Please help us decide!

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Wuldier
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Please help us decide!

Post by Wuldier » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:05 pm

Going to Colorado in march!

what shall the 2 of us climb? we dont want a bland hike like elbert! that was easy even in winter..

we want to have to use our axe and crampons but avoid ropes, also have excellent scenery and just alround fun.. even if it means doing 2 mountains in 1 trip!

i have been thinking about Maroon Peak or Crestone Peak and or El Diente+Wilson.

any suggestions welcome, Thank you in advance.
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Re: Please help us decide!

Post by CO Native » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:51 pm

Is the accomplishment section in your profile still accurate?
not really accomplished a lot in mountain climbing, time being the factor :(

biggest peak i have done is elbert and i have done the 3 in uk more than once.. i done them in reverse order (bigger to smaller) lol.. Ben nevis then Snowdon the Snowdon again, Scafold Pike then ben nevis again and then snowdon and snowdon and nevis, nevis, snowdon X2 in 1 day..(these peaks are small compared to elbert and such but are still beautiful climbs :)
If so the mountains you are interested in attempting in March will be a whole new world for you.
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hollamby
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Re: Please help us decide!

Post by hollamby » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:54 pm

Are you jo
Wuldier wrote:
i have been thinking about Maroon Peak or Crestone Peak and or El Diente+Wilson.
Are you joking? Do you have other experience on mountains? I am by far not a experience mountaineer but those are hardcore. Of the 4 great traverse in Colorado three of them are on those peaks. Now obviously you wouldn't have to do the traverse. What type of milage you looking at doing? It was over 20 miles when I did the Wilson group (all three with traverse), in the winter you would have to have a snowmobile to get you even remotely close.

Are you looking for something with a long approach? Do you have a AT setup? Everything that you listed would prolly be a least 20 miles with trailhead closures.

Remember elbert is consider one of the 'easier' 14ers. I don't think you should be looking at the hardest one.

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nomadelmundo
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Re: Please help us decide!

Post by nomadelmundo » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:06 pm

yeah, i have to agree... doing those peaks during that time is pretty dangerous but also pretty exciting... good luck and stay safe
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Re: Please help us decide!

Post by MtHurd » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:39 pm

Blanca/Ellingwood would probably fit the bill. If you are still bored, Little Bear is right there waiting too.

Check the avalanche conditions before you go.
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Re: Please help us decide!

Post by Winter8000m » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:43 pm

Never try to run before you know how to walk. In other words, don't rush. That is the recipe for disaster and I'd hate to see another one....

I don't know your experience but those are serious climbs in winter and simply doing Elbert will not prepare you.
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Re: Please help us decide!

Post by Wuldier » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:20 pm

Hrrrrm, I always check weather and avy conditions/reports. Also above all.. I know when to turn around.... I have been on many more than just elbert, hell I been on more demanding climbs in the cairngorms. I appreciate all your concerns, but I'm not asking what you think I can do, (not trying to sound rude or like some stupid kid.) But that's just not what I asked.. thanks Barry raven. I'll check out your suggestion.
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Re: Please help us decide!

Post by CO Native » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:56 pm

I know you didn't ask what we think you can do, but in good conscience I cannot give you advice to go do those without feeling more confident in your abilities. I've hauled too many bodies out of the mountains of people who were heavy on confidence but light on knowledge, experience, and patience. Don't be surprised people are giving warnings, it's sound advice given the limited amount we know about you. If the assesment is incorrect, just let it roll off your back. If you succeed at your goal then post a trip report about it and mock all of us naysayers and revel in your accomplishment.

That said, here's my suggestion. If you want a fun experience that will challenge you and give you a chance to test the crampons and ice axe skills, go do Missouri Mountain. It's not a simple ridge hike like Elbert, and the trail isn't ever as well broken as Elbert's. It's a class 2 via the standard route in summer but in winter you can hike the north face which has plenty of couloirs to choose from with varying degrees of slope and difficulty. Pick one you like and give it a shot. If it's too easy descend and pick another. If you reached the summit up a hard couloir and still feel it wasn't challenging enough of a route for you, then you can attempt the ridge from Missouri Mountain down to Elkhead Pass and go get Belford and Oxford as well (obtain good beta on that before attempting).

The photo below was taken in June but you can see some of the couloirs. The easiest ones are on the right and they get harder to the left and some finish with some class 4 to low class 5 rock.
Image

You also need to be competent and practiced with your ice axe before hand, not learning it on these slopes. The route marked in red on the photo above is a nice ascent but after the jog right, any slide you can't stop ends in cliffs.

Here's a view up from the bottom, you're looking up about 1000 vertical feet of 35 to 40 degree slope that will take you to very nearly the summit.
Image

Even on this one you'd better know how to assess avalanche terrain in the field not just reading the CAIC report before leaving.
Since it does fall into that sweet spot of 35 to 40 degrees, that area is prime for avalanche:
Image
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Scott P
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Re: Please help us decide!

Post by Scott P » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:47 am

I'm not asking what you think I can do
Can do and can safely do are different. Except for maybe Crestone, the others will probably have high avalanche danger in March (probably even when the avy forecast says low or moderate), due to the nature of the routes. Avalanche danger analysis skills would be much more important than technical skills.

Over the last 22 years I have made 181 successful winter ascents(and failed on dozens more) of peaks in the Rocky Mountains, but still wonder if I'm ready to climb the Maroons in winter.

Something like the Kelso Ridge onTorreys or the Sawtooth Ridge on Bierstadt/Evans might be a better one to try in March. They would still be challenging, but safer than Maroon or Wilson/El Diente.
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madeinus
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Re: Please help us decide!

Post by madeinus » Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:18 pm

Not to sound rude, but you've come on here every year asking questions about climbing capital in winter and the like.. Did you ever end up attempting? Why not go with that one since you were provided with a ton of information with? What's the purpose of these posts then? Attention? There's a search function and a ton of info on this site to find everything you need without creating new posts. In fact there's so much information to be had on these routes really there's no need to post.

9 months ago you said, "I have never struggled nor had to turn back on a mountain". Now you say, " I know when to turn around".. ???

I apologize if I'm wrong and I look forward to seeing pictures of your attempt. If not I'll look forward to seeing your posts next winter .
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ThuChad
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Re: Please help us decide!

Post by ThuChad » Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:56 pm

madeinus wrote:I apologize if I'm wrong and I look forward to seeing pictures of your attempt. If not I'll look forward to seeing your posts next winter .
+1
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Re: Please help us decide!

Post by greenhorn1 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 5:06 pm

Is this a joke? Honestly I can't imagine jumping from Elbert to the peaks you mentioned that time of year. May I recommend a great book I just read instead? Halfway to Heaven, by Oman. He does a great job putting the peaks in perspective.
Maybe you're serious about doing those peaks, maybe not. I wonder if your inentions aren't to raise a ruckus on the forum. :wink:
I'll be watching for your trip report in a few months...good luck.
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