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
druid2112
Posts: 279
Joined: 9/7/2012
14ers: 46 6
13ers: 32 5
Trip Reports (7)

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

Post by druid2112 » Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:14 am

Jorts wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:31 pm
I haven't climbed them all but descending the standard route of Crestone Needle after summiting non-standard was really tough from a route finding perspective. Several gullies end in cliffs. One gully is the standard, correct route. Our party chose the wrong one initially and grudgingly reversed. Other people haven't been so fortunate and have either been cliffed out, injured or died.
In my previous post above, I noted that this is exactly what I felt I was about to witness had I not intervened. The people I chatted with up top had come from the traverse, and had no clue where to go to descend the standard route.

When I did the Needle (standard route), having read of experiences like this, I spent a LOT of time on the way up stopping and looking back, especially at key points, and remembering land marks etc. It was crucial to do so, as on the way down there were at least a couple points where it would have been easy to blow right past where you should have turned.

I think that is something that people don't do enough of. When headed up, I routinely stop and look down to take mental pictures of the route so it's more familiar to me on the way down. Just my two cents.
"You can't really dust for vomit." - Nigel Tufnel
ltlFish99
Posts: 370
Joined: 5/22/2019
14ers: 40 2 2
13ers: 51

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

Post by ltlFish99 » Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:16 pm

We hiked little bear from blanca basin, so I have no hourglass experience. We went to slb, then over to lb. I thought it was great and had a wonderful time.
Capitol for me was a lot of fun. of course, when you are much younger than I am now 27 on Capitol exposure equals fun excitement. The gentleman that led the trip for the CMC, it was his 500th 14er summit.
Everyone had a great time. my opinion of its its difficulty us biased due to my youth and inexperience as Capitol was my 2nd 14er.
Mt. Wilson north slopes was great.
Longs is my favorite, so I have always enjoyed that mountain.
Of the ones I have left, pyramid, crestone needle, and north maroon are the ones I am a little nervous about.
User avatar
CheapCigarMan
Posts: 325
Joined: 12/10/2014
14ers: 58 2
13ers: 33 2
Trip Reports (1)

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

Post by CheapCigarMan » Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:21 pm

GeezerClimber wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:27 pm
There used to be a difficulty ranking on this site based on rankings made by climbers here. Capitol was always number 1 and Little Bear 2. This is by the standard routes. I agree with the rating but won't argue with those who give #1 to Little Bear. In any event, these two are in a class of their own IMO. No others are close. In my experience, N. Maroon was easier than expected. Crestone Pk., Mt. Wilson (from the north) and Snowmass were harder.

Dave
Here is that difficulty ranking by members list. In order from hardest to easiest.
I snagged it before Bill took it down.
The ask was to rank them in order of difficulty by standard route only.

