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Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Postby cameronius » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:26 pm

Question for the vets - I'm swinging through Denver on my way to Fruita in April and have a day or two to climb. Any opinion on what the best fourteener to climb closest to Denver is - or the best climbing on the way to Fruita? Looks like most stuff is a couple hours outside the city and I'm not very familiar with the area. Bringing all my gear and looking for anything Grade 4 and under. I'm sure some flaming is inevitable, but any suggestions (any at all!) on good climbing are welcome.

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Re: Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Postby greenwade » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:56 pm

Let's see..between Denver and Fruita...not very many mountains, sadly.

Seriously, though, just take a look at the map on this site, pick one and go. In April you're bound to have some company along the trail. Right off of I-70 you've got Greys/Torreys, and not much further out of the way are Bierstadt/Evans, Quandry, the rest of the mosquitos...your best bet is to look at the map and pick a few options, then a few days before you're coming to CO check out this site and look for recent trip reports.

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Re: Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Postby wildlobo71 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:17 pm

Grays & Torreys - if you are into Class 3 or better, attack Torrey's from Kelso Ridge; 20 minutes off I-70.
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Re: Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Postby areed20 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:03 pm


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Re: Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Postby peter303 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:55 am

Do you have a full set of avalanche gear and partners?
The on-off nature of spring snow, especially this year, makes
the danger particularly high - many incidents and deaths recently.
I'd recommend the low avy-approach on Quandry
for someone unfamiliar with Colorado mountains.
Its 30 minutes south of the Frisco I-70 exit
on a winter-maintained road.
Thats not all that much longer a drive compared
to getting up the Beirstadt or Grays trilhead at this time
of year.

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Re: Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Postby Mark A Steiner » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:37 pm

I'd choose Bierstadt first, then survey the area from high up and plan another 14er nearby. Guanella Pass may be an issue especially if you approach from Georgetown. Several recently have had some fortune getting to Duck Lake from Grant (US 285). You also have the option of an ascent of nearby Squaretop (13,794', W of Guanella Pass) that to me is more rewarding than Bierstadt for two reasons: the awesome views of the entire southern part of the Front Range and time to examine other opportunities to include additional nearby summits in the 13,500+ foot range. Anyway, have a great time.
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Re: Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Postby randalmartin » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:34 am

April on Bierstadt could be a posthole nightmare through the willows if you go on one of those sunny warm Spring days. Personally I think Quandary is a MUCH better choice for three reasons, 1] You can drive paved road practically to the summer trailhead and therefore your only looking at 7mile RT vs 10-11mile RT on Bierstadt given the lower road closure in winter 2] Quandary has much less of the posthole terrain than Bierstadt. 3] Quandary is near a nice town (Breckenridge) for your after hike pleasure.

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Re: Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Postby briancolopy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:54 am

How is Quandary for climb on Saturday? I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks in advance.

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Re: Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Postby mountainmicah83 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:12 am

briancolopy wrote:How is Quandary for climb on Saturday? I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks in advance.


Are you talking this Saturday or any saturday? Pretty much, just follow up the line of people until you get to the top. Do not get off trail. This mountain has one of the highest Search and rescue numbers because the standard ridge route is easy but there are some more trecharous areas on that mountain.
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Re: Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Postby briancolopy » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:57 pm

The plan is this Saturday, March 27 if weather permits

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Re: Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Postby HMS » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:31 pm

We were planning on summiting Quandry tomorrow (March 27th) as well. Not sure given the weather though. Any thoughts on if it's worth the trek with the current conditions in mind?

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Re: Looking for a 14er to climb close to Denver.

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:50 pm

The Dancesatmoonrise Theory:
We boot-pack Mary Jane in December to stabilize the snow and prepare the slopes for safe skiing.
Isn't the east ridge on Quandary essentially boot-packed all year long?
Quandary is a good bet in most conditions untill you're totally bored of it. Until then, go ahead and add to the veritable wealth of accumulating TR's.
Seriously, it's a great back-up plan if you must stand at 14,000 feet in snow conditions.

The Dancesatmoonrise Romantic Summit Answer:
Holy Cross. Not far at all off the Denver-Fruita route, it's a fabulous sight to behold. However, it will take planning, especially during snow season.
Observe RoanMtnMan's 7 P's and it will be the "Pinnacle" of your trip. (Proper Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.)

Torrey's is fun, too.
If you're into Fruita, you're probably bringing the bikes. A little later in the year, maybe you can bike Evans? I did a bike race up Evans over 20 years ago, not sure of current status - but something to consider for a future trip. Come to think of it, I may do that this summer - "Our Peak" - (Pikes) - they'll only let you bike the descent, and only if you pay a company $50. ("Progress" is over-rated...)

: )

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