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Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
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Re: Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Postby groomden » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:19 pm

Better question?

Would your dog take you up Kelso's Ridge?

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Re: Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Postby wildlobo71 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:49 pm

gdthomas wrote:In the six or so times I've climbed Kelso Ridge, I've never seen a dog on the route. My gut reaction is to say bad idea but dogs can do amazing things and, in fact, a few have climbed all the 14ers. The several class 3 pitches and knife edge can probably all be circumvented if you and your dog don't mind wading through scree. Keeping him on a leash the entire route may be difficult. Pick a good weather day and leave early. KR is not a place you want to be in a thunderstorm, with or without a dog.


I like it when I agree with GD... it's seems like seldom, but I always think we are not THAT far apart on things...

I know how my dog would have done - she was an amazing climber and routefinder. I think she would have looked at the Knife Edge and figured it out, but I would probably plan for the reroute below that obstacle (which you can, on the north side, it's just an annoying loose upclimb to the White Rock). For all other moves, she would have been ahead of me saying "you and your two feet! Chop chop! I want kibble on the summit!"

You need to know your dog's abilities and your own because now you are responsible for two independent brains; take a leash, try to do it on an off-day when there aren't 30 people in queue on the route... But I don't think it's a terrible idea if all other things are OK for the pooch... just think about your responsibilities for your fellow hikers.
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Re: Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Postby ChrisRoberts » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:02 pm

TCUTED wrote:
gdthomas wrote:a few have climbed all the 14ers.


How did anyone get a dog up Longs peak? Were the NPS rangers on vacation that day?

On a second note, I just did Kelso's last week and I'm going to second everyone else here and advise against taking a dog up there. Also, I met a couple of people my first time up Grays who said they took a dog up there, and they mentioned it was the worst/scariest experience they have ever had in the mountains, so if that is any indication...


I'm interested in hearing this too.
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Re: Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Postby Shawnee Bob » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:16 pm

I think the one part of the route that would worry me with dogs is the white rock section at the end of the Knife Edge. I wonder how a dog would deal with that ledge.

I also wonder about dogs knocking down loose rocks. Anyway, not sure it's a great idea.
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Re: Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Postby catullus » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:50 pm

ChrisRoberts wrote:
TCUTED wrote:
gdthomas wrote:a few have climbed all the 14ers.


How did anyone get a dog up Longs peak? Were the NPS rangers on vacation that day?

On a second note, I just did Kelso's last week and I'm going to second everyone else here and advise against taking a dog up there. Also, I met a couple of people my first time up Grays who said they took a dog up there, and they mentioned it was the worst/scariest experience they have ever had in the mountains, so if that is any indication...


I'm interested in hearing this too.


When I did Long's last year, I saw a dog on the summit. Service dogs for the blind and hearing-impaired are allowed on trails in RMNP. Maybe the owner was blind or hearing-impaired.

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Re: Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Postby somethingrandom » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:18 pm

Sorry it needs to be said, I dont care how good of a climber your dog is. I dont really give a damn if it can climb 5.10c routes with one paw, the fact of the matter is dogs can not fathom the simple premace that you DO NOT knock rocks down on lower climbers. Should you do this by accident, you yell ROCK! A dog barking its version of 'rock' has little impact on me below.

Most of Kelso Ridge is very solid and great rock. Parts of it are not.

As for 'should I take my dog', only you can answer that with 'do I really care if my dog can negotiate the harder parts/would I miss it if it fell' AND 'do I care about the climbers below'? If your answer is no, by all means, give it a shot.

FWIW, I only know of 3 climbers (Im sure there are more) who have taken a dog up Little Bear and ALL of whom ensured they were the only ones in the hourglass at the time. As a responsible person that I am sure you are, should you take your dog up a climb like this, ensure there arent people below you.
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Re: Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Postby mountainjock » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:11 am

Yeah, I kinda thought I would be leaving him at home. Oh well, another day, and another trail!!!

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Re: Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Postby nancyb » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:04 pm

Thank you for keeping him safe! There are many other great hikes he would enjoy more!

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Re: Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Postby ketel1 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:05 pm

+1, 100 times. I take my Lily with me often. Kelso is a NO GO. The dog referred to before was Dexter, an accomplished climbing cattle dog mix?? if I remember correctly, who spooked on the down climb and would NOT come down. He was lost for weeks, ultimately hit by a truck on I-70...but lived. Many people have taken their dogs on the tough peaks, but I would really not advise this one for your dog or the other climbers.
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Re: Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Postby greenwok » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:02 pm

+1 x 1,000 also!!! We - and your dog - just don't need a repeat of that lost dog incident - anyone know how he is doing today these years later?
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Re: Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Postby kushrocks » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:11 pm

I am sure this is beating a dead horse but it all depends on your dogs climbing ability for this route. My dog has climbed Kelso Ridge 4 times with no problems. Also my dog is very well trained unlike many other dogs trying to get up 14ers. People kick rocks down as much as dogs do. To be honest I would be much more worried about other climbers on that route than my dog. A lot of people with little experience go for greys and torreys and then decide at the last minute to do something a little spicier and get themselves in trouble. I have had to help 2 or 3 people up certain sections where my dog has no problem hopping right up . . . . without kicking rocks down on my like the people I helped were doing.
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Re: Taking my dog Kelso's Ridge??

Postby hokanssons » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:52 pm

Ditto previous poster. I did Kelso with Watson a few years ago. He got a bit spooked when an ominous cloud developed at about the same time we reached the little knife-edge not far from the top of Torrey's, but I sat with him on a snow cornice for a few minutes for assurance (for him - I wasn't too keen on the cornice) and we proceeded without incident. He's 12 now and we're not climbing, but when we did, and Watson has done Pyramid, Sunlight (a difficult canine summit), and Mount Wilson (a canine fall saved by violating the climber's rule of self-preservation - grabbing a falling climber, and the coincidence of good rock, good strength and reflexes by both parties, and luck at that spot, which COULD have ended badly for all) among others, he always wore a harness, I always carried a dog-specific rope, and we had worked out commands and trust on places like the Grenadiers on the Snowmass/Capitol Ridge. Once you cross the line from hiking to climbing with your dog, you must assume the additional responsibility of climb leader, make sure your partner is fit and trained - to climb, and, as with any climb, know the consequences of mistakes or bad luck. Dogs will often go anywhere their owners do, but that's not always wise. Watson is a herding dog and with that need for physical and mental stimulation, climbing suited him well, and he loved it, during his prime. Now, he knows he can't physically do the climbs, and I respect his judgement and care for him too much to press that for my own goals. Kelso is doable with a dog, but make sure he'she is ready.

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