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Advice on first winter 14er summit

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Advice on first winter 14er summit

Postby JameyEdge77 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:46 pm

I travel to Colorado often for work from the midwest and each time try to fit in a hike or climb. I've done a few of the easy 14ers and will be back in Denver on 11/13 through 11/16. I am hoping to do my first winter climb. I would appreciate any advice on peaks to consider that can be tackled in a full day of hiking.

Thanks!
Jamey

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Re: Advice on first winter 14er summit

Postby zdero1 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:01 am

What are you looking to get out of the experience? Expanding on that may yield better recommendations.

I plan on making my first calendar winter ascents this year and the way I am approaching the decision about which peaks to climb is simple: easiest to hardest. I want to get used to the harsh conditions in an environment that is familiar and on a route that would be considered a fairly quick day hike in summer conditions. My goals for this winter include ascents of Bierstadt, Sherman, Humboldt East Ridge.

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Re: Advice on first winter 14er summit

Postby illusion7il » Sat Nov 03, 2012 7:16 am

Calendar winter ascent
First Day of Winter 2012 - December 21
First day of spring 2013 - March 20

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Re: Advice on first winter 14er summit

Postby Jim Davies » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:15 am

Quandary usually has the best combination of plowed trailhead access, low avalanche danger, and relatively short route.

If we're lucky, there will be a big snowstorm next weekend, so plan accordingly.
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Re: Advice on first winter 14er summit

Postby kushrocks » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:24 am

Jim Davies wrote:Quandary usually has the best combination of plowed trailhead access, low avalanche danger, and


Totally agree with Quandary being a good first winter 14er for reasons Jim states above.

Jim Davies wrote:If we're lucky, there will be a big snowstorm next weekend, so plan accordingly.


Please let this be true!!! \:D/
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Re: Advice on first winter 14er summit

Postby MuchosPixels » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:56 am

Doest it HAVE to be a 14er? If so the Quandry is great if the weather is reasonably clear and the wind is not too bad. That area is usually quite windy and since the trail is mostly on a ridge above treeline your are quite exposed for a while but if winds are 30mph and lower its not too bad.

You might need snowshoes for below treeline and micro spikes for the ridge proper if the area gets a lot of snow but its usually doable year round.

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Re: Advice on first winter 14er summit

Postby JameyEdge77 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:14 pm

Thanks for advice. Yes, I am looking to do a 14er close to Denver. I did Quandary last month. I am thinking of trying Bierstadt if the weather cooperates. From what I've seen on the forum this might be the best best for this time of year. Advice from y'all that's reach summit of Bierstadt this time of year is much appreciated.
Thanks
Jamey

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Re: Advice on first winter 14er summit

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:01 pm

Guanella Pass may or may not be open, depending on how the storm goes. You could hike Grays and Torreys from I-70, which adds 3 miles each way but is still in range if you're up for a long hike. Gratz now seems to be predicting 4-8 inches of snow for that area this weekend, which should be OK for hiking but tough for driving if the road's not plowed.
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Re: Advice on first winter 14er summit

Postby cheeseburglar » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:22 pm

I advise picking a day when it isn't windy.
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Re: Advice on first winter 14er summit

Postby michaelgrundy » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:29 am

Definitely carry your water in wide mouth Nalgene bottles. Hydration systems freeze (even with the insulation) so make sure to have bottles of water!

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Re: Advice on first winter 14er summit

Postby Mindy » Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:37 am

mgrundy wrote:Definitely carry your water in wide mouth Nalgene bottles. Hydration systems freeze (even with the insulation) so make sure to have bottles of water!


I was taught something last weekend on Flora, thanks to farcedude. Make sure to turn your water bottles upside down. My water bottle, that was on the outside of my pack, was frozen at the top only and I couldn't drink out of it. Thanks Greg. :)

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Re: Advice on first winter 14er summit

Postby DaveSwink » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:02 am

Mindy wrote:I was taught something last weekend on Flora, thanks to farcedude. Make sure to turn your water bottles upside down. My water bottle, that was on the outside of my pack, was frozen at the top only and I couldn't drink out of it. Thanks Greg. :)


That is a great tip, Mindy. A couple of corollary tips:
*Give your water bottle an extra firm twist to confirm it is tightly sealed before putting it away, upside down. The consequences of a leaking water bottle are much higher in winter
*Carry your water bottles inside your pack unless you have bottle insulators. Your body transfers some heat to your pack to help keep water bottles liquid.

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