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Longs Peak for First 14er?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: Longs Peak for First 14er?

Postby TheOtherIndian » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:44 pm

cougar wrote:
and Cheetos to cure altitude sickness.

For training at lower elevations, hiking with a hangover can also help. To train for 14ers, I sometimes hike 11ers and 12ers after having a few beers the night before.


Just curious, any scientific proofs of these?
"There's only one thing I hate more than lying. Skim milk. Which is water that's lying about being milk" -Swanson, Ron

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Re: Longs Peak for First 14er?

Postby zdero1 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:49 am

I'm also from WI and moved to Denver a little over 2 years ago. I've done 31 unique 14ers and have yet to climb a class 3 or 4 peak in Colorado. I've tried to climb the 14ers from "easiest" to hardest and work my way up and I'm definitely happy that I have built up enough experience to start heading up the more difficult peaks. You never really know how you'll handle the altitude or exposure until you get there, and the narrows or the homestretch is probably not the best place to find out that you can't handle it. Even after almost 40 14er summits I find that I still learn something new on every hike, like how much water/food I need, making decisions as a team, spotting bad weather, finding the right clothing combinations, etc. Don't worry about getting older...people in their 70s have left some (including me) in their dust. I would however, be concerned that you are only "prepared" to exercise. To POORLY paraphrase Ed Viesturs: You can't do your training in the mountains. You have to train beforehand so you can be in peak physical condition when you get there. The mountains will always be there so take your time.

That being said. Plenty of inexperienced, ill-prepared people summit Longs every year.

Ultimately it's your call and only you know your level of acceptable risk. Best of luck! Moving here was the best decision of my life and I hope these peaks bring you enjoyment for years to come.

Mike

Re: Longs Peak for First 14er?

Postby Bean » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:01 am

cougar wrote:To train for 14ers, I sometimes hike 11ers and 12ers after having a few beers the night before.

To train for drinking, I'll sometimes hike 14ers while having a few beers.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

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Re: Longs Peak for First 14er?

Postby spiderman » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:52 am

We keep forgetting that the OP is from Wisconsin. They need to train by climbing 1ers after having a few beers. After going up and down Timms Hill or Mt. Avron ten times while carrying a keg, they should be good shape. Maybe consider a long road trip to northern MN to bag a 2er..

In all seriousness, the adrenaline rush of doing something new will overcome lack of training and conditioning. Never underestimate the power of irrational exuberance. Longs is a Colorado class 3 peak, not a California class 3 peak. Start early, pack light, and turn around if things aren't going well.

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Re: Longs Peak for First 14er?

Postby SurfNTurf » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:52 am

To the OP:

It's not much of a stretch to say Longs Peak is done every summer day by people exactly like you and your dad. I've never understood the allure of Longs when there are much cooler mountains (referring to standard routes; if we're talking technical variety, Longs is unmatched), but if it's caught you in its siren song, there's no harm in going for it. The Keyhole route throws a bit of everything at novice climbers: marathon length, scrambling, exposure, crowds. If you really want to test yourself (and your dad), Longs is a great peak to attempt as a first 14er. Just be aware that doing so would diminish your chances of success.

If you're looking to increase your summit odds, any of the other mountains suggested in this thread would work. Grays/Torreys or Quandary are rewarding first 14ers. Bierstadt is equally easy, but the views aren't as nice. Crowds are an issue on all Front Range peaks.

But since you're coming all the way from Wisconsin, let me propose an easy 14er that's worth the trip on its own, lacks crowds and offers arguably the best 14er summit panorama in the state: Handies Peak. Climb in July and enjoy the wildflowers. If you feel good, Sunshine/Redcloud, Uncompahgre or even Wetterhorn (similar scrambling/exposure to Longs without the heinous approach) are there for the taking in the following days. Visiting Lake City is worthwhile in itself.

To everyone else:

Wait, not everyone drinks beer the night before a 14er? What the hell do you do while you're packing?
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“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper

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Re: Longs Peak for First 14er?

Postby ameristrat » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:36 am

SurfNTurf wrote:Wait, not everyone drinks beer the night before a 14er? What the hell do you do while you're packing?


I pack the beers for the next day. What the hell do you pack??
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: Longs Peak for First 14er?

Postby SurfNTurf » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:51 am

ameristrat wrote:
SurfNTurf wrote:Wait, not everyone drinks beer the night before a 14er? What the hell do you do while you're packing?


I pack the beers for the next day. What the hell do you pack??


A Snickers bar, my favorite Justin Bieber cotton sweatshirt and a Red Bull.
Many Miles to Go (Blog)

“There are two kinds of climbers: those who climb because their heart sings when they’re in the mountains, and all the rest.” - Alex Lowe

"There have been joys too great to describe in words, and there have been griefs upon which I cannot dare to dwell; and with those in mind I say, 'Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end.'" - Edward Whymper

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Re: Longs Peak for First 14er?

Postby semitrueskerm » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:56 am

Longs was Numero Uno for me. Lifelong Wisconsinite here, and made my first attempt in 1995 with little idea what I was getting into. Made it to the Boulderfield and turned around. It wasn't until I moved out to New Mexico in 2009 that I made a second attempt 14 years later. But, the difference was 3 months living in Albuquerque at 5400 Feet + Many Build Up acclimation climbs in NM, including Wheeler Peak the weekend before. Made summit on my second attempt of Longs, which was my first 14er. I have yet to feel the same level of accomplishment.

The point is... Go for it. But be prepared, acclimatized, and be willing to turn around.

Also, be prepared for that first look on the other side of the Keyhole. I freaked out initially, but found it to me easier than it looked. I have since found most climbs to be not as bad as they look.

So, go for it, but consider making the summit on your first attempt as a bonus.

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Re: Longs Peak for First 14er?

Postby ameristrat » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:52 pm

SurfNTurf wrote: A Snickers bar, my favorite Justin Bieber cotton sweatshirt and a Red Bull.


Probably better prepared than half the people that attempt Longs...
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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