Meeker Loft route finding question

Colorado 13er peak questions, condition requests and other info. 13er Trip Reports, Condition Reports
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Meeker Loft route finding question

Postby Rick Canter » Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:56 am

Hi folks,

I am studying the routes on Meeker currently, such a complex mountain!

Here's my question: Suppose I reach the summit without taking the Loft route and I want to descend via the Loft, down past Ships Prow and Chasm Lake to the Longs Peak Trail. I need to find that narrow weakness in the cliffs as I start down the NW side of Meeker. Is this route cairned or marked at all? How do I guarantee that I find this narrow outlet?

My biggest fear is that I do not find this easily, with weather coming in.

Thanks, Rick

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Re: Meeker Loft route finding question

Postby andrewhamilton » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:03 am

Hi Rick, there is definitely a cairned path that will lead you down through the loft route. It can be easy to miss. Last year in April I was with a couple of friends and we were descending the Loft route just as darkness was coming in and were too far to the North and we ended up doing a nasty little icy cliff descent that was directly above the Loft route.

The saddle between the prow and Meeker is basically a big plateau, our mistake was being too far North on the plateau. This is an easy mistake to make especially if you do not climb Meeker, because as you gain the saddle from the other side you naturally head straight towards the east which leads you to those cliffs that are above the Loft route. You don't even see the cliffs until you have descended enough that you won't want to go back up.

To make sure you find the cairns you should make sure you start looking for them on the southern end of the plateau, practically all the way over to where you would start gaining elevation from the saddle if you were going to go up Meeker. Take your time and find the cairns, and the cairned route will first head Eastward (down) and eventually will head towards the north (your left if descending) as you find the ledges of the Loft route.

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Re: Meeker Loft route finding question

Postby Rick Canter » Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:07 am

Thank you Andrew. Our team reached Meeker today by staying true to Roach's description of the Loft Route...including a handful of cairns. We stilll made small routefinding errors which quickly led to trouble. Finally nobody felt comfortable attrmpting to stand on the summit so we hugged the boulder on the south side. Incredible scenery all day and we got down before the storm hit

Thanks again...

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