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Free access to all fourteerners?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: Free access to all fourteerners?

Postby herdbull » Sat May 11, 2013 7:26 am

as for RMNP it's free if you go before 6:00 am. Get there early before the guards are on duty and the crowds show up and you have the whole park to yourself. I have spent many a day cruising, hiking, sightseeing in that park in the early am and it's awesome. Like you have the whole place to yourself.

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Re: Free access to all fourteerners?

Postby Mark A Steiner » Sat May 11, 2013 2:32 pm

Based on the numerous 14er TR's presented in Bill's site, including climbing peaks thousands of miles from America, scraping up a few dollars to travel to a 14er in Colorado hardly seems like a matter of concern for most posters here.

Finding time just to get to a 14er (or 13er) a few times a year is a major challenge for some. You may not hear from or about them, but they post here also.
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: Free access to all fourteerners?

Postby cftbq » Sat May 11, 2013 7:38 pm

peter303 wrote:
Fletch wrote:Between gas, gear, an the occasional motel, you'll easily drop a grand or two...

Sounds like another 14ers contest: record for the lowest cost to climb all the 14ers. Ground rules? Gas? Food? Equipment? Lodging? Fees?

I'm officially entering. I've done everything on the cheap from the very beginning. Repurposed clothing and gear. Avoid motels like the plague. High-mileage cars. Had to pay for Culebra, but wrangled an unexpected discount by volunteering to cover some of the ranch staff's work. Only had to shell out once for the Maroon group. Did Evans from Bierstadt. Etc.
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and the power that animates the universe. That may not
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what "god" is, but it's good enough for me.

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Re: Free access to all fourteerners?

Postby Michael J » Sun May 12, 2013 12:17 am

Last fall I hiked San Luis peak and the long drive into the trailhead off of the highway on the washboard road snapped one of the collars on my leaf springs. I didn't know about it until I got back to New Castle. The leaf spring rubbed the tire down to the belts, tire shops won't sell just one tire anymore, and after it's all said and done $1,300.00 later I'm back on the road. But I'm pretty sure no one else has to pay that fee to hike San Luis peak.... #-o

"I've often heard a voice call down to me
If you'd climb higher you'd find wondrous things to see..."

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Re: Free access to all fourteerners?

Postby TallGrass » Sun May 12, 2013 1:06 am

Michael J wrote:tire shops won't sell just one tire anymore ... $1,300.00 later I'm back on the road
No offense, but you know what P.T. Barnum is credited with saying... :lol: Let me prove it another way. Let's say you have four brand spanking new tires but your full-size spare is dry rotted (or you live in Denver and for some reason have had to find a good used wheel and now need rubber for it), are they going to say, "Sorry, but you'll have to buy three more tires. We can only sell in sets of four. If you want a set of five, you'll have to buy two sets of four. If you want sets of five but no leftovers, the fewest I can sell ya' is 20 tires." This gets even more fun when front and rear use different sizes.

On the "free" side, I had a sidewall flat (i.e. unplugable) on a car I didn't drive, but couldn't leave sitting with a flat ("derelict vehicle" violation), so I rode over to the gas station, asked how much for one of the used tires they were sending off for trash/recycling (most still have legal tread as when one gets low, most replace all four). "Take one." Cool, now how much to swap tires, no balance. "No balance? Hmm, how's ten bucks sound?" Sounded good ($10 total btw, cash, no receipt). When done he put the old tire against the wheel that had the good-used mounted on it, so I asked him if I could dispose of it there. "Sure. Toss it back on that pile." Cool, so I asked how much for the disposal fee. He looked at the tire on the wheel, then at me, shrugged and said, "Already paid for." 8) :lol: So I rolled the wheel back to my bike, strapped it on and took it back to the car.

So basically I got out of the same jam as you, Michael, (actually a touch worse in that mine wouldn't even hold air) but for 0.77% of what you paid.

TIRE TIP: Check the date code on any tire you buy (before mounted) or any vehicle you're buying. It'll be cast in an oval and the last four digits are the week and year of manufacture. "5212" was made in the 52nd week (December 24-31) of 2012. Three-digit codes were used prior to 2000. Even if it had all the tread and casting nipples, rubber still dries out, loses grip, gets more rigid, and can go from "new" to cracked/flat from age in one drive. Most sane motorcyclist will toss anything older than fine and refuse any new tire more than a year old.
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: Free access to all fourteerners?

