In your opinion, what is the hardest 14er?

Items that do not fit the categories above.
Forum rules
Please do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website. For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
Post Reply
User avatar
terrysrunning
Posts: 44
Joined: 6/24/2013
14ers: 58 1
13ers: 40
Contact:

Re: In your opinion, what is the hardest 14er?

Post by terrysrunning » Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:59 pm

As subjective as it is, the most interesting thing to me is to see the different perspectives on these threads. I mean, to me, Cap was a walk in the park. Pyramid was nothing but fun. I never noticed anything scary loose on the Bells. But there are lots of people more skilled than myself saying they're hard. I didn't do the standard route on LB; the NW face was a blast and nothing anyone has ever said has given me any interest in ever doing the Hourglass, but I'd still call it the "hardest". Capitol's approach was pleasant (9 hrs car-car because camping is a PITA), whereas Lake Como rd can die in a fire; then you've got some either sketchy or prolonged technical climbing ahead of you no matter how you do it. I felt like Cap you had to be careful, but everything after the move coming down off K2 was easy, and that's easily avoided if you go around. The Knife Edge looks scary but it's bomber rock. Kinda like Longs; big consequences, but seemed like you'd have to really not be paying attention to mess it up.
Snowmass (I did the S Ridge) is another long approach followed by hard(as defined by both physical exertion and having to be mindful) climbing. Descending the W Slopes of Snowmass was the most miserable time I've ever had on a 14er, and I've been chased by lightning and ridden moving slopes of scree and done all 58 inc the traverses. F that route. If by "hard" you mean "most likely to kill you whether you F up or not", that takes the cake for me.
As some have pointed out, it probably comes down to the hardest individual move. I've thought about starting a thread about that. I've searched and couldn't find one but maybe didn't use the right terms, so if someone knows of one please point me at it. I think the move on Sunlight is easy...but so airy it's scary AF. So by that standard, Sunlight would win, even though literally only 2 seconds of the whole route are "hard".
User avatar
nyker
Posts: 2633
Joined: 12/6/2007
14ers: 58
13ers: 22
Trip Reports (69)

Re: In your opinion, what is the hardest 14er?

Post by nyker » Sat Mar 27, 2021 5:54 am

Perspectives vary greatly. One person's fun is another person's worst fear. I know people who cannot climb an 8ft ladder much less fit enough for a long approach at high altitude to an exposed perch on a distant peak.
For an average person not climbing frequently, not having a higher level of aerobic fitness and not accustomed to exerting one's self over 10,000ft, ANY of these peaks can be very hard and throw in any technical terrain it's a nonstarter for some folks.
User avatar
speth
Posts: 563
Joined: 4/16/2010
14ers: 58 5
13ers: 34
Trip Reports (1)

Re: In your opinion, what is the hardest 14er?

Post by speth » Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:40 pm

Chicago Transplant wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 5:08 pm
Anyway, back on topic...

If you go by single move, I would say Sunlight's summit block is the hardest single move. Given it's remoteness and length of approach, I would put it a little higher on the list of hardest than most. Maybe 3rd or 4th? Top 5 would be Capitol, Little Bear, Sunlight, Needle and Wilson for me. Agree with those who say Pyramid is not as hard as advertised, it was class 4 going up because it was harder to follow the easiest route, but our descent was class 3.
I'd put Sunlight at the top, and my suspicion is that a large swath of people who have stood on the top of Capitol, haven't stood/sat on the top of Sunlight. Maybe not even the majority, but a large amount.
I'll be damned if I feel like I will ever know anything, but if we don't keep moving on that last hill, we'll never know what's on the other side.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
All I want is to just have fun, live my life like a son of a gun
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[-X What are you insinuating? Do you think I'm Ranger? =; Because if you do than you are dead wrong.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sarcasm or not, it's not even funny to post something like this. Not at this time. Reported.
User avatar
Jon Frohlich
Posts: 2409
Joined: 10/14/2005
14ers: 58
13ers: 148 3
Trip Reports (32)
Contact:

Re: In your opinion, what is the hardest 14er?

Post by Jon Frohlich » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:09 pm

speth wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:40 pm
I'd put Sunlight at the top, and my suspicion is that a large swath of people who have stood on the top of Capitol, haven't stood/sat on the top of Sunlight. Maybe not even the majority, but a large amount.
I kind of belly flopped on it. Does that count?
User avatar
jmanner
Posts: 1388
Joined: 5/26/2009
14ers: 58 25 10
13ers: 44 10 3
Trip Reports (14)

Re: In your opinion, what is the hardest 14er?

Post by jmanner » Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:26 pm

Jon Frohlich wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:09 pm
speth wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:40 pm
I'd put Sunlight at the top, and my suspicion is that a large swath of people who have stood on the top of Capitol, haven't stood/sat on the top of Sunlight. Maybe not even the majority, but a large amount.
I kind of belly flopped on it. Does that count?
I wonder about that, I know several people that claim to have "finished the 14ers" but never got on top of the summit block of Sunlight. I personally don;t think it counts if you don't at least touch the summit. But to each his or her own. I've heard it said it's the hardest move to the summit, but Id argue it's the hardest move 'off the summit' at least mentally.

I'd stick with Capitol as the hardest, lots of class 4, big drops, loose rock that maims, route finding that kills.
A man has got to know his limitations.-Dr. Jonathan Hemlock or Harry Callahan or something F' it: http://youtu.be/lpzqQst-Sg8

'Life is too short to ski groomers'

"That man's only desire was to stand, once only, on the summit of that glorious wedge of rock...I think anyone who loves the mountains as much as that can claim to be a mountaineer, too."-Hermann Buhl, Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage
User avatar
speth
Posts: 563
Joined: 4/16/2010
14ers: 58 5
13ers: 34
Trip Reports (1)

Re: In your opinion, what is the hardest 14er?

