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Is this weekend a wash?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Re: Is this weekend a wash?

Postby Steve Knapp » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:24 am

Brian Thomas wrote:
smoove wrote:you could do some lower peak near Denver

Sacrilege! This is 14ers dot com. Take that heresy to Lists Of John!


Right, because no peak less than 14k is worth climbing. Except that there are only 53 of them, and 4,000+ other peaks in the state. :)

Personally I would not make the trip if you are set on only 14ers. Harvard and Holy Cross should get some decent snow and would be pretty tough hiking on Saturday. For those of us that get to choose, Sunday will be the pick day of the weekend. It should be awesome in the high country with the fresh snow and sunshine.

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Re: Is this weekend a wash?

Postby tlongpine » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:01 am

Neil wrote:Climb in the snow. Seriously. What's wrong with that?


AMEN.
I am unable to walk away from the mountain without climbing it. An unclimbed mountain tugs at my consciousness with the eternal weight of time itself. Until I've pressed my face into it's alpine winds, hugged it's ancient granite walls, and put it's weathered summit beneath my heal I'm unable to resist it's attraction.Knowing nature gives the mountain more time than she gives us adds urgency to the obsession. As has been said before; the mountain doesn't care.

It can wait forever. I cannot.

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Re: Is this weekend a wash?

Postby smoove » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:04 am

tlongpine wrote:
Neil wrote:Climb in the snow. Seriously. What's wrong with that?


AMEN.


When all you guys are saying "climb in the snow," do you mean with snow on the ground (I wholeheartedly agree!) or in the middle of a snow storm? I think I've finally learned my lesson about intentionally climbing in the middle of a snow storm (I think).

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Re: Is this weekend a wash?

Postby Neil » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:26 am

smoove wrote:
tlongpine wrote:
Neil wrote:Climb in the snow. Seriously. What's wrong with that?


AMEN.


When all you guys are saying "climb in the snow," do you mean with snow on the ground (I wholeheartedly agree!) or in the middle of a snow storm? I think I've finally learned my lesson about intentionally climbing in the middle of a snow storm (I think).


Hey Smoove. I can't speak for Kiefer, randalmartin, or tlongpine (although I suspect I know the answer), but I mean both. On the first page, Nelson makes a good point, in that I should have been more careful with potentially dangerous advice and that snow storms are dangerous. Thank you Nelson for putting that part of the comment in check, as it should have been. However, my comment was not testosterone-based, as suggested. I actually enjoy hiking in snow storms and have spent many hours objectively analyzing the dangers and rewards. On the upside, it provides additional environmental, route-finding, and other strategic challenges. In my personal opinion, mountaineering requires -- and mountaineers should enjoy -- a broad cross-section of skills, some of which involve hiking in the snow (both on the ground and in the air). That said, it certianly adds to the risk factor and one must be educated and prepared, both mentally and physically. For me, the added dimensions of adventure and challenge make it very appealing, although I credit that to great mentors.

So, what lesson did you learn? Hopefully it ended with an entertaining story rather than a tragic one.
"On the edge of the porch in the warm evening night
Throwing the bone for the dog I see two passing lights
Well, I wonder where that driver's bound
Is there someone, somewhere, someway out there that I've not found"
-Driving Song

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Re: Is this weekend a wash?

Postby spiderman » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:35 am

My son and I are heading up towards Hahvahd & Columbia tonight and will be camping in the Horn Fork Basin tonight. Perhaps I will see you on the trail tomorrow if you are not frightened off by the fair-weather trolls. If you see a 11-year kid and his slow dad on the snow, stop by and say hi. Snow storms are great for improving your navigational skills. Got to get yourself toughened up before the zombies start attacking.

“He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us.”

-Aeschylus

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Re: Is this weekend a wash?

Postby Scott P » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:38 am

When all you guys are saying "climb in the snow," do you mean with snow on the ground (I wholeheartedly agree!) or in the middle of a snow storm?


