Peak(s):  Longs Peak  -  14,255 feet
Date Posted:  10/04/2006
Modified:  08/05/2009
Date Climbed:   10/01/2006
Author:  benners

 Longs Peak: October Keyhole  

Date Climbed: October 1, 2006
Group: Stu and Myself
Goal: Summit Longs via Keyhole Route

Stu and I decided to go for Longs Peak over the weekend, our first October ascent of a fourteener. We left Boulder at 5am, Sunday morning and arrived at the trailhead at 6am. The wind was blowing hard from the TH to the Keyhole making for a cold, grueling hike to the Keyhole. We ran into several people who had turned around at the Keyhole due to snow and wind, after about 2 solid hours of hiking we arrived at the Boulder field.

Longs Peak from the Boulder Field

We arrived at the Keyhole around 8:30am and ate some breakfast. The wind was blowing hard through the Keyhole and the wind chill was definately below 40. We continued around the back side and began the ascent of the Trough.

The Trough

The Trough was definately the hardest part of the climb. There was as much as 3 feet of snow in places mixed with ice covered rock. I would consider this area to be dangerous without axe and crampons but amazingly there were people in tennis shoes and one guy even had sandals on! The top of the Trough was nice and dry and the Narrows were relatively snow-free.

The Narrows

The Home stretch was the most dangerous part of the climb due to a large amount of bullet-proof snow covering the entire path to the top. A slide here would not be good.

Stu on the Home stretch

The summit was windy and freaking cold. We spent only a few minutes at the top.

The summit

We arrived back at the Keyhole around 3pm, the car at 6:30pm.

The Keyhole

This was the only time the sun came out

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Bulletproof Snow In October...
11/30/2010 17:20
Huh, for some reason I didn't think there would be snow like that this time of year. I'm thinking about trying it this coming Saturday, but if it's like what I'm seeing in your pictures, I doubt we'll go far passed the keyhole. Thanks for the report!

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