Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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stephakett
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Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by stephakett » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:52 pm

chiggiebeeeese wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:21 pm
stephakett wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:14 pm
Corey17 wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:12 am
Harvard and/or Columbia jumps to mind for me, that was my first overnight. Horn Fork basin is beautiful with plentiful camping, and only a few miles in from the TH. Then you could pick Harvard, Columbia, or both from camp pretty well. Blanca and/or Ellingwood with a camp at Lake Como could be nice, but that road is infamous for a reason. Most other peaks that "require" a camp (Wilsons, Crestones, Capitol, Snowmass, etc) are far more difficult and less suited for beginners.
i'll caution that the route to columbia from horn fork basin SUCKS. would be best to wait until CFI is finished with that project, which *should* be this year [-o<
Is the route loose or steep? or does it just suck to hike?
think less "hike" and more bear-crawl over loose dirt smattered with varieties of thorny plants. 2/10, do not recommend. there are other routes up the mountain that MUST be more pleasant
Cruiser wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:30 pm
When I did the South Ridge route on San Luis a bunch of years ago I made a mental note to return to the area with my kids for an overnight in or near Boneholder Meadows. If you are interested in something kind of out of the way then do a bit of research on it because I think it would be a magnificent spot for a night or 2.
i totally forgot about San Luis. that's an AMAZING choice for an overnight
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Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by SamWerner » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:01 pm

Corey17 wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:37 pm
chiggiebeeeese wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:21 pm
stephakett wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:14 pm


i'll caution that the route to columbia from horn fork basin SUCKS. would be best to wait until CFI is finished with that project, which *should* be this year [-o<
Is the route loose or steep? or does it just suck to hike?
Definitely very loose and steep - the rotten loose nature is probably among the worst on the standard 14er routes. Harvard is the far more pleasant option until the CFI work is done. Hopefully soon!
How would you compare it to coming down from the saddle to the amphitheater on Pyramid? I want to do Columbia but I'm really not that enthused on a gravel slip-n-slide...
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Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by mtree » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:35 pm

chiggiebeeeese wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:21 pm
stephakett wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:14 pm
Corey17 wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:12 am
Harvard and/or Columbia jumps to mind for me, that was my first overnight. Horn Fork basin is beautiful with plentiful camping, and only a few miles in from the TH. Then you could pick Harvard, Columbia, or both from camp pretty well. Blanca and/or Ellingwood with a camp at Lake Como could be nice, but that road is infamous for a reason. Most other peaks that "require" a camp (Wilsons, Crestones, Capitol, Snowmass, etc) are far more difficult and less suited for beginners.
i'll caution that the route to columbia from horn fork basin SUCKS. would be best to wait until CFI is finished with that project, which *should* be this year [-o<
Is the route loose or steep? or does it just suck to hike?
Somewhat loose. Steep? Eh. I didn't think so. Its not that bad at all. I've been on far worse. On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is a pile of ball bearings, I'd give it a 5.
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Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by stephakett » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:03 pm

mtree wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:35 pm
chiggiebeeeese wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:21 pm
stephakett wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:14 pm


i'll caution that the route to columbia from horn fork basin SUCKS. would be best to wait until CFI is finished with that project, which *should* be this year [-o<
Is the route loose or steep? or does it just suck to hike?
Somewhat loose. Steep? Eh. I didn't think so. Its not that bad at all. I've been on far worse. On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is a pile of ball bearings, I'd give it a 5.
my tracks show 46-70% grade for approximately a half mile stretch from 11,9 to 13,4. i found it to be a nuisance compared to the supreme quality of the trail CFI is working on, and compared to the alternate route on the SE ridge. also perhaps since there was no "trail" to speak of for that section, it's possible i picked a bad line.

i now also recall i was hiking on a sprained ankle :-"

anyway, that section is less than 10% of the trip, so hike your own hike 8)
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Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by Ptglhs » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:14 pm

SamWerner wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:01 pm
How would you compare it to coming down from the saddle to the amphitheater on Pyramid? I want to do Columbia but I'm really not that enthused on a gravel slip-n-slide...
I recall it being on par, perhaps columbia is a bit looser than pyramid. I did it summer of 2017 though, just when CFI was starting their construction. It should be much improved next summer. If you can handle Pyramid you'll be fine on Columbia, though maybe not the happiest camper. I'd suggest camping out in the horn fork basin, going up Harvard, traversing to Columbia, then coming down to your camp. I'd rather go down that and butt scoot than go up, assuming the trail isn't finished by the time you're going. Microspikes and maybe an ice axe would be all you'd need to do the traverse. I did it with just trekkers.
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Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by highpilgrim » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:20 pm

stephakett wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:03 pm
my tracks show 46-70% grade for approximately a half mile stretch from 11,9 to 13,4
You might take a look at where a 70% grade falls on this graph...
1024px-Slope_quadrant.svg.png
1024px-Slope_quadrant.svg.png (260.29 KiB) Viewed 931 times
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Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by Ptglhs » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:21 pm

stephakett wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:52 pm
i totally forgot about San Luis. that's an AMAZING choice for an overnight
+1 for this idea. It's gentle and remote and feels very peaceful. The best option for backpacking, imo, is the 3rd, unlisted route up San Luis. Drive to the Stewart Creek trailhead. Drive a couple hundred yards further, park at the CDT Junction. Hike south and west along the CDT, saying hi to the thru hikers going north. You can park in the Basin south of Organ mountain. The next day head up the pass, take a right up the South route for San Luis. If you get inspired on the way down you can tag unnamed 13115, or you can lug you gear all the way to 14k and come back in a loop along the northeast slopes route and to your car.
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Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by CaptCO » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:21 pm

highpilgrim wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:20 pm
stephakett wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:03 pm
my tracks show 46-70% grade for approximately a half mile stretch from 11,9 to 13,4
You might take a look at where a 70% grade falls on this graph...

1024px-Slope_quadrant.svg.png
:lol: 8)
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Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by stephakett » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:25 pm

highpilgrim wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:20 pm
stephakett wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:03 pm
my tracks show 46-70% grade for approximately a half mile stretch from 11,9 to 13,4
You might take a look at where a 70% grade falls on this graph...

1024px-Slope_quadrant.svg.png
[/quote]
technology can be wrong, but i'll tell you that's exactly what it felt like in my "why did i decide to do this instead of harvard" string of profane thoughts while i was shoving my hand into thorns. again- it's VERY possible i picked an awful "line"
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Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by highpilgrim » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:32 pm

stephakett wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:25 pm
it's VERY possible i picked an awful "line"
http://mountainacademy.salomon.com/en/d ... -the-slope

Approximately 45 degree slope vv
1663-w1024.jpg
1663-w1024.jpg (195.21 KiB) Viewed 911 times
Last edited by highpilgrim on Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by stephakett » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:40 pm

highpilgrim wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:32 pm
stephakett wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:25 pm
it's VERY possible i picked an awful "line"
http://mountainacademy.salomon.com/en/d ... -the-slope

Approximately 45% slope vv

1663-w1024.jpg
MOST of the tracks on my recording show between 40-50%, but i did give a 30 degree spread in about half a mile so maybe it was just a funny one-off? silly GPS.

anyway, the new trail looks awesome.
Image
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Re: Good overnight '14er for a beginner?

Post by SchralpTheGnar » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:06 pm

IMO the benefits of not backpacking are better sleep, better food, better drink, less impact to the environment, and when you start hiking low you stay warm all day. The benefits of backpacking include a better campsite and a closer approach the 2nd day. For me not backpacking wins every time and you could do all the 14ers and never backpack once in your life.
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