I enjoy both and have done both many times. Sometimes a snowstorm can actually make things more interesting and fun, such as when we climbed Missouri one December or Hahns Peak on January.

Image Image

On the other hand, this fresh slush (and the temeratures are fairly warm) on bare rock or ice will likely be miserable and is not the ideal type of snow to climb on. There aren't impossible climbing conditions, but not ideal. That type of snow/snow cover is slick and dangerous. It is probably unconsolidated and if it is wet and "greasy", not probably much fun. I could be wrong, but that's the kind of conditions I would expect from this storm.

You likely wouldn't see much either, so if you are coming to Colorado for the views, it might be best to choose another weekend. You also have to worry about driving and everyone else on the road.

I amost always go somewhere every weekend anyway, but often choose something else closer to do. Of course if you live in Illinois, that's harder to do.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Is this weekend a wash?

Postby smoove » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:51 am

Neil wrote:So, what lesson did you learn? Hopefully it ended with an entertaining story rather than a tragic one.


I do know what you mean. The extra challenges (and adventure) of hiking in the middle of a storm can be rewarding--especially in retrospect. Luckily, I haven't faced any tragedy in that situation yet. But I've gotten off-route more than once. One time landed me in a potential slide path. But that was more because I stupidly followed someone I had just met instead of insisting on a safer route. Another time resulted in 13 hours(!!) on Quandary in December because we got lost on the way down (after idiotically pressing onward to the summit in a brutally windy whiteout because neither of us wanted to be the one to say, "Let's turn back.") Had to pull out the ol' compass and map on that one (after realizing that the GPS was on the fritz). Obviously, the more experience you have in those conditions, the more things you learn, the better prepared (and safer) you can be. As I'm writing this, I realize that poor judgment is probably the biggest culprit, not necessarily nasty conditions. If you're gonna go out there in a storm, I think a summit should be viewed as an optional bonus from the start (as it ideally should in any big hike, really).
Last edited by smoove on Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is this weekend a wash?

Postby Crusty » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:01 am

If you can't see more than 2 feet in front of you, does it make any difference whether the peak is a 14er, 13er, 8er, 5er?

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Re: Is this weekend a wash?

Postby rijaca » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:06 am

Crusty wrote:If you can't see more than 2 feet in front of you, does it make any difference whether the peak is a 14er, 13er, 8er, 5er?


Exactly, which is why I'll be lurking in the trees somewhere.
"Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill"

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Re: Is this weekend a wash?

Postby Chicago Transplant » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:17 am

I have climbed in all kinds of weather, but most of my snowy forecast climbs are in fall or spring because in winter, if its dumping, I am doing as Matt suggested and "Chasing Freshies" - at the ski resorts. I like to get out and enjoy the views, so being socked in on a summit definitely sucks. Snowy conditions climbing has its challenges and rewards, and certainly feels like an accomplishment when you get back to the car, but if you are not properly prepared or are looking for views, it would be a miserable and disappointing outing. I wouldn't travel across the country for it on purpose. Of course its happened to me twice in Washington, but we had the plane tickets and reserved camping, so we gave it a go anyway - we turned back below the summit both of those trips. If you have the flexibility, I would say come back another time. Illinois is a long drive (I know!), and you probably would feel like this was a bit of a wasted trip.

This weekend, I am going to Moab. Not to escape the weather per se, just good timing. We actually planned this weekend a month ago, so I guess you can say we got lucky and get to enjoy the warmth of the desert. My first trip into the Fiery Furnace, looking forward to it 8)
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Re: Is this weekend a wash?

Postby jblyth » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:33 am

Matt wrote:It's a wash for me. Maybe a low peak or something.
Snow? High winds? No, thanks.
Gonna stay home, drink beer, eat some ribs, and think about good things to come.
This is a good thing that's arrived, at least in our fridge.
ChasinFreshies_FINAL.png


Looks tasty, how is it? I find Deschutes can be hit or miss...

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Re: Is this weekend a wash?

Postby ak47 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:46 pm

no such thing as freshies at a resort

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