Post by speth » Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:27 pm

jmanner wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:26 pm
Jon Frohlich wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:09 pm
speth wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:40 pm
I'd put Sunlight at the top, and my suspicion is that a large swath of people who have stood on the top of Capitol, haven't stood/sat on the top of Sunlight. Maybe not even the majority, but a large amount.
I kind of belly flopped on it. Does that count?
I wonder about that, I know several people that claim to have "finished the 14ers" but never got on top of the summit block of Sunlight. I personally don;t think it counts if you don't at least touch the summit. But to each his or her own. I've heard it said it's the hardest move to the summit, but Id argue it's the hardest move 'off the summit' at least mentally.

I'd stick with Capitol as the hardest, lots of class 4, big drops, loose rock that maims, route finding that kills.
I won't totally derail the conversation with a "does it count or not..." discussion for the top of Sunlight - it's been beaten to death.

But, I can guarantee you that there are people out there that'll make claims about Capitol or Little Bear or Crestones being the hardest 14er to summit... who haven't been on the top of Sunlight.
I'll be damned if I feel like I will ever know anything, but if we don't keep moving on that last hill, we'll never know what's on the other side.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
All I want is to just have fun, live my life like a son of a gun
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[-X What are you insinuating? Do you think I'm Ranger? =; Because if you do than you are dead wrong.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sarcasm or not, it's not even funny to post something like this. Not at this time. Reported.
User avatar
jmanner
Posts: 1388
Joined: 5/26/2009
14ers: 58 25 10
13ers: 44 10 3
Trip Reports (14)

Re: In your opinion, what is the hardest 14er?

Post by jmanner » Sun Mar 28, 2021 2:41 pm

Which peak is the hardest ski descent, (in a normal year with good conditions)? That’s what I won’t to know.
A man has got to know his limitations.-Dr. Jonathan Hemlock or Harry Callahan or something F' it: http://youtu.be/lpzqQst-Sg8

'Life is too short to ski groomers'

"That man's only desire was to stand, once only, on the summit of that glorious wedge of rock...I think anyone who loves the mountains as much as that can claim to be a mountaineer, too."-Hermann Buhl, Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage
User avatar
SchralpTheGnar
Posts: 1632
Joined: 2/26/2008
14ers: 51 49 1
13ers: 28 21
Trip Reports (20)

Re: In your opinion, what is the hardest 14er?

Post by SchralpTheGnar » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:33 pm

Frank had a good post a while back on 14ers ranked by difficulty by ski descent, capitol 100x harder than pyramid, pyramid 100x harder than the next batch.
User avatar
jmanner
Posts: 1388
Joined: 5/26/2009
14ers: 58 25 10
13ers: 44 10 3
Trip Reports (14)

Re: In your opinion, what is the hardest 14er?

Post by jmanner » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:36 pm

SchralpTheGnar wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:33 pm
Frank had a good post a while back on 14ers ranked by difficulty by ski descent, capitol 100x harder than pyramid, pyramid 100x harder than the next batch.
What do you think? Capitol via the traditional ski route seems mostly like a side hill misery more than a ski.
A man has got to know his limitations.-Dr. Jonathan Hemlock or Harry Callahan or something F' it: http://youtu.be/lpzqQst-Sg8

'Life is too short to ski groomers'

"That man's only desire was to stand, once only, on the summit of that glorious wedge of rock...I think anyone who loves the mountains as much as that can claim to be a mountaineer, too."-Hermann Buhl, Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage
User avatar
SchralpTheGnar
Posts: 1632
Joined: 2/26/2008
14ers: 51 49 1
13ers: 28 21
Trip Reports (20)

Re: In your opinion, what is the hardest 14er?

Post by SchralpTheGnar » Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:27 am

I don’t know, I’ve never skied Capitol but the consensus from those who have finished is it’s undoubtedly the hardest by a wide margin.

Hardest 14er I’ve skied was probably Maroon or N.maroon, we managed to catch little bear in all time conditions and it was awesome, challenging for sure,so still one of the harder ones but we did that in a day from the valley floor and I think that the D scale stuff just considers the ski, not approach or vert, but I don’t know. Anywho I’ll probably never ski capitol and my risk tolerance has decreased since turning about 35, and on those types of lines you have to have 100% confidence that you can do it
User avatar
jmanner
Posts: 1388
Joined: 5/26/2009
14ers: 58 25 10
13ers: 44 10 3
Trip Reports (14)

Re: In your opinion, what is the hardest 14er?

Post by jmanner » Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:47 am

SchralpTheGnar wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:27 am
I don’t know, I’ve never skied Capitol but the consensus from those who have finished is it’s undoubtedly the hardest by a wide margin.

Hardest 14er I’ve skied was probably Maroon or N.maroon, we managed to catch little bear in all time conditions and it was awesome, challenging for sure,so still one of the harder ones but we did that in a day from the valley floor and I think that the D scale stuff just considers the ski, not approach or vert, but I don’t know. Anywho I’ll probably never ski capitol and my risk tolerance has decreased since turning about 35, and on those types of lines you have to have 100% confidence that you can do it
Sorry misread your list. Friends that have skied Capitol don’t consider it much of a ski. I don’t have much interest in it personally.
A man has got to know his limitations.-Dr. Jonathan Hemlock or Harry Callahan or something F' it: http://youtu.be/lpzqQst-Sg8

'Life is too short to ski groomers'

"That man's only desire was to stand, once only, on the summit of that glorious wedge of rock...I think anyone who loves the mountains as much as that can claim to be a mountaineer, too."-Hermann Buhl, Nanga Parbat Pilgrimage
Post Reply