Peak(s):  Longs Peak  -  14,255 feet
Date Posted:  08/06/2009
Date Climbed:   08/02/2009
Author:  ulvetano
 Longs via the Loft, return via Keyhole  

Yes - climb the Loft route! It is a very fun alternative to the Keyhole!
This past Saturday night (midnight), our group (me, Derek, Charles, Artie, Mike, Gaby, Priya, and Mary) met in Boulder and headed up to the TH for a 1:30am departure. We were full of energy and optimism about a route none of us had hiked (I was the only one to have hiked Longs via the Keyhole previously) and three of the hikers had never done a 14'er at all! Image

After reaching the Chasm junction, we continued to poke our way thru the night and try to veer towards the couloir as best we could guess. Natural tendency is to veer a little to the right, but keep left and you'll find the snowfields at the bottom of the Loft.
The stars (many of them shooting!), the sunrise, and the rock were all epic! Image

Crux of the climb turned out to be getting from the North side of the couloir, across the the ledges on the South. The snow field was hard and icy - so much so, that I couldn't make a dent w/ the ice ax. Without crampons, we were forced to go higher to the waterfall and traverse on its ledge and then downclimb to the appropriate ledges.

We then made it up to the Loft, took at 15 min break to enjoy the views, and we continued NW looking for the cairn to mark out descent towards Clark's Arrow. Staying high, we traversed until we saw the cairn on that massive couch sized rock and then descended. With care, this was not difficult at all! Image

We then passed beneath Clarks Arrow and veered right under the Palisades. Now climbing up towards the Homestretch, there is a little ice from the snow melt, so caution is prudent on some of the big slabs.

We met up w/ the keyhole route, skipped up the Homestrech and enjoyed some Coors Lights at the summit. The descent had nasty 60mph winds thru the Homestretch, Narrows, and the Trough, but we made it. RT was 14 hrs for us. Image

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Hey there it is!!!!
08/06/2009 18:16
I was hoping someone in this group would post a report. From talking with Gaby it seemed like a great day!!!


08/06/2009 19:28
I like the ledge pic. Why could you not take the standard ledge to the South before the falls? Was hard packed snow covering the route to the first ledge? I assume you meant to write Trough (not Loft) in your last sentence. Good job!


a random connect and a typo
08/06/2009 19:38
hey Aaron - Gaby has told me all about your hiking and climbing. We‘ll have to meet up one day soon.

Unclegar - thanks for pointing out that typo. I fixed to the Trough!! So, regarding our routefinding, we headed up the couloir on the North side (in the dark) and when we reached the ”ledge”, we were on the wrong side of the snow and couldn‘t traverse to it - pure ice. that‘s why we headed up further. since no one was very enjoyable!

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