least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

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hellmanm
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least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

Post by hellmanm » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:27 pm

This is as much of a shower thought as it is a real question, but I'm curious which peaks you think are generally the least accessible. I'd like all factors to be considered -- vicious roads, horrible bushwhacks, overall mileage/elevation gain, technical difficulty, rock quality, distance from any real town...etc. I also know that different things are tough for different people -- a fit and experienced rock climber who drives a prius may have more trouble with certain routes than a moderately out-of-shape person who is ok with loose choss and gnarly 4x4 roads. Still, there are some routes that are objectively brutal. My first guess would be something like Jagged or Peak Q, but I'm sure there's worse out there. Thoughts/opinions?
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Re: least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

Post by highpilgrim » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:44 pm

The area in near Rio Grande Pyramid, or between there and Vallecito seems to have some pretty remote and hard to access areas.
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Re: least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

Post by Jon Frohlich » Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:51 pm

You can probably use the least climbed 13ers list on LoJ to come up with a good idea. Basically these 3 quads: Storm King, Emerald Lake, and Rio Grande Pyramid.

https://www.listsofjohn.com/Colorado/13ERSLC.php
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Re: least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

Post by shaunblair » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:14 pm

Even using the 13ers list on this site - the rightmost column is "user ascents" (or a count of users who have logged ascents). Surprising how many peaks have less than 10, one has 3! If I had the time, I'd geocluster these peaks to see how close together the <10 ascent peaks are...
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Re: least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

Post by JacobW » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:18 pm

Just because something is "least climbed" doesn't really mean it's the least accessible. That's likely going to bring up a bunch of non-aesthetic peaks that are overshadowed by better summits nearby.

The best thing that comes to mind for "least accessible 14er" would be Sunlight Spire (all things considered).
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Re: least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

Post by MtnResident » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:20 pm

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Last edited by MtnResident on Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

Post by supranihilest » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:29 pm

shaunblair wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:14 pm
Even using the 13ers list on this site - the rightmost column is "user ascents" (or a count of users who have logged ascents). Surprising how many peaks have less than 10, one has 3! If I had the time, I'd geocluster these peaks to see how close together the <10 ascent peaks are...
And the one that has three ascents, Gray Needle, very likely only has two. Whoever boardersage is is very unlikely to have climbed Gray Needle, which until August of this year hadn't seen a documented ascent since the 1950s. I highly doubt someone who just registered to the site this year, has logged a single easy 14er yet two dozen of the most difficult 13ers (and in their three minutes of site activity, no less), and has no other information about themselves actually climbed Gray Needle, so you can safely say that it only has two ascents.
MtnResident wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:20 pm
Coxcomb - The road in, while not difficult, is a long drive on heavy washboard, plus just getting to the dirt road is quite a drive from just about everywhere. The summit climb is more difficult than a typical CO peak and it's a great place to spend a few days exploring, as it's pretty remote.
Pretty strongly disagree with this one. Coxcomb is by no means remote. It's only like eight miles round trip from the upper trailhead which isn't particularly rough or hard to get to. Sure it's a technical climb but as far as accessibility goes it's highly accessible. I'd say the peaks in the Weminuche near Rock Creek, Sunlight Creek, Leviathan Basin, etc. are the least accessible. Stuff that's typically done from Kite Lake or Beartown, so northern Vallecito Creek stuff. Perhaps add in Endlich Mesa peaks since the drive in absolutely sucks and the peaks are backpacks for all but the strongest and fastest climbers.

Rio Grande Pyramid area is certainly remote but it's 2WD to Rio Grande Reservoir and the terrain around RGP is, for the most part, super gentle. It's certainly remote but is super accessible compared to northern Vallecito peaks. I'd put South San Juan Wilderness peaks in a similar category.

Pretty much everything else can be done in a day for fit climbers. Sure, people day trip Weminuche peaks too, it's just exceptionally uncommon and most people simply couldn't do it even if they wanted to.

Edit: I can't spell.
Last edited by supranihilest on Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

Post by cottonmountaineering » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:30 pm

areas near rio grande pyramid and mt oso are the most remote i think
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Re: least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

Post by dwoodward13 » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:35 pm

Agree on the Rio Grande. Was out at Rock Lake several years back and it was a haul...Peters/Oso/ect are way out there.

Of course you could take the other side of the coin and the Boulder Watershed 13ers in the IPW are (legally) totally inaccessible despite being essentially in the back yard of millions of people!
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Re: least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

Post by Boggy B » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:51 pm

supranihilest wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:29 pm
And the one that has three ascents, Gray Needle, very likely only has two. Whoever boardersage is is very unlikely to have climbed Gray Needle, which until August of this year hadn't seen a documented ascent since the 1950s. I highly doubt someone who just registered to the site this year, has logged a single easy 14er yet two dozen of the most difficult 13ers (and in their three minutes of site activity, no less), and has no other information about themselves actually climbed Gray Needle, so you can safely say that it only has two ascents.
I messaged boardersage but never got a reply. I assume it's Monster5 trolling me.
According to Steve Gladbach, Peter Stabolepszy was the first person known to have summitted all of the "Unranked" (Named) 13ers, which implies an ascent of Gray Needle. I reached out and he (Peter) told me that he and his partner spent a bunch of days climbing all the points around there to ensure they bagged Gray Needle, so it seems they got to it before we did. Some doubt his claims, but if his word was good enough for Steve, it's good enough for me. There have probably been other undocumented ascents. However, Stabolepszy didn't find the bolts either, so it is possible the original Gray Needle has never seen a second ascent, at least since all the people who knew where it actually is stopped climbing.
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Re: least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

Post by Chicago Transplant » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:55 pm

I would probably say Peak Fifteen or Jagged as the least accessible ranked 13ers and of course their neighboring unranked tech peaks would qualify too. Both have long mileage approaches to technical summits in remote wilderness without real trails to access them. The approaches are especially long if you come in from Purgatory and don't take the train. Generally both are backpacked in with overnight camps. Ruby was so overgrown last time I was there, and our approach up Sunlight Creek for Jagged also had overgrown sections. I'd give the nod to Fifteen over Jagged, however, because the gully to get to the North Eolus-Little Finger saddle was so terrible while Jagged's off trail approach sections were more grassy. Both have technical roped climbing, often more than one pitch done on rope, and are usually descended via multiple rappels negating any sort of quick descent option if weather moves in. Even if they don't take the prize on pure mileage, the overall logistics and difficulty of the approaches and peaks is why I would pick them over some of the other locations recommended.

The areas around RGP are pretty remote, as are the areas around Emerald/Rock Lake (though some of that can be mitigated with Beartown as the approach if you have 4WD). I just think the lack of technical logistics for those puts them not quite as inaccessible as the tech peaks, even if the mileage might actually be greater for the peaks around Oso.
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Re: least accessible 14er/13er summit in CO?

Post by Ptglhs » Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:59 pm

Bartlett mtn is the least accessible 13er imo. The mountain structural Integrity is being degraded by the mining taking place at the base of it, rendering it more treacherous. There is a use road that goes up from the mindside to about 200 feet below the summit. The area is actively patrolled by security and climax mine will get Summit County Sheriff out there to ticket and arrest trespassers.
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