As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM
You learn so much by hiking with people who are more skilled or experienced. In a year or so, I am sure that you will be comfortable with any of the Class 3-rated mountains in Colorado. Your son will probably be fine on the class 4 peaks in a couple years, but alas several of them (Little Bear, Capitol) will definitely evoke child-inappropriate obscenities from you.
I will be out hiking with my soon-to-be-12 year old son almost every weekend this summer. Send me a PM if you are interested in joining us one of the weekends.
A couple of summers ago I was easing back into hiking after recovering from knee surgery. If you'd like I could give you some hikes that I started with. i have also done some hiking with my 7 year olds, so can also understand hiking with kids. Just send me a message if you'd like to discuss. In the meantime, I wish you a speedy recovery! And I also wish you the best of luck introudcing your son to hiking!
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”-John Muir
When my wife first asked me (as she pointed to Grey's), "when are we going to climb one of those?", I signed us up for rock climbing lessons. After a summer at The Red and a Wilderness Medicine course, we started climbing 14ers with a tiny bit more confidence than if we had started cold. We've never had to use those skills for rescue or first aide, but maybe our comfort zone is bigger. I just wish there had been a 14ers.com when we first started. This is a tremendous resource and you'll get even better advice than mine from this forum.
If you have any concerns with your ankle, a good idea would be the hike with trekking poles, if you don't already do so. They can provide that balance you might need where either (i) you might not fully trust your ankle or (ii) the ground is loose and the pole can take some of the load off your foot/ankle and reduce the risk of a load bearing injury like turning your ankle on loose talus.
Also, to your main question on route difficulty for those peaks suitable for hiking; one thing to consider is that the classification for those which are "hiking" peaks, i.e. class 1/2 assume you are on the standard route and don't get off the standard route-which can quickly upgrade the difficulty of a peak and routefinding, depending on the circumstance.
Thanks all! I appreciate the conversation on it. The chart will be a good place to start, so thanks a ton. It was pointed out to me that my lead out post might have been offensive to some, hopefully not. It was a conversation starter, but if I came across as expecting others to do my dirty work, I apologize. I simply like the personal advice that is so plentiful here at 14ers.com as preferable to having to look stuff up myself, not be sure and then have to ask the question anyway. So thanks for the posts, it was very useful. Thank you. Good stuff!