Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Toughest 14ers to go down

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
User avatar
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 5:44 pm
Location: Monument, CO

Re: Toughest 14ers to go down

Postby Jump Roper » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:43 pm

Coming down the back side of Pikes Peak (Craigs trailhead) is a screeeeeeeemess.
"Hold on Chuck, we're almost there."

User avatar
Posts: 529
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:16 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Toughest 14ers to go down

Postby doggler » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:55 pm

49ersRule wrote:Little Bear Southwest Ridge, worse descending than ascending.


QFE. I cannot believe I made it to the bottom of page 3 before finding this one mentioned.

One of the few climbs I've ever done where the descent took as long as the ascent.

User avatar
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 1:54 am
Location: Boulder

Re: Toughest 14ers to go down

Postby Kevo » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:31 pm

For me, I'd say Challenger might have been the most frustrating descent I've done- it's pretty steep and loose, and more talus than scree. The rocks are big enough where you really have to be worried about pulling down larger pieces that could hurt someone.

I'd add that IMO, Crestone Peak is much more difficult than Holy Cross- ascending back to Broken Hand Pass and then down to South Colony is much, much harder than Holy Cross via Half Moon Pass. Also, there was water running down the red gully on Crestone Peak when I was there, and it made things awkward and slippery.

Others that were tough-

-Crestone Needle- it was wet and slippery and sustained for pretty long time. The needle freaked me out more than any other 14er I've done, including Capitol and Pyramid.
-Descending into Pyramid's amphitheater was tough
-Yale
-For whatever reason, I found Missouri to be a difficult descent, maybe because I linked Bel-Ox-Mo together in a day and was tired, but I remember that it required a lot more attention to detail and care than I thought it would before the climb.
-Bross was a pain, but definitely small enough scree that you can kind of ski it.
-La Plata just seemed to go on forever. My knees were not happy.

User avatar
Posts: 351
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:02 pm
Location: Saudi Aurora

Re: Toughest 14ers to go down

Postby ChrisinAZ » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:44 pm

I think I'd have to give my vote to Mt. Wilson too. Coming down off the traverse, not knowing where the exact best route was (maybe they're all equally crappy?), and going down steep dirt with large, loose rocks abounding, and crossing the occasional snow-choked gully with bad runout with only one axe between my partner and I...not terribly fun in my book.

South Bross--descended down the side to Kite Lake. Insane scree-fest and loose as hell. At least you could sort of surf and kick steps in, so it went quickly enough.

Challenger--doing this with snow on the upper half of the mountain may or may not have improved things, I don't know. It was tedious and messy, but not the worst thing I've ever descended

S Maroon--this one wasn't that horrible for me. I think two major factors contributed to it being tolerable: trekking poles, and taking the trail option further to the south that seems to be more solid and less steep. Still not a picnic, but no worse than the Thousand Feet of Suck on Pyramid...
"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason."
— Jack Handy


Mah peaks

User avatar
Posts: 272
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 10:02 pm
Location: Kansas City, Mo.

Re: Toughest 14ers to go down

Postby Craig Cook » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:28 am

wildlobo71 wrote:I personally hate long (4+ miles) gradual descents when you are already tired from the ascent and Elvis knee (or my personal nemesis, the rolling of the ankle,) is more apt to strike on surfaces that you'd otherwise think were safe and "gentle". These are peaks and mounts like Pikes Peak...


I definitely have to agree with Bill. The first 14er I ever did was Pikes via Barr Trail - all 26 miles in one day. The last half of that descent, from Barr Camp to the parking lot, was excruciatingly painful on my ankles, knees, hips, etc.

However, in my limited experience, the winner in the "sheer annoyance" category is Bross. There is absolutely nothing fun about that scree mess, and as Silverlynx would put it, I biffed it once on the way down.
Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

User avatar
Posts: 529
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 12:16 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Toughest 14ers to go down

Postby doggler » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:01 am

Craig Cook wrote:
wildlobo71 wrote:I personally hate long (4+ miles) gradual descents when you are already tired from the ascent and Elvis knee (or my personal nemesis, the rolling of the ankle,) is more apt to strike on surfaces that you'd otherwise think were safe and "gentle". These are peaks and mounts like Pikes Peak...