Rank Peak Route Class RT Gain Exposure
1 Capitol Peak Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake 4 17 5,300 4
2 Little Bear Peak West Ridge and Southwest Face 4 14 6,200 4
3 Pyramid Peak Northeast Ridge 4 8.25 4,500 4
4 North Maroon Peak Northeast Ridge 4 9.25 4,500 4
5 Mt. Wilson North Slopes 4 16 5,100 4
6 Crestone Needle South Face 3 12 4,400 4
7 Sunlight Peak South Face 4 5 6,000 5
8 Maroon Peak South Ridge 3 11.5 4,800 4
9 Crestone Peak South Face 3 14 5,700 3
10 Mt. Eolus Northeast Ridge 3 5 6,100 4
11 Snowmass Mountain East Slope 3 22 5,800 3
12 El Diente Peak North Slopes 3 15 5,000 3
13 Wilson Peak Southwest Ridge 3 10 5,000 4
14 Longs Peak Keyhole Route 3 14.5 5,100 3
15 Wetterhorn Peak Southeast Ridge 3 7 3,300 4
16 Kit Carson Peak From Challenger Point -3 14.5 6,250 3
17 Mt. Lindsey North Face 2+ 8.25 3,500 2
18 North Eolus South Ridge 3 0.2 200 3
19 Blanca Peak Northwest Ridge 2+ 17 6,500 3
20 Mt. Sneffels From Yankee Boy Basin 2+ 6 2,900 3
21 Castle Peak Northeast Ridge 2+ 13.5 4,600 3
22 Ellingwood Point South Face 2+ 17 6,200 2
23 Challenger Point North Slope 2+ 12.5 5,400 2
24 Windom Peak West Ridge 2+ 5 6,000 3
25 Mt. Harvard South Slopes 2 14 4,600 2
26 Uncompahgre Peak South Ridge from Nellie Creek 2 7.5 3,000 2
27 La Plata Peak Northwest Ridge 2 9.25 4,500 2
28 Mt. of the Holy Cross North Ridge 2 12 5,600 2
29 Mt. Massive East Slopes 2 14.5 4,500 2
30 Mt. Yale Southwest Slopes 2 9.5 4,300 2
31 Missouri Mountain Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch 2 10.5 4,500 3
32 Mt. Antero West Slopes 2 16 5,200 2
33 Tabeguache Peak. Via Mt. Shavano 2 11.25 5,600 2
34 Mt. Shavano East Slopes 2 9.25 4,600 2
35 Mt. Columbia West Slopes 2 11.5 4,250 2
36 Humboldt Peak West Ridge 2 11 4,200 2
37 Conundrum Peak. Castle and Conundrum 2+
38 Mt. Oxford From Mt. Belford 2 11 5,800 2
39 Mt. Belford Northwest Ridge 2 8 4,500 1
40 Mt. Princeton East Slopes 2 6.5 3,200 2
41 Mt. Evans West Ridge via Mt. Spalding 2 5.5 2,000 2
42 Sunshine Peak From Redcloud Peak 2 12.25 4,800 2
43 Redcloud Peak Northeast Ridge 2 9 3,700 2
44 Culebra Peak Northwest Ridge 2 5 2,700 2
45 Mt. Lincoln West Ridge 2 6 2,600 1
46 Torreys Peak South Slopes 2 8 3,000 1
47 Mt. Elbert Northeast Ridge 1 9 4,700 1
48 Huron Peak Northwest Slopes 2 6.5 3,500 2
49 Pikes Peak East Slope 1 26 7,500 0
50 Mt. Bierstadt West Slopes 2 7 2,850 1
51 Mt. Democrat East Slopes 2 4 2,150 1
52 Mt. Cameron Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, Bross 2 4.75 2,250 1
53 Quandary Peak East Ridge 1 6.75 3,450 1
54 Grays Peak East Slopes 1 8 3,000 1
55 San Luis Peak Northeast Ridge 1 13.5 3,600 0
56 Handies Peak Southwest Slopes 1 5.75 2,500 1
57 Mt. Bross East Slopes from Mineral Park Mine 1 9 2,900 1
58 Mt. Sherman Southwest Ridge from Fourmile Creek 2 5.25 2,100 2
I should be on a mountain
User avatar
highpilgrim
Posts: 3101
Joined: 3/14/2008
14ers: 58
13ers: 82 1
Trip Reports (1)

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

Post by highpilgrim » Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:27 pm

CheapCigarMan wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:21 pm
The ask was to rank them in order of difficulty by standard route only.

Rank Peak Route Class RT Gain Exposure
1 Capitol Peak Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake 4 17 5,300 4
2 Little Bear Peak West Ridge and Southwest Face 4 14 6,200 4
3 Pyramid Peak Northeast Ridge 4 8.25 4,500 4
It's hard to quibble with 1 or 2. Opinions vary with conditions and personal likes/dislikes for what hard means.

But I don't put Pyramid anywhere near 3 on the list. I thought it overrated, starting with the "Leap of Faith". It was fun throughout, the exception being gaining the ridgeline initially. That was crappy. The rest was fun. I had a hard time seeing any of it at class 4.

Certainly it's not 3rd on my list.
Call on God, but row away from the rocks.
Hunter S Thompson

Walk away from the droning and leave the hive behind.
Dick Derkase
User avatar
painless4u2
Posts: 1195
Joined: 7/14/2010
14ers: 58
Trip Reports (8)

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

Post by painless4u2 » Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:32 pm

Blanca from the Huerfano Valley to Winchell Lakes with a full backpack. Beautiful but tough. Ties with Little Bear SW Ridge: cactus, heat, exposed knife edge, long and no water for most of it. Not on my repeat list.
Bad decisions often make good stories.

IPAs + Ambien = "14ers" post (Bill M.)

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
User avatar
CaptCO
Posts: 1769
Joined: 7/14/2019
14ers: 58 14
13ers: 45 1
Trip Reports (5)
Contact:

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

Post by CaptCO » Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:32 pm

highpilgrim wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:27 pm
CheapCigarMan wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:21 pm
The ask was to rank them in order of difficulty by standard route only.

Rank Peak Route Class RT Gain Exposure
1 Capitol Peak Northeast Ridge from Capitol Lake 4 17 5,300 4
2 Little Bear Peak West Ridge and Southwest Face 4 14 6,200 4
3 Pyramid Peak Northeast Ridge 4 8.25 4,500 4
It's hard to quibble with 1 or 2. Opinions vary with conditions and personal likes/dislikes for what hard means.

But I don't put Pyramid anywhere near 3 on the list. I thought it overrated, starting with the "Leap of Faith". It was fun throughout, the exception being gaining the ridgeline initially. That was crappy. The rest was fun. I had a hard time seeing any of it at class 4.

