford and Oxford and I remember it being a long day. But I was also a whiney HS kid getting ready to start college 8-[

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], johnF, wowo1110 and 14 guests