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Prep Hike for Long's Peak

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Prep Hike for Long's Peak

Postby scalba123 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:22 pm

Can anyone recommend a hike to get acclimated before tackling Long's Peaks the next day. I already have three failed attempts to my credit (or discredit) and would ready like to nail this one. I will be flying in from Memphis, so I'm going to need that first day to get myself adjusted to the altitude. Thanks!

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Re: Prep Hike for Long's Peak

Postby madbuck » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:29 pm

scalba123 wrote:Can anyone recommend a hike to get acclimated before tackling Long's Peaks the next day. I already have three failed attempts to my credit (or discredit) and would ready like to nail this one. I will be flying in from Memphis, so I'm going to need that first day to get myself adjusted to the altitude. Thanks!


What would you say were the reasons for the previous failed attempts?

Given that, and (only) one extra day for a planned one-day hike, my top suggestion might be /no/ hiking -- put all your efforts into training in the previous months, and then resting when you get here.

Popular suggestions otherwise include Twin Sisters Mtn. for some elevation; Deer Mountain or Estes Cone for less elevation nearby; or lower hikes around Boulder, Golden, or Ft. Collins (depending on where you're staying).
If you're really keen on getting out and definitely getting up Longs, though, I'd think about simply hiking part of the trail the day earlier, to make it that much more familiar for hiking it in the dark the next day.

Still, my top suggestion is rest. Good luck!

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Re: Prep Hike for Long's Peak

Postby ChrisRoberts » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:30 pm

I'd recommend Twin Sisters, it's quick, shouldnt wear you out too much and allows you to spend some quality time at 11400 to acclimate with a quick bail back into trees if the weather turns bad.
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Re: Prep Hike for Long's Peak

Postby Papillon » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:32 pm

Sundance Mountain (12,466) from Forest Canyon or Rock Cut along Trail Ridge Road. Gets you high, saves the legs, gets you an easy 12er too.
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Re: Prep Hike for Long's Peak

Postby Rambler » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:36 pm

Good question. I'm going in July and staying in Estes. Was going to just hike the Glacier Gorge Trial to Black Lake as a warmup on the first day then pick the best day weather wise out of the next 3 to do Longs.

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Re: Prep Hike for Long's Peak

Postby scalba123 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:42 pm

[quote="madbuck]What would you say were the reasons for the previous failed attempts?[/quote]

A combination of bad weather and being too $%^&# slow...

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Re: Prep Hike for Long's Peak

Postby madbuck » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:02 pm

scalba123 wrote:[quote="madbuck]What would you say were the reasons for the previous failed attempts?[/quote]

A combination of bad weather and being too $%^&# slow...[/quote]


Cool: nail it this time!
I know it's hard to plan and get the vacation, but if you have any flexibility, Rambler's plan above of picking within a 3-day window really helps. Hiking one day, then resting, then hitting Longs, would be very nice.

Acclimation hikes are very important on very high, multi-day endeavors. But people have different opinions and personal responses on their necessity/utility for single-day hikes like Longs.
My strongest general observation on this is the fact that people who come from out of town and do longer running/hiking races (marathons through 100-milers) at higher elevations are unlikely to do anything other than a 3-mile or so light jog the day before, if anything. This is reflected in numerous "training plans" online. While it's not a perfect comparison to hiking, there's lots more anecdotal data on it, moreso because people pay lots of money and don't have any flexibility as to when the race is. (For example, the hundreds of folks doing Leadville 100 or Pikes Peak marathon).

In that respect, if it's a beautiful day and you want to get out and maximize your vacation, I'd hike as long as your comfortable and happy. But I wouldn't push or force anything in the name of acclimation in one day, if you absolutely want to be in your best shape for Longs, so if you're wiped out a bit from traveling especially, I'd focus on rest and hydration. (Remembering that sluggishness from lack of sleep, and dehydration, can exacerbate mild AMS symptoms).
Go get it!

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Re: Prep Hike for Long's Peak

Postby Jim Davies » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:54 pm

You could drive up Mount Evans and just kind of wander around on the summit ridge. Maybe go over to Spalding and back.
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Re: Prep Hike for Long's Peak

Postby schrund » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:57 pm

I would use your intended route on Longs as your warm-up route. Take a stash of water and food and maybe your helmet and axe, and stash them up as far as you intend to "practice" hike. That way the next day on the "real" attempt you have less to carry for the first few miles. If you make it far as the boulderfield there may be ammo cans at the established campsites you could use, or just pile up rocks over your stash - appripriate care and packaging of course for any food items.
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Re: Prep Hike for Long's Peak

Postby mtnjam » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:54 am

sent you a message

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Re: Prep Hike for Long's Peak

Postby ameristrat » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:13 pm

Reserve a spot on the boulder field to camp and hike up to that on day 1. That way, you can make sure you're at keyhole by dawn with fresh legs, and you can take your time through the more involved parts of the mountain.
You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know. - Rene Daumal

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Re: Prep Hike for Long's Peak

Postby ChrisRoberts » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:55 pm

ameristrat wrote:Reserve a spot on the boulder field to camp and hike up to that on day 1. That way, you can make sure you're at keyhole by dawn with fresh legs, and you can take your time through the more involved parts of the mountain.


For anyone reading this, now's the time to start planning your camping reservations in RMNP. March 1st is the first day they allow you to reserve summer spots, IIRC

Personally I'd camp at either Goblins Forest or Battle Mountain rather in the Boulderfield, unless you like the wind.
Some rise, some fall, some climb to get to terrapin
Read all about my schemes and adventuring at NoCo Chris Latest TR: Ramsay, Sugarloaf and Skull

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