first winter 14er

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Barnold41
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Re: first winter 14er

Post by Barnold41 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:50 am

rpdawes wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:22 am
Go solo climb up Quandary Peak if you can regardless of what barnold41 said provided that you have winter gear ready and the weather forecast is favorable. I did it at the age of 74 on Happy Valentine's Day. That day I saw 3 or 4 souls. It is most likely that you will find a trench almost all the way to the summit.
That's great that you did this solo, but I know that the increase in backcountry users this year will have a direct correlation to the increase in accidents, no matter how "safe" the mountain is known to be. Also, "favorable" weather doesn't always mean it will stay that way. I've had plenty of days when it said 0% chance of anything and ended up in whiteouts. Not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, just trying to be realistic in a situation where tons of inexperienced backcountry travelers will begin to start doing things they normally haven't in the past because ski season is different this year.
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rpdawes
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Re: first winter 14er

Post by rpdawes » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:08 am

Barnold41 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:50 am
rpdawes wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:22 am
Go solo climb up Quandary Peak if you can regardless of what barnold41 said provided that you have winter gear ready and the weather forecast is favorable. I did it at the age of 74 on Happy Valentine's Day. That day I saw 3 or 4 souls. It is most likely that you will find a trench almost all the way to the summit.
That's great that you did this solo, but I know that the increase in backcountry users this year will have a direct correlation to the increase in accidents, no matter how "safe" the mountain is known to be. Also, "favorable" weather doesn't always mean it will stay that way. I've had plenty of days when it said 0% chance of anything and ended up in whiteouts. Not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, just trying to be realistic in a situation where tons of inexperienced backcountry travelers will begin to start doing things they normally haven't in the past because ski season is different this year.
Evidently, we have different experiences of reading and interpreting weather forecasts. Over my past 150 hikes, the weather forecast
has stayed true all day for a certain day that I hiked. I have not met any storm or foul weather at all. I depend upon National Weather Service for all mountain weather forecasts. I go hiking around the year.
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JQDivide
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Re: first winter 14er

Post by JQDivide » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:46 am

Quandary is the best first winter peak... go with someone experienced. Go on a good weather day.

Big Differences in summer and winter hiking:
1. Snow: take micro spikes and snowshoes.
2. Effort: You'll move slower, guestimate 1 mph up and down for any trip, until you figure out your own speed. Takes more energy to move in snow, take more food. If you're postholing in deep snow... A LOT more effort.
3. Trail: unless there is a path/boot pack or trench from previous hikers, you'll have to find the trail. (Don't always follow a snow trail blindly, they could have gone the wrong way)
4. Clothes: It can take numerous winter hikes to figure out your layers. Do you hike hot or cold? Do you sweat a lot? How does the wind impact your layers? Boots and socks? You don't need "mountaineering boots" for most winter 14ers, especially the easier ones.
5. Less people: you'll be alone a lot, so take precautions, emergency beacon, give someone your itinerary and stick to it. Take emergency gear/layers so you can you survive the night.
6. It's beautiful out there in winter.

If the Winter Welcomer happens... go! Or try to connect with someone on here to hike with.

Joel
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Re: first winter 14er

Post by mindfolded » Tue Sep 22, 2020 1:57 pm

JQDivide wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:46 am
3. Trail: unless there is a path/boot pack or trench from previous hikers, you'll have to find the trail. (Don't always follow a snow trail blindly, they could have gone the wrong way)
It's also possible that the trail for winter is different from the summer trail, which again means don't follow snow trails blindly.
"I get all the news I need on the weather report."
ltlFish99
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Re: first winter 14er

Post by ltlFish99 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:09 pm

I agree Quandary is a good one as winter access is great. One of the few others I did was Torreys in February.
Had to park at the lot by i70, then hiked up the road to a camp in Stevens gulch. It was great, no people at all and we had great weather for the Kelso ridge route the next day. Lots of fun.
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dwoodward13
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Re: first winter 14er

Post by dwoodward13 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:15 pm

ltlFish99 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:09 pm
I agree Quandary is a good one as winter access is great. One of the few others I did was Torreys in February.
Had to park at the lot by i70, then hiked up the road to a camp in Stevens gulch. It was great, no people at all and we had great weather for the Kelso ridge route the next day. Lots of fun.
I'll caution that the standard (summer) trail for Grays and Torreys goes right over an avy path that kills people every few years. I would strongly advise against those as first winter peak(s) unless you are up to snuff on your avy skills. Not to mention its a lot longer hike than several other good starter peaks (Quandary/Bierstadt).