Postby Jim Davies » Sun May 12, 2013 7:18 am

Michael J wrote:But I'm pretty sure no one else has to pay that fee to hike San Luis peak.... #-o

The first time I climbed Holy Cross back in the 90's, I drove via I-70 on a Sunday morning. Around Vail somewhere the "check engine" light on my 1986 Chevy Nova came on...ever tried to find an open mechanic at dawn on a Sunday in the mountains? I decided to just forge on, since the car was running, figuring I could coast back down the Tigiwon road after the car died for good (some days I'm not too bright...). The car kept running, I did the hike, the car started, started driving home late afternoon via Leadville. Once it got dark, I noticed the headlights were getting a little dim, so started driving with my high beams on. Crossing South Park, they kept getting dimmer and dimmer, but I forged on. Finally, in Divide they went out completely, but by chance I was right by a pay phone. I called a tow truck ($100+), and the next day got a new alternator and battery (~$500). But hey, I summitted!
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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Re: Free access to all fourteerners?

Postby Michael J » Sun May 12, 2013 2:56 pm

TallGrass wrote:
Michael J wrote:tire shops won't sell just one tire anymore ... $1,300.00 later I'm back on the road
No offense, but you know what P.T. Barnum is credited with saying... :lol: Let me prove it another way. Let's say you have four brand spanking new tires but your full-size spare is dry rotted (or you live in Denver and for some reason have had to find a good used wheel and now need rubber for it), are they going to say, "Sorry, but you'll have to buy three more tires. We can only sell in sets of four. If you want a set of five, you'll have to buy two sets of four. If you want sets of five but no leftovers, the fewest I can sell ya' is 20 tires." This gets even more fun when front and rear use different sizes.

On the "free" side, I had a sidewall flat (i.e. unplugable) on a car I didn't drive, but couldn't leave sitting with a flat ("derelict vehicle" violation), so I rode over to the gas station, asked how much for one of the used tires they were sending off for trash/recycling (most still have legal tread as when one gets low, most replace all four). "Take one." Cool, now how much to swap tires, no balance. "No balance? Hmm, how's ten bucks sound?" Sounded good ($10 total btw, cash, no receipt). When done he put the old tire against the wheel that had the good-used mounted on it, so I asked him if I could dispose of it there. "Sure. Toss it back on that pile." Cool, so I asked how much for the disposal fee. He looked at the tire on the wheel, then at me, shrugged and said, "Already paid for." 8) :lol: So I rolled the wheel back to my bike, strapped it on and took it back to the car.

So basically I got out of the same jam as you, Michael, (actually a touch worse in that mine wouldn't even hold air) but for 0.77% of what you paid.

TIRE TIP: Check the date code on any tire you buy (before mounted) or any vehicle you're buying. It'll be cast in an oval and the last four digits are the week and year of manufacture. "5212" was made in the 52nd week (December 24-31) of 2012. Three-digit codes were used prior to 2000. Even if it had all the tread and casting nipples, rubber still dries out, loses grip, gets more rigid, and can go from "new" to cracked/flat from age in one drive. Most sane motorcyclist will toss anything older than fine and refuse any new tire more than a year old.


I didn't buy a set of 4 new tires, I only bought 2, and then replaced the broken leaf springs. I know I paid full retail for everything, but it's my work vehicle and the only vehicle I have. Of course I squawked at the price. However, I did have the money and it was worth it to keep myself on the job and not miss a day or 2 of work. The tires were 18" Michelin mud and snows with about 25,000 miles on them. They are 70,000 mile tires and I've always had great luck with them so when I considered replacing just one I really didn't want that imbalance anyway. Even without the dealers prodding I would have bought 2. In hindsight there are always a lot of what ifs out there. Like for example I should have checked the truck over when I got back onto pavement. I probably could have slowed down a bit on the washboard road as well. And as you indicated in your private message it would have been great to have you there as well! Maybe we'll meet up on the mountain sometime. And as Jim Davies said "But hey, I summitted!" There are worse things in life than having to shell out a few bucks in the pursuit of something we love right? Hopefully the remaining 11 that I have left to do won't be quite as expensive!

