A Climb in the first week of May

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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A Climb in the first week of May

Postby Hungryclimber » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:17 pm

I'm new to climbing anything above 12,000ft and my friends and I are planning on climbing a 14er in the first week of May. I'm not sure which one we should do and how much snow will still be around. We would like to plan a 3-4 day hike with 1 or 2 sumits. Please, any information would be helpful. Thanks so much...
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Jon Frohlich
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Postby Jon Frohlich » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:24 pm

It really depends on late spring weather patterns and how much snow we get but in a general sense there will still be a fair amount of snow on most 14ers. You may or may not need snowshoes and/or an ice axe at that time of year.

A couple that are generally doable earlier:

Bierstadt (this year it will depend on when the road melts out or is plowed)
Shavano/Tab (this could be a long day depending on snow levels)

None of these will really get you a 3-4 day hike that you asked for though. These would all be dayhikes. Of these Quandary, Bierstadt, and Sherman would be the easiest.

I'll say what I've said before. As things get closer to that time of year check recent trip reports and see how things are looking. That's really the only sure way to tell what conditions are like.

Also keep in mind the first week of May can have very wintery conditions as well. I did Bierstadt that week last year and it was definitely a full on winter type climb.
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Kevin Baker
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Postby Kevin Baker » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:28 pm

Quandary, Bierstadt (if Guanella Pass is open), Sherman, Elbert, Pikes via Crags, Grays/Torreys (if road is passable), Columbia, Yale, and Shavano should be reasonable efforts for first-timers in early May. Avy potential may still exist on the standard approachs to Grays, Yale, and Columbia. You can avoid avy terrain on Columbia by climbing either the s.e. or east ridges. Stay safe and have fun!

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