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easiest route of all the 14ers

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Postby Hunter » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:30 pm

Bierstadt will be crowded...

Is your soon to be wife a morning person- or rather a late night person? I could recommend watching first light on the summit, but you'll need to be at the top by no later than 5:00. I particularly like hiking up in the dark for many reasons, but mainly because there's only a handful of people on the trail even on the weekend during "peak" season (forgive the pun) and watching daybreak on any 14er is breathtaking. The Bierstadt trail is obvious until you hit the last 100 feet and really isn't so bad for someone who's never been up one before. Many people I know think all the trails are hard. It's just a matter of conditioning and proper training. There are too many people who say to themselves hey I want to hike a 14er in two weeks and really struggle on the trail.
"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle - victorious."

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Pikes

Postby pokalong » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:42 am

what about Pikes. Get a couple nights stay at Bar camp. It is a great place to meet people and talk hiking Go to Bar camp the first day then summit the next, then hike back to Bar camp for one more night and leave the mountain on the third day. I did this with my wife and some friends last year. None of them are 14er climbers but they had a blast.

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Postby tators_tots » Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:33 am

I've never really considered doing Pikes as a first 14er for Rachel. I figure we'll do it together once she has a few other 14ers under her belt.

I really like the possibility of doing Sunshine or Redcloud on the same trip if she likes Handies.

She is more of a night person but we both like the idea of catching a sunrise. We'll probably have to leave that for a future trip.

Thank you all for your suggestions. I'll post a trip report in August to let you all know how it went.
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Easy 14ers

Postby pklotzbach » Mon Jun 18, 2007 8:46 am

If you want an easy 14er with maximum solitude, I'd recommend San Luis Peak. It's in the middle of nowhere, and there's a trail all the way to the summit. The views from the top are incredible!

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Re: Pikes

Postby PapaBanucci » Sat Jun 23, 2007 8:56 pm

pokalong wrote:what about Pikes. Get a couple nights stay at Bar camp. It is a great place to meet people and talk hiking Go to Bar camp the first day then summit the next, then hike back to Bar camp for one more night and leave the mountain on the third day. I did this with my wife and some friends last year. None of them are 14er climbers but they had a blast.


I did a similar 2 and a half day itinerary with my wife and 10 year old and 9 year old last summer.

If you could take a day off and do a 3 day weekend, this could be great.

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Re: Easy 14ers

Postby Endeavor54 » Sat Jun 23, 2007 10:08 pm

pklotzbach wrote:If you want an easy 14er with maximum solitude, I'd recommend San Luis Peak. It's in the middle of nowhere, and there's a trail all the way to the summit. The views from the top are incredible!


I second that. It has to be the easiest 14'er.
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Postby ajkagy » Sat Jun 23, 2007 11:11 pm

If you want a super easy 14er, i'd check out sherman...the talus isnt too bad and its only a little over 5 miles roundtrip with 2000ft gain

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Postby Schu » Sun Jun 24, 2007 8:36 am

Consider San Luis. The trail has a moderate grade and is good all the way to the top, and you won't have the crowds. You can either overnight in Gunnison, or there are nice campsites along the trail.
Range after range of mountains
Year after year after year
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Postby mtnhappy9756 » Sun Jun 24, 2007 9:51 am

San Luis is pretty easy, and the area is quite serene. The downside is that you have to drive on a bunch of dirt roads for a while until you get to a TH. The area is gorgeous though.

There is a bunch of stuff to do near Handies....if you were to spend a few days in the area. You can camp at the TH or at nearby Mill Creek or Williams Creek Campgrounds. I hear the Blue Lakes hike in Yankee Boy Basin is awesome....you can view Sneffels from there. :) Ouray and Telluride abound with things to do....lots of 4-wheel drive trails in the area if you guys like that.

Have a fun trip!

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Postby zacob » Sun Jun 24, 2007 11:29 am

The really easy way is up Antero or Princeton if you have a descent 4x4 once the roads are clear of snow you can drive to a fairly high point. I took four kids for their first up Antero. Not much of a hike for me but for the Kids two with asthma it was pretty exciting. The summit ridge on Antero is easy but does give you the feel you climbed it as apposed to a trial laden path up stuff like Grays or Quandary. Also since you can get such a high start you can go up in the evening. We topped out at 6:25pm and there wasn't a soul on the mountain save two guys hunting for aquamarine.

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Postby Jim Davies » Sun Jun 24, 2007 2:13 pm

zacob wrote:The really easy way is up Antero or Princeton if you have a descent 4x4 once the roads are clear of snow you can drive to a fairly high point.

Especially if you want her to hate the experience and never do another one. Two of the least pleasant 14ers, if you ask me.

No 14er is going to be both easy and isolated, so go for easy. Handies is an excellent choice. San Luis is nice enough, but the hike is a little longer than average. Sneffels is awesome but a little on the hard side. Huron (with 4WD) or Belford are both moderate hikes with good views, and much shorter drives than the San Juans. Pikes Peak is either a loooong hike (Barr) or less esthetic route (Crags) and very busy.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths. -- Steven Wright

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Postby Denvergriz » Sun Jun 24, 2007 4:17 pm

If you are both in decent shape, I found Elbert to have the a very good trail and no exposure. The views are incredible and you both can say that you have been on top of the highest mountain in Colorado.

If you take the East ridge route and get on the 4WD road, the climb round trip will take less than 6 hours. It is listed as a class 1 and rightfully so. Bierstadt is very crowded and the last 200 vertical feet are climbing rocks.

I took my wife 2 weeks ago (her first time) to Bierstadt and while she made it to the top, it took a while thru the rocks.

d

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