"I've often heard a voice call down to me
If you'd climb higher you'd find wondrous things to see..."

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Re: Free access to all fourteerners?

Postby TallGrass » Sun May 12, 2013 4:06 pm

Well fuller bill detail helps, then I read you only bought two and I think "$1,300/2= $650/tire?!" but apparently other work was done. If work truck, hope you could write some of that off. Still, sounds more expensive than I've popped for new tires. Hear ya' about what washboard can do. I metal fatigued (broke) a few parts on my bike riding to Deadhorse, AK and some other stuff in Mexico. If you really like the tires, hopefully you had the guy toss the good used in the back so you could use it as a full-size spare or *horrors* if you had a similar chewed up tire, like 25k later, you could toss it on and life would be green jelly beans again. :mrgreen: It's what I've had my relatives do when the get new tires: keep the best of the used as a spare in a trashbag in the basement at home. I'm also a gearhead, so I get ticked when I see folks get $&*ed over by a service place. Some are great, some fine, and some should be deflated and unmounted (like the place that insisted my solid-rear-axle car needed a 4-wheel alignment so they wouldn't have to price match a cheap 2-wheel quote I got). Maybe karma will get you a free ride up to Como Lake some time???
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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Re: Free access to all fourteerners?

Postby justiner » Sun May 12, 2013 4:39 pm

Doing mental math in my head (because it's a thought I've been having...), it probably costs as much or more to bike to the 14ers, just in terms of food (perhaps 2x as much, if you don't want to live on tortillas and peanut butter - I'm using $50 a day for 9,000 calories, to get 150 miles of pedalin', not including hiking time), as it does to drive to them, in terms of gas. The way you'd get ahead, if you zoom out a little bit more, is the cost of the car, in the first place - and that's a huge benefit. My guess maintenance on the bike would be less, but it would still be around $1,000 you'd need to put in the bike, if you're unfortunate. Your starting bike would probably cost around $2,000 - you don't need much, your basic touring bike fare, with perhps beefier tires for those forest access roads.

But hey! You get to ride a bike, when you're not climbing a mountain. And you'll lose about 25 pounds. At least. And it's a hell of a story. The only 14er that you'd need to pay for is Culebra, then, as you wouldn't have to pay for parking a bike.
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Re: Free access to all fourteerners?

Postby zinj » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:18 am

Fees:

Culebra - entirely on private land. $100 fee, reservations required. Small groups only permitted on weekends, larger groups can negotiate a weekday climb
Eolus, N. Eolus, Sunlight, Windom (The Chicago Basin 14ers) - No fee, but most common wilderness insertion is by Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which does cost money. It's not entirely necessary to use the train - but backpacking from the highway will add a significant chunk of distance and at least an additional day's worth of food to your trip


Private Land Issues:
Bross - you get very close to the summit on the trail but the summit proper is formally on private land, but there's no charge to access the trails in the area. Some folks flout this and go up to the summit anyway -- there has been a protracted negotiation to demarcate an official "safe" route to the top -- Bross is riddled with small probe mines which could be a hazard so liability (given our litigious society) is understandably a concern for private landowners.

There are some other oddities concerning private land - like the former traditional "safe" route on the South side of Little Bear (i.e. not the Hourglass) being on private land, but the summit is not owned the way Bross' summit is. I don't know of any other formal fee arrangements other than the ones mentioned above.
Last edited by zinj on Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Free access to all fourteerners?

Postby crossfitter » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:32 am

zinj wrote:Longs - in RCMP. Park entrance fees may apply.


There is no entry fee at the standard Longs Peak Trailhead
- A mountain is not a checkbox to be ticked
- Alpinism and mountaineering are not restricted to 14,000 foot mountains
- Judgment and experience are the two most important pieces of gear you own
- Being honest to yourself and others about your abilities is a characteristic of experienced climbers
- Courage cannot be bought at REI or carried with you in your rucksack


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Re: Free access to all fourteerners?

Postby rijaca » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:44 am

crossfitter wrote:
zinj wrote:Longs - in RCMP. Park entrance fees may apply.


There is no entry fee at the standard Longs Peak Trailhead


RCMP?
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Spent a little time on the hill"

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