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Photos of crowded peaks?

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Re: Photos of crowded peaks?

Postby rking007 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:17 pm

Rich H wrote:
crossfitter wrote:So much hate towards popular summits. What is it about hiking that attracts so many misanthropes? Smile, it's fun to hang out with people on the summit! If you want solitude you have thousands of other desolate options to choose from. Heck, you can even choose to not do the cattle trails and be all by yourself until you reach the top!


I love it - I don't aim to go out and climb 14ers much anymore but when I do, I love seeing the peoples and talking and sharing stories.


I agree with both statements. The only problem I have is that I have only met one 14ers.com member so far on the trail! :-D

You know, for me, there are times when I want to hike with folks to hang out and meet them but there are also times when I want to get away and just have quiet time. I become an ant on the trail just as much as everyone else that's there or I choose to go it alone and someplace I know I will be alone. Neither is right or wrong, we live in Colorado, 80 percent of the everyone works Mon-Fri and has Sat/Sun off and that's when they go hiking.
- Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.

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Re: Photos of crowded peaks?

Postby Craig Cook » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:13 pm

Thanks everyone, these are perfect!

Now, which ones to use... :-k
Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

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Re: Photos of crowded peaks?

Postby coloradokevin » Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:16 am

SilverLynx wrote:There is a gargantuan difference between running into a few people here and there, and being able to smell the B.O. and gas of the 50 hikers in front of you and behind you. I don't mind sharing summits, but not with a herd of 100+ people. I'm not sure where I draw my line but it's definitely before 100. Everyone has their own personal gauge of what is "crowded" and what is not. If I have to worry about my camera getting stolen, that's a crowd.


^Spot on.

I have to think that it was fairly inappropriate for a large company to bring 150+ people onto a popular national forest service summit at the same time, as that one picture apparently showed. Nevertheless, I suppose the crowds on some of these other summits occurred more "naturally".

I normally love to talk to people on trails, but it sure is nice to get away from the crowds sometimes. One of the nicest hikes I've had all season was in Butler Gulch last Friday. We didn't see a single person the entire time we were there. Quite refreshing for a popular Front Range location on a beautiful afternoon!

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Re: Photos of crowded peaks?

Postby Taillon75 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:15 pm

Go early or go home.
Catchy saying from someone famous.

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Re: Photos of crowded peaks?

Postby ctlee » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:24 pm

Today at Summit Lake--hordes of people yelling, blowing their horns at bighorn sheep.....Gray Wolf Mountain and Mount Warren: one person-me!! Gotta be early and gotta go for the 13ers!
Live as if you were to die tomorrow-learn as if you were to live forever-----Mahatma Gandhi

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Re: Photos of crowded peaks?

Postby ameristrat » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:27 pm

I climbed Grays earlier this summer on the South Ridge. We saw no one until the summit. Not one soul.

It was awesome, but I really think it's all about the mood you're in. We were on Evans today with 10 or so other people and had great time talking with them on the summit. I was in a group of 7, so maybe we were all feeling a bit more social.

When I climbed Longs last month and spent a half hour in line to get through the Homestretch, I passed the time chatting with a small group we joined up with on the way up.

Our tolerance changes based on the day, but we can help ourselves by knowing what to expect: IE Solitude doesn't exist on Longs Keyhole route. If you know that, make friends and enjoy the camaraderie. If you're expecting solitude, you've created a recipe for failure.
You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know. - Rene Daumal

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Re: Photos of crowded peaks?

Postby pvnisher » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:26 pm

If those pictures of crowded 14ers "make you sick", then I ask:

-have you been on a summit crowded like that? If so, then you were part of the problem. You should have stayed home so as to not make other hikers sick

-Have you hiked those particular mountains? Did you do it when you were relatively new, but those experiences bloomed into the obsession you now have? Did it make you sick at the time, or just now that you're cool enough to criticize n00bs?