+1 to Joel's post
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cottonmountaineering
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Re: first winter 14er

Post by cottonmountaineering » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:25 pm

dwoodward13 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:15 pm
ltlFish99 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:09 pm
I agree Quandary is a good one as winter access is great. One of the few others I did was Torreys in February.
Had to park at the lot by i70, then hiked up the road to a camp in Stevens gulch. It was great, no people at all and we had great weather for the Kelso ridge route the next day. Lots of fun.
I'll caution that the standard (summer) trail for Grays and Torreys goes right over an avy path that kills people every few years. I would strongly advise against those as first winter peak(s) unless you are up to snuff on your avy skills. Not to mention its a lot longer hike than several other good starter peaks (Quandary/Bierstadt).

+1 to Joel's post
you can just walk like 100 yards away from the trail for that spot, nothing crazy needed
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CaptainSuburbia
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Re: first winter 14er

Post by CaptainSuburbia » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:27 pm

dwoodward13 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:15 pm
ltlFish99 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:09 pm
I agree Quandary is a good one as winter access is great. One of the few others I did was Torreys in February.
Had to park at the lot by i70, then hiked up the road to a camp in Stevens gulch. It was great, no people at all and we had great weather for the Kelso ridge route the next day. Lots of fun.
I'll caution that the standard (summer) trail for Grays and Torreys goes right over an avy path that kills people every few years. I would strongly advise against those as first winter peak(s) unless you are up to snuff on your avy skills. Not to mention its a lot longer hike than several other good starter peaks (Quandary/Bierstadt).

+1 to Joel's post
I wouldn't mess with those slide paths on Kelso. They both went big 2 winters ago. It's a shorter route from Loveland Pass anyways. It was mostly windblown when I did it this past winter and snowshoes were not needed.
Some day our kids will study Clash lyrics in school.
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dwoodward13
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Re: first winter 14er

Post by dwoodward13 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:30 pm

cottonmountaineering wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:25 pm
dwoodward13 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:15 pm
ltlFish99 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:09 pm
I agree Quandary is a good one as winter access is great. One of the few others I did was Torreys in February.
Had to park at the lot by i70, then hiked up the road to a camp in Stevens gulch. It was great, no people at all and we had great weather for the Kelso ridge route the next day. Lots of fun.
I'll caution that the standard (summer) trail for Grays and Torreys goes right over an avy path that kills people every few years. I would strongly advise against those as first winter peak(s) unless you are up to snuff on your avy skills. Not to mention its a lot longer hike than several other good starter peaks (Quandary/Bierstadt).

+1 to Joel's post
you can just walk like 100 yards away from the trail for that spot, nothing crazy needed
Totally agree, just you have to know its there/identify it to be able to avoid it. Which a first timer may not.
MtnResident
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Re: first winter 14er

Post by MtnResident » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:56 am

I reference this list a bit when picking out winter 14ers. Maybe it'll help you.

https://www.summitpost.org/colorado-14e ... ter/337648
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RyGuy
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Re: first winter 14er

Post by RyGuy » Wed Sep 23, 2020 12:39 pm

Everything is a bit weird this year, we are hoping it won't effect the 12th Annual Winter Welcomer. Stay tuned...

-Ryan
"Climbing mountains is the only thing I know that combines the best of the physical, spiritual, and emotional world all rolled into one." -Steve Gladbach
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nmjameswilson
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Re: first winter 14er

Post by nmjameswilson » Mon Sep 28, 2020 8:34 am

I looked into this last year and decided on Humboldt East Ridge. I did not end up climbing but from what I researched it is a good one.
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