Certainly it's not 3rd on my list.
Yeah idek, I’ll catch flak for this comment but, I climbed pyramid in a graupel storm after filtering water at crater lake.. was still done in 7 hours and never felt unsafe? The goats kicking rocks down on me was the worst part. The bells following day was a bit more intense
Attachments
224FBDD6-BB8B-4CE6-B1E6-8368D028C880.jpeg
224FBDD6-BB8B-4CE6-B1E6-8368D028C880.jpeg (203.05 KiB) Viewed 638 times
F578B2AC-7DCE-4E73-A9FC-D5C00F7C3390.jpeg
F578B2AC-7DCE-4E73-A9FC-D5C00F7C3390.jpeg (310.11 KiB) Viewed 638 times
"It's a thing if you want it to be a thing. What others think of something is irrelevant." -OldSchool

Proof is in the progress, patience is essence; I’m crazy as a fox

"The future no longer belongs to my generation"

DM @Capt_Alec for nudes
User avatar
bdloftin77
Posts: 523
Joined: 9/23/2013
14ers: 58 1
13ers: 58
Trip Reports (2)

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

Post by bdloftin77 » Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:07 pm

CheapCigarMan wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:21 pm
Here is that difficulty ranking by members list. In order from hardest to easiest.
I snagged it before Bill took it down.
I think I missed it.. Did Bill say why he took it down? I'd thought that ranking list was cool, though maybe a bit subjective.
User avatar
CheapCigarMan
Posts: 325
Joined: 12/10/2014
14ers: 58 2
13ers: 33 2
Trip Reports (1)

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

Post by CheapCigarMan » Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:24 pm

bdloftin77 wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:07 pm
CheapCigarMan wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:21 pm
Here is that difficulty ranking by members list. In order from hardest to easiest.
I snagged it before Bill took it down.
I think I missed it.. Did Bill say why he took it down? I'd thought that ranking list was cool, though maybe a bit subjective.
It's been a while now. To think back I think he took it down because it was so subjective and it was focused on standard routes only for each peak. That would be a very limited amount of people to actually do that. Probably thought it didn't add much value because of that and he replaced it with the Routes by Difficulty page where he ranks them first by Class then by difficulty, still only by standard routes. Seems like it was something along those lines anyway.

Bill, correct me if I'm wrong.
I should be on a mountain
User avatar
XterraRob
Posts: 863
Joined: 7/20/2015
14ers: 41 7
13ers: 12 1
Trip Reports (4)

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

Post by XterraRob » Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:37 pm

By standard routes & being all encompassing, I would say Capitol given the distance you have to travel to get to the peak, the exposure & terrain, class rating, etc.
RIP - M56
Image
Dayute
Posts: 74
Joined: 8/13/2017
14ers: 42 1
13ers: 6 1

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

Post by Dayute » Wed Mar 24, 2021 4:27 pm

Odd opinion here but I found Maroon Peak surprisingly hard. The Green Monster or whatever its called goes forever and the routefinding above it is very tedious. Theres plenty of loose rock there too. By comparison I thought the routefinding on LB was a non-issue and I kind of giggled to myself in the choke point at how much easier it was than I thought it would be. The loose rock right above the hourglass was tricky but I didnt think it was that much worse than the final push up Kit Carson from the Challenger traverse. Havent done Capitol yet.
User avatar
JChitwood
Posts: 425
Joined: 8/29/2011
14ers: 58
13ers: 36

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

Post by JChitwood » Wed Mar 24, 2021 4:56 pm

Dayute wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 4:27 pm
Odd opinion here but I found Maroon Peak surprisingly hard. The Green Monster or whatever its called goes forever and the routefinding above it is very tedious. Theres plenty of loose rock there too. By comparison I thought the routefinding on LB was a non-issue and I kind of giggled to myself in the choke point at how much easier it was than I thought it would be. The loose rock right above the hourglass was tricky but I didnt think it was that much worse than the final push up Kit Carson from the Challenger traverse. Havent done Capitol yet.
Can’t remember a Green Monster on Maroon. Maybe talking about the Green Wall on Pyramid? I found Maroon difficult too the rock was horrid and the thousands of vertical up and down the Slope of Suck from the valley were brutal. Even with hiking poles I fell three times on the trail going down Maroon it’s high on the list of mountains I will never do again. In fact I may never climb a peak in that valley again the parking difficulties suck as bad as the rock.
"I'll make it." - Jimmy Chitwood
User avatar
Salient
Posts: 82
Joined: 2/19/2021
14ers: List not added
Contact:

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

Post by Salient » Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:29 pm

My opinion isn’t very valid as I have never been higher than ~6650’ but I do like how Bill phrased the notice for Capitol Peak. “This is the most-difficult of the standard 14er routes; It's long, tedious and dangerous.”
Post Reply