What you wish you knew for your first class III

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
User avatar
DeTour
Posts: 441
Joined: 7/27/2007
14er Checklist (31)
13er Checklist (1)

Re: What you wish you knew for your first class III

Postby DeTour » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:11 pm

eagrnnr wrote:My father and I are doing Longs in about 2 weeks, this'll be our second attempt. First one we got stopped at the Keyhole by high winds.

Here's a free Longs tip: IT'S ALWAYS WINDY AT THE KEYHOLE. (Pardon me for yelling, but you have to yell to be heard over that wind! :lol: ) I actually read that in a Longs trail guide (Donohue), and have found it to be true every time I've been there (once). There's a funnel effect of wind from Glacier Gorge sweeping up through the lowest notches in Keyhole Ridge.

Some more experienced folks shared a great tip that day: Because IT'S ALWAYS WINDY AT THE KEYHOLE, don't make your judgement on wind based on that location. Even if it seems like you'll get blown off the mountain, make your way a little ways past the Keyhole along the ledges - maybe 100 feet of easy horizontal trail, although I believe there is some exposure there. Stop there and assess the wind. It may be completely different than at the Keyhole. It took a few mountains for me to realize how often that funnel effect can create raging winds at lower elevations, while the upper reaches of the mountain turn out to be relatively calm.

sivadselim wrote:GLOVES

Not the kind for warmth (you'll probably want to carry those, too, though), but gloves for hand protection

+1 to that. Someone will probably excoriate me for this, but I use the $3 sure-grip work gloves you can get at Home Depot, Lowes, just about any store with tools or gardening stuff, or fishing gear for that matter. I feel like my grip on rock is better with them on than with my bare hands, and they offer pretty good protection. They're not much good for cold, but for July-August climbs they've worked for me. Or you might go for the same palm grip material in a better quality glove, with a back-of-the-hand strap to secure the gloves on your hand better. I've just never had a problem with the cheapo type slipping, and I love that grippy plastic fiber stuff for gripping rock.
A vaincre sans peril, on triomphe sans gloire
patternmike
Posts: 43
Joined: 9/13/2006
14er Checklist (3)

Re: What you wish you knew for your first class III

Postby patternmike » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:16 am

Doing Kelso's next month for first time and first class 3. I saw a gopro video posted on 14ers last week and climber and shadow looked to show climber carrying a rope. Haven't read any mention of rope needed on this thread. Is a rope suggested on this route?
User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 1241
Joined: 2/26/2008
14er Checklist (45)
14ers in Winter (5)
13er Checklist (19)
Contact:

Re: What you wish you knew for your first class III

Postby Brian C » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:29 am

patternmike wrote:Doing Kelso's next month for first time and first class 3 ... Is a rope suggested on this route?


No.

This opens the whole "if you need one then you shouldn't do it" can of worms. I would guess that if it's your first class 3 you likely don't know how to do ropework safely anyway and if you did I doubt you'd think about bringing a rope on a class 3. I'd say that if you're concerned about it then go with somebody much more experienced than you or do an easier route first (i.e. Sawtooth, Longs). Kelso is not hard class 3 by any means but it is harder than some other routes especially if you get off-route. As Gerry says in his guide..."this is a climb, not a hike".
Brian in the Wild
Lists of John
"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." - Wordsworth
User avatar
oldschool
Posts: 573
Joined: 2/27/2007
14er Checklist (48)
14ers in Winter (6)

Re: What you wish you knew for your first class III

Postby oldschool » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:10 am

I wish I knew, way back in the 70's when I started doing Class 5 rock climbing, as well as Class 3 and 4 scrambling is that I was more capable than I gave myself credit for. I found no shame in not making it, knowing I could come back to try again. Embrace the challenge!
User avatar
HuskyRunner
Posts: 263
Joined: 3/30/2012
14er Checklist (20)
14ers in Winter (1)
13er Checklist (24)
Contact:

Re: What you wish you knew for your first class III

Postby HuskyRunner » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:15 am

I checked paternMike's profile and it looks like he does some climbing so I'll give him a straight forward answer. No rope required on Kelso, it's actually a fairly mild class 3 route. There is a little exposure here and there but nothing bad, the so called knife edge is pretty mild as well. Take in mind that I'm describing this from the point of view from somebody that does more rock and alpine climbing than peak bagging.