I definitely have to agree with Bill. The first 14er I ever did was Pikes via Barr Trail - all 26 miles in one day. The last half of that descent, from Barr Camp to the parking lot, was excruciatingly painful on my ankles, knees, hips, etc.
.


That's what running is for. Why deal with a whole day's worth of pain when you could be down Barr in seventy five minutes? :mrgreen:

User avatar
Posts: 509
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:25 pm
Location: Lafayette, CO

Re: Toughest 14ers to go down

Postby CarpeDM » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:12 am

doggler wrote:
49ersRule wrote:Little Bear Southwest Ridge, worse descending than ascending.


QFE. I cannot believe I made it to the bottom of page 3 before finding this one mentioned.

One of the few climbs I've ever done where the descent took as long as the ascent.


I'm guessing that's because relatively few people on here have done it. I didn't mind that one as much as the descent from S Maroon. That was probably the worst of the 14ers for me. Most others are just "also rans." Sneffels was too long ago, but I remember it being bad. And I have bad memories of Como Road. I nearly lost toenails coming down Snowmass's standard approach - but that was my fault for wearing boots small enough for a 10 year old.
"Skepticism is the first step towards truth." - Denis Diderot
"It is not what the man of science believes that distinguishes him, but how and why he believes it. His beliefs are tentative, not dogmatic; they are based on evidence, not on authority or intuition." - Bertrand Russell
"Tell people there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure." - George Carlin
"Some say they're goin' to a place called Glory And I ain't saying it ain't a fact. But I've heard that I'm on the road to Purgatory And I don't like the sound of that.
I believe in love and I live my life accordingly. But I choose to let the mystery be" - Iris Dement

Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:18 am

Re: Toughest 14ers to go down

Postby maxmark7 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:51 am

although i had a very difficult time descending between Columbia and Harvard after getting a little off route, my all time least favorite descent is airplane gully on navajo peak. I don't think there is a solid rock the entire way down! I distinctly remember rocks the size of refrigerators rocking and shifting under my weight.

User avatar
Posts: 2135
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:50 am
Location: SoSlo (South of Sloans Lake)

Re: Toughest 14ers to go down

Postby wildlobo71 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:52 am

doggler wrote:
wildlobo71 wrote:I personally hate long (4+ miles) gradual descents when you are already tired from the ascent and Elvis knee (or my personal nemesis, the rolling of the ankle,) is more apt to strike on surfaces that you'd otherwise think were safe and "gentle". These are peaks and mounts like Pikes Peak...



That's what running is for. Why deal with a whole day's worth of pain when you could be down Barr in seventy five minutes? :mrgreen:


I have "run" some trails that are very class-1 - like Handies at American Basin, and Huron for a while, but I can't sustain it for miles. Running, for me, is too much of a threat to my ankles, alone, that already roll and sprain on the flats when I am just walking. Some people are born to run, like you, or Bruce, and some force it on themselves - like even I do from time to time... but trail running down 14ers combines two of my least favorite things in terrain - long descents and running.
Bill W.
Yes, I have my Scotch.

Re: Toughest 14ers to go down

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:59 am

doggler wrote:That's what running is for. Why deal with a whole day's worth of pain when you could be down Barr in seventy five minutes? :mrgreen:


Registration for Pikes Ascent/Marathon is today folks!!
Everyday is a G r A t E f U L Day here in the CO

User avatar
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:19 pm
Location: Boerne, Texas

Re: Toughest 14ers to go down

Postby broncotw » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:31 am

I have not done any of the Elks yet so I cannot compare Maroon Peak and N. Maroon with Mt. Wilson...

The descent on Mt. Wilson was NOT fun at all....

That has to be my worst descent......
Ted from TEXAS!

User avatar
Posts: 76
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:28 pm
Location: Grand Junction, CO

Re: Toughest 14ers to go down

Postby WillV » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:21 pm

Maroon peak (standard route). From the ridge down to Maroon Creek I recall it being quite painful on the knees and toes. I remember grunting the whole way down, claiming I was getting old and occasionally bitching to my partner during that descent. I got a bruised toenail as a result in boots I've never had issues in (got rid of them after that) that is still growing back. The somewhat aggressive goat that stalked us half way down didn't help either.
This was, of course, after doing N. Maroon the day before. So you have to make allowances...

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests