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Looking for Advice

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Looking for Advice

Postby kropdustin » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:57 am

I am out in Colorado this weekend and was hoping to climb another Fourteener. After the recent snows I'm guessing that it's pretty difficult to make the ascents. I have all my gear including spikes and snowshoes. What peaks would be most kind at this time of year? I prefer routes with minimal exposure. Will the Front Range peaks be more friendly or should I be heading west of Denver to search out peaks?

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Re: Looking for Advice

Postby Cruiser » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:03 am

Quandary
Where ever you are... There you are.

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Re: Looking for Advice

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:22 am

Definitely Quandary. Also suggest you get out Saturday morning, as the rest of the weekend might be a bit harsh. If you stash your snowshoes, be sure to put big rocks on them or the 50 mph wind gusts might remove them from the mountain.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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Re: Looking for Advice

Postby Scott P » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:48 am

Quandary would probably be the best bet, but keep in mind that Saturday is forecasted to have high winds and Sunday looks stormy. Even on Saturday, it could be really nasty up there because of the wind. Go prepared.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Looking for Advice

Postby kropdustin » Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:50 pm

Thank you for the advice!
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains..."

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Re: Looking for Advice

Postby snowymountainsrock » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:02 pm

I am also interested in climbing Quandary in a week. I was wondering if the route will still be safe after this week. There is lots of snow with 40+ mph wind predicted on tues. and wed. and even right now on CAIC, the area is already in considerable avy danger. Will the East Ridge be safe after that storm? If not, are there any other avy safe routes on any other 14ers?
Thanks

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Re: Looking for Advice

Postby colokeith » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:39 pm

I am not an avalanche expert.... however, I would say it is still safe. There is an area right after timberline that could be trouble if you get off trail. The ridge towards the top can build up a pretty good cornice if there has been a lot of blowing snow so make sure you give it a wide birth to ensure you are solid ground.
To climb is to push yourself in a way you might not normally imagine is possible. If your stamina, skill, and luck are sound you will get to stand on top. ... I realized that with climbing, I'd found something that nourished my soul and could forge me into a better version myself - Jim Davidson

Re: Looking for Advice

Postby MonGoose » Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:41 pm

The big storm last night raised the avy danger and it looks like much of the mountains will be getting additional snow this week according to http://opensnow.com/state/CO. I would expect the avy danger to stay elevated for most of the week but drop a few days after the snow passes and conditions start to settle. Some of the safer winter routes with concern to avy danger include Quandary Peak's East Ridge and Mt Elbert's East Ridge, as both of these routes follow ridge lines and avoid steep terrain. A great resource for investigating routes is http://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=39.39721,-106.10641&z=14&b=t&o=r&n=0.25&a=sf which shows the slope angle of any mountain. Staying on slopes under 25 degrees is generally considered avy safe in cold snow conditions. You can see from the above link the route for Quandary's East Ridge stays below 27 degrees.

Throughout most of the winter, people have hiked Quandary's East Ridge when the avalanche danger has been "considerable". As colokeith mentioned, around 13,200' a cornice forms on the south (left in the photo) side of the trail, so just be careful not get too close to the edge as the cornice could give way. Also be aware that later in the day when things start to warm up the snow will become very sloppy. It's best to get out early morning when the snow is still solid.

Here's a photo of the cornice building off to the left. If you stay on the rocky ridge line you'll be fine. Have a great hike!
Image

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Re: Looking for Advice

Postby snowymountainsrock » Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:17 pm

Thank you very much for the help. I am assuming snowshoes are a necesity, especially below treeline for Quandary?

And just out of curiosity, does anyone know if the standard route of Mt. Democrat is avy safe? I looked at the caltopo and it seemed to be on mostly low slope angle, but their was high angle slopes above the trail.
Sorry for all the questions,
Thanks

Re: Looking for Advice

Postby MonGoose » Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:15 pm

Check out this report on a slide in Butler Gulch near the Henderson Mine: https://avalanche.state.co.us/obs/obs_report.php?obs_id=19409&view=public

Subsequently, CAIC just raised the avy forecast to HIGH for the Front Range and Summit county. I'd recommend postponing any plans until conditions settle down.

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Re: Looking for Advice

Postby climbingaggie03 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:34 pm

Pikes peak isn't bad and so far it hasn't snowed here. That might change tonight though...

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