If you're looking for a fun scramble you might want to take a look at the NE ridge of Bancroft. It has a rappel and a short section that goes about 5.3-5.4 (there is the direct route as well) and then a good bit of class 3 and some class 4.

paternMike, looks like you live in Ohio, are you able to get to CO a good bit?
"I made up my mind not to care so much about the destination, and simply enjoy the journey." David Archuleta
"And if they get out there they see, son of a bitch, this is a beautiful planet." Jim Whittaker
User avatar
ChrisRoberts
Posts: 700
Joined: 7/17/2011
14er Checklist (12)
13er Checklist (10)

Re: What you wish you knew for your first class III

Postby ChrisRoberts » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:37 am

Gloves can be really nice to have.

The thing about class 3 is, if you can find the time to hit a non-14er with a good stretch of class 3, do it as practice. You won't have as many other people to worry about and you'll learn some of the basics before saddling up to a major mountain.

Don't worry about falling. If you can rock hop with ease, there should be no reason to fear exposure on class 3. Confidence in your footing is important, but don't let it get you into trouble.
Some rise, some fall, some climb to get to terrapin
NoCoChris: Now with less Colorado!
patternmike
Posts: 43
Joined: 9/13/2006
14er Checklist (3)

Re: What you wish you knew for your first class III

Postby patternmike » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:45 pm

Thanks for the feedback on the rope question for Kelso's Ridge. I feel confident in attemnpting this but didn't want to get half way up and realize I hadn't done my research and needed a rope. I have a fair amount of rock climbing experience indoors and out (5.9-5.10). The only class 3 climbing I have done was climbing Disappointment Cleaver on Rainier and we were roped up. That was pretty easy and i am not even sure it was rated class 3. We are going to climb in Boulder canyon and Eldorado the 2 days before we head up to Torreys. I also recognize that doing class 3 without a rope is much more dangerous than doing class 5 with a rope and will respect that and be cautious.
User avatar
HuskyRunner
Posts: 263
Joined: 3/30/2012
14er Checklist (20)
14ers in Winter (1)
13er Checklist (24)
Contact:

Re: What you wish you knew for your first class III

Postby HuskyRunner » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:31 pm

patternmike wrote: I also recognize that doing class 3 without a rope is much more dangerous than doing class 5 with a rope and will respect that and be cautious.



That depends, you're climbing in Eldo, s**t loads of loose rock! Climbing in Eldo under another party scares the crap out of me, rather be runout 80' on a slab in Splatte than under another party in Eldo!

You'll be fine on Kelso, really pretty mellow for 3rd class, just don't trip in the wrong place an you'll be peachy.
"I made up my mind not to care so much about the destination, and simply enjoy the journey." David Archuleta
"And if they get out there they see, son of a bitch, this is a beautiful planet." Jim Whittaker
User avatar
Aug_Dog
Posts: 434
Joined: 6/3/2010
14er Checklist (31)
13er Checklist (16)

Re: What you wish you knew for your first class III

Postby Aug_Dog » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:36 pm

Very interesting thread.

I've done quite a bit of class III and am sometimes confused about what qualifies as Class III. I've done the Sawtooth and I've done Longs. Also did Lindsay and stayed real high on the gulley, to the point where I feel like a couple of moves were low class IV. Same thing with the Castle/Conundrum combo. We made an error that left us descending a nasty, nasty section of the saddle back down into the saddle. There were some moves there downclimbing that section that were very much class IV.

I have three questions:

Sunlight:

How many of you did NOT do the summit block move? We're going out there in a couple weeks and I'm not sure if I'm going to attempt the move. I'm very confident I can do it, but I'm just not sure it's really worth it. Anyone else have a similar sentiment?

Sawtooth:

What moves, stretches or sections are actually class III? The ledge system is NOT class III in my opinion. Does exposure make class III? Was the descent down Bierstadt to the ridge III? I know the traverse up over or around the gendarme is class III, but seriously, what else on that route warrants that distinction?

Longs:

Same question. I know the rebar rock move is class III. I would say the homestretch is probably 2+ or low III. The chockstone is probably III. But again, what else on that route is class III?

I can't wait to read some of your replies!!!
Go get it
User avatar
Shawnee Bob
Posts: 571
Joined: 6/23/2008
14er Checklist (20)
13er Checklist (4)
Contact:

Re: What you wish you knew for your first class III

Postby Shawnee Bob » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:43 pm

Can't speak to those specific placs, but in terms of rating a route, if one section of it is Class 3, it's considered a Class 3 route.

The rule I heard that makes sense to me: You need your hands to ascend/descend Class 3 and 4. If you can downclimb said section facing out, it's Class 3. If you have to descend facing in, it's Class 4.
Because life's too short to be an indoor cat.

http://proactiveoutside.wordpress.com/
User avatar
HuskyRunner
Posts: 263
Joined: 3/30/2012
14er Checklist (20)
14ers in Winter (1)
13er Checklist (24)
Contact:

Re: What you wish you knew for your first class III

Postby HuskyRunner » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:01 pm

Aug_Dog wrote:Very interesting thread.

Sawtooth:

What moves, stretches or sections are actually class III? The ledge system is NOT class III in my opinion. Does exposure make class III? Was the descent down Bierstadt to the ridge III? I know the traverse up over or around the gendarme is class III, but seriously, what else on that route warrants that distinction?

Longs:

Same question. I know the rebar rock move is class III. I would say the homestretch is probably 2+ or low III. The chockstone is probably III. But again, what else on that route is class III?

I can't wait to read some of your replies!!!


About the only move on the Sawtooth that I would personally call 3rd class would be over the Gendarme, I'm sure you could make it more of a 3rd class scramble but following the cairns I would call class 2.

I've only come down the Keyhole in winter conditions but can't really say I saw anything that was 3rd class there either but then I never even saw the rebar/pole, must have walked by it.

Planning on heading up Kelso again, first time without snow on it for me, I'll pay more attention but the other 2 times I've been on the route it seemed like there were only a couple of short sections (maybe a move or two) that were really 3rd class.

Meeker ridge and Meeker via the Iron Gates, now that I would call 3rd class once you get past the gates and certainly the ridge over to Meeker, I'm betting that some would call it 4th but that seems a stretch. My intro to 4th class was hiking up Teewinot, if you're intimidated by 3rd or 4th class on some of these 14er routes I suggest you think twice, at least twice, before hitting Teton 3rd or 4th class terrain.
"I made up my mind not to care so much about the destination, and simply enjoy the journey." David Archuleta
"And if they get out there they see, son of a bitch, this is a beautiful planet." Jim Whittaker
User avatar
metalmountain
Posts: 991
Joined: 12/17/2009
14er Checklist (35)
14ers Skied (1)
14ers in Winter (2)
13er Checklist (26)

Re: What you wish you knew for your first class III

Postby metalmountain » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:37 pm

Aug_Dog wrote:
Sawtooth:

What moves, stretches or sections are actually class III? The ledge system is NOT class III in my opinion. Does exposure make class III? Was the descent down Bierstadt to the ridge III? I know the traverse up over or around the gendarme is class III, but seriously, what else on that route warrants that distinction?



The big gendarme has one section of class 3. Its not long though. The rest, including once you crossover, is class2/2+. It is almost entirely class 2 once you cross over though. As said before, exposure doesn't make something class 3. The descent is class 2. If there is snow on the ridge it can change things though and you can get into some spicier stuff (albeit short lived) to avoid it. Its a good route to get someone used to some exposure, but I would never really pitch the sawtooth as a good class 3 route in my opinion.
"The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going." - Graeme Fife

"I found that nothing truly matters, that you cannot find for free." - The Gaslight Anthem

Return to “Just Starting? Info for 14er Beginners”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests