Peak(s):  Longs Peak  -  14,255 feet
Lady Washington, Mt  -  13,281 feet
Meeker, Mt  -  13,911 feet
Pagoda Mtn  -  13,497 feet
Storm Pk A  -  13,487 feet
Date Posted:  08/24/2016
Date Climbed:   08/21/2016
Author:  Valesia
Additional Members:   tehchad
 Longs Peak Grand Slam  

Longs Peak Grand Slam, a combo climb combining Longs Peak with its surrounding 13ers, Meeker, Longs, Pagoda, Storm Peak and Mt Lady Washington.
Chad and I had been talking of doing the grand slam for about a year before we finally got a chance to do it. One thing we notice right away was the lack of good information on the section from longs to Pagoda and back to the ledges, this report/guide is going to focus on that section of the climb. To get to this point you will have climbed Meeker and Longs via the loft route.

Longs to Pagoda:

Your goal from the summit of longs is to get to the saddle between Longs and Pagoda, this means you need to get below the narrows. The image below shows the route to pagoda.

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From the summit of Longs Peak descend down the home stretch to the red sign where you would get onto the narrows. Instead of heading right keep descending to the left of the sign. There are signs of LIGHT foot traffic here and you might see a single cairn letting you know you are on the right track. Descend 200-300 feet or so before taking a right to get below the narrows. This travers stays class 1-2 unless you want to make it more interesting by heading right sooner.

The narrows is shown in Blue, descent route from homestretch shown in red. This is where you start confusing anyone on the narrows.

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This video from Chad shows the area in better detail.



Once below the narrows your next goal should be to head toward Pagoda while trying to locate the exit gully on the hidden cliff band. The video below shows how we did it by aiming off toward the keys.



You don't need to go all the way to the 1st key as I suggested but it's a good idea to head in that direction and "aim off". The 1st key is the key closest to the cliff band on the pagoda side of the cliffs. If you don't find the gully walk along the cliffs away from the keys sill you find it.

This is what the top of the gully looks like, its big and you will know when you see it.

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You have a few options to get down the gully. The green route shown below involves a small hop (2-3 feet) but is very simple after that. Red is what we used and involves some wet rocks or just hopping down off the 5 foot ledges. The yellow route is a variation that you could use if you didn't feel like dealing with the 3 foot jump or the wet rocks.

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Looking down on chad as he descends the red route.

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To give you some size context here is me standing at the bottom of the ledges.

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Obviously you will keep down climbing to exit the gully below.

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Stay right around the corner, don't head left or down climb as it leads off a nice cliff!

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Looking back at the route, follow the moss and save the boulder hopping for later

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Follow along the base of the cliffs toward the keys. The star is where you will be down climbing after pagoda and is a great rest stop.

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Here is chad by the base of the 2nd key. You could leave you packs here before heading up to pagoda if you feel like it. You won't need to worry about anyone taking it as you are along by this point!

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Looking at the route up to pagoda, its loose talus and boulders :/. The 2 X's mark some pretty steep drops with loose ground above. Don't get too close if you want to look.

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Pagoda looks steeper and longer than it is, it takes 20-30 min tops. Aim for the light rocks about half way up, you might find a small foot trail around the rocks that make it MUCH easier!
Head back down after getting that awesome summit. Try to stay high so avoid all the loose crap below. The route looks like this.

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Pagoda to Keyhole

Grab your packs if you left them behind and start your decent between the 1st and 2nd key. The gully is no more than steep class 2, if you are looking down a class 4+ climb you are at the wrong place.
Looking down the gully with the route shown in red.

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Looking back up about 50 feet into the gully:

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Keep down climbing till you reach a point that you can turn right toward the Keyhole. If done correctly, you will never exceed class 2.

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Looking back round the corner where you down climbed out of the gully.

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The route showing from the base of the gully.
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Stay as high as you can to avoid class 3 and more elevation gain. You can see the keyhole from here and maybe the crazy line of people.

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There is one more gully to cross than you think, just assume you are not there yet haha. Soon you will see the line of people heading up to the narrows.
Looking up the through at the line of people.

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Join the crowd on the ledges and head back to the keyhole.

Finish It: Storm and Lady:

Once at the keyhole pick your line up storm. The real summit is not what you see from the keyhole so you will need to travers around for a few hundred feet before picking a line up. Many rocks are loose including the big ones so watch your step as always. One more to go!

Head down storm toward the privy and find the trail, head away from camp like you are leaving the boulder field. Refill on water if you need but filter it like mad! The easiest path up lady from this point is to follow the brown grass up as it zig zags between the summit and sub summit. You should a path that leads you to the top without too much bouldering.

WELL DONE! You are Done..... Maybe

From the summit you can descend back to the boulder field and get back on the longs peak trail or go down the east side of lady Washington. I will recommend not choosing the east face, your knees by this point may be very sore and the amount of boulder hopping was almost too much for me. Going back to the boulder field adds a bit of distance but you can make some pretty great time on the trail.
If going on to finish the Radical Slam don't choose the east face rather follow the north east ridge down to the switch backs. From there you can get Battle and bushwhack to Estes Cone.

A GPX file is attached to this report to show the route from Longs summit on (forgot to turn on tracking)

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21


 Comments or Questions
tehchad

Yeah....
08/24/2016 16:39
Next time, I def think the descent on MLW back to the boulderfield is the right call. I was thinking about that.
Other than that, I think our route was dead on.


Valesia

RIGHT!
08/25/2016 07:11
I think if we would have taken the ridge down to the battle mtn junction it would have been a good balance between cutting milage and NOT boulder hopping. That section took us over an hour to do and hurt like mad!


spiderman

Congratulations
08/28/2016 14:03
Great report. I wish that I had the .gpx tracks when I did the Radical Slam earlier this summer. Route finding is not easy for the Pagoda section of the hike. Congratulations!


kchamberlain

I'm ready now
08/13/2018 01:09
Thanks for this report. I've done Longs about 10 times but I've never done the Grand Slam. I feel confident that I can do this now.


taranichols_02

Other Storm Peak
08/07/2019 09:01
Sidenote, this is Storm B right next to Long's, but on this page is tied to the Storm A peak's page which is down in the San Juans.



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