"For the act of criticizing heightened his sense of importance, made him feel larger." -Brave New World, 1932

-And again with the jeans critiques? People ski, hike, and climb in jeans, and probably do it better than you. :lol: I've seen trip reports from Mont Blanc where the guy did it in jeans. I hiked my first 10 or so 14ers in running shoes and cargo shorts with a flannel shirt and poncho. And made it look good. \:D/

"How can you know if someone is having more fun than you?" - Warren Miller, Snowriders, 1996

As others have said, if you don't like crowds, then ignore the Class 1/2 peaks, or better yet, ignore the arbitrary round-number reference which makes Sunlight Spire or Grizzly Peak unworthy of your attentions, yet makes Sunshine and San Luis worthwhile endeavors.

Now if everyone would please vacate Times Square, you're crowding my shot.

(and yes, that criticism made me feel larger) :roll:

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Re: Photos of crowded peaks?

Postby Fred North » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:44 pm

The first post was a simple request for a photo. It turned into another thread peppered with angry rants against crowds on summits that always seem focused on tourists.

Why does it anger so many of you that I want to visit Colorado and hike in the Rocky Mountains. We no longer live there but every year we visit, bringing our family, friends and over the years tens of thousands of "tourist" dollars. We put those dollars in the pockets of your friends and neighbors who work at the airport, rent us cars, feed us in restaurants, put gas in our rental car, own the cabins we always rent and sell us groceries and and the occasional T-Shirt.

Without the mountains that we love to hike, you would not be able to attract the business that moves into the state for the quality of outdoor life. Without tourists you are Nebraska but further from most of the population of America. You are just another state that I have to drive through or fly over to enjoy the beauty of Utah.

I loved living in Colorado, our daughter was born while we lived there. I am worn out on the ignorance and bad attitude of so many who believe that the trails and peaks are their personal domain. I hike in "national" parks and "national" forests, not in your yard.

We were invited to Utah as an alternative to Colorado for our trip this coming summer. Maybe it's time we consider making the change, taking our "tourist" dollars and several Colorado jobs with us. Tourism accounts for 11.3% of all jobs in Colorado. Tourism is one of the largest industries in Colorado in terms of jobs, employing 144,300 people in the tourism sector. Overall, these employees earn $4.1 billion annually, contributing to state revenue through income taxes. You can get a more detailed education on what tourism means to you when you Google "Colorado Tourism Facts."

I loved living in Colorado, I hate the attitude that permeates so many posts on this site. My town, Louisville, Kentucky is over run with conventions weekly because of our proximity to a huge percentage of the population of the U.S. During the Kentucky Derby, we can't even move. However if you want to come visit us Derby week we'll make room for you. We have hosted the Ryder Cup, the PGA Championship, NCAA basketball and so many other huge events it will make your head spin. Here is how we deal with it, we smile and enjoy the jobs it brings to our community. We are proud to share what he have here. We are happy to welcome people to our community and we show them respect...even when they are dressed as if they were hiking in the mountains and not on a downtown street.

If you don't want us there, tell Bill to dump this site, stop advertising to us and prepare for a constant state of unemployment. The bright side is, you'd have more time for hiking to barren peaks.
Last edited by Fred North on Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Photos of crowded peaks?

Postby Mark A Steiner » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:21 pm

Won't argue any of Fred's points. I don't have trouble on crowded peaks because I don't get there as often as I would like, so most days people contributing to the Forum post that they are going to Peak So-and-so, there is a least one less body on those crowded peaks. When I show up though, look out - I may have a fun-ny to share on the trails about how great it is to be there instead of somewhere else!
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content - Paul the Apostle.
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Re: Photos of crowded peaks?

Postby madbuck » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:36 pm

Fred North wrote:It turned into another thread peppered with angry rants against crowds on summits that always seem focused on tourists.

Why does it anger so many of you that I want to visit Colorado and hike in the Rocky Mountains.


By my count, there was exactly one comment regarding out-of-town tourists -- and it was the mention of an old joke.

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Re: Photos of crowded peaks?

Postby coloradokevin » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:47 pm

It seems to me that a few people are taking offense to posts in this thread merely because some of us don't appreciate seeing enormous crowds (or actual parties) on top of mountains.

I have no issues with out-of-staters coming to Colorado to climb, as I used to be one of those folks myself. I also have no issue with other people wanting to be on the mountains, and I recognize that we're all "part of the problem". I also don't care what clothing people climb in, I don't care if they bring their dog or cat, and I don't care if they choose to climb into an advancing thunderstorm out of foolishness or fearlessness. To each their own. Still, that doesn't mean that all 14'er crowds are completely acceptable to me.

Examples? Here's a couple that get me:

1) LARGE and garish mountaintop parties. These have occurred several times in recent years, and in a few different ways that include everything from actual kegs to hot tubs. Neat ideas, to be sure, but maybe a bit overboard depending on the execution (I know some have been worse than others). Parties are fine with me, but having a party on the summit of a backcountry mountain detracts from the natural experience that I think we can reasonably assume most people are seeking when they climb mountains. Summits are probably the point of most concentrated activity in adventures like mountaineering, and I believe that visitors to these places should be considerate of the fact that not all climbers were looking for a club scene on top of a peak (I'd imagine most people aren't looking to find such things).

2) Corporations bringing 150 people up a mountain at the same time for a company event (see the picture someone posted earlier in this thread from Grays Peak). While perhaps not illegal in non-wilderness areas, such activities certainly seem overboard for a place like Grays/Torreys. Again, I think part of this comes down to concentrated levels of activity. If a group of 150 people starts together, they'll create a crowded atmosphere by virtue of the fact that they're somewhat clumped together. Conversely, 150 strangers starting up a peak on the same day (at different times) does not typically have such a concentrated level of activity.

On the legal side of things, I've seen quite a few other large organized outings (often of 30+ people) in wilderness areas, where such activities are often against group size regulations for these places. I saw a group in the James Peak Wilderness this summer that I would estimate at 75 people. That wilderness has a rule that limits group size to a combination of 12 people/pack stock. A few years ago I ran into a huge organized event on Massive (40-60 people), which again violated that area's limit of 15 people per group.

We all know that 14'ers aren't the place to be if you are trying to avoid crowds, but in some instances the crowding occurs due to the inconsiderate actions of others. The rest of the time I'm more than happy to make new friends while exploring the natural world. I will say that I've had great luck with late day climbs, particularly in months like September (when storms aren't a factor). We were on the Lincoln group yesterday, and observed the typical 100+ vehicles in the parking area (wild-ass-guesstimate on numbers there). But, since we started our climb at 1pm, nearly everyone we encountered was coming down to Kite Lake from the Democrat-Cameron Saddle. We had the summit of Democrat to ourselves, and only saw two other couples on the mountain the rest of the day... some nice folks from Texas we talked to at the saddle between Democrat and Cameron, and another nice couple we met on top of Lincoln (we finished our hike with them). So, crowds can sometimes be avoided even on the easiest 14'ers, even on the busiest day of the week :)

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Re: Photos of crowded peaks?

Postby zdero1 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:29 am

Fred North wrote:If you don't want us there, tell Bill to dump this site, stop advertising to us and prepare for a constant state of unemployment. The bright side is, you'd have more time for hiking to barren peaks.


I really don't know how you got on this tangent, as 98% of the posts on this thread fail to differentiate tourists from non-tourists. One joke about tourists didn't really set you off like that, did it? Perhaps there are other threads bashing toursits on this site, I don't know. If there are maybe your post would be more appropriate on those threads.

It's my impression that the vast majority of people who climb a peak don't care if nearby hikers are tourists or not. I personally don't care about where someone is from or how long they have lived in Colorado. I just care that you practice LNT and don't purposefully kick rocks on my head. I recently moved to Colorado in Jan 2011 for work and to climb mountains and I still talk with a thick Milwaukee accent. I still don't know too many people in the climbing community. Am I a tourist? I don't know! I do know that I have never been looked down upon by anyone in the mountains for not being a "native," or for dressing a certain way, or for being on a class 1 peak on a weekend. I'm willing to bet that nearly all the people you have encountered on the trails have been warm and gracious, and at a minimum, civil. They certainly have been towards me. It's those experiences that matter the most to me, not what some guy jokingly says on an internet forum.

Also +1 on the pvnisher post. Couldn't agree more.

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