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Mountaineering in Colorado can be very dangerous and many people have died on the 14ers. Weather, terrain and other people can put you in a situation where your knowledge and experience will be vital. If you are new to these peaks, I urge you to pick up a book on mountaineering safety and make sure your basic navigation skills (map+compass, not only GPS) are up-to-par and you can rely on them in a tough situation.

Just because a crowd of people can march to the summit of Quandary Peak on a summer Saturday, it doesn’t mean that they are all safe. Altitude sickness, dehydration, and fast-building storms are the most common problems. Get in shape and start early for each trip. I can’t tell you how many times I have been half way down a 14er and passed hikers that were determined to get to the summit, even with huge thunderclouds brewing above.

Here are some basic points on mountaineering preparation and safety:

Preparing for the Trip

Altitude Sickness

Bring the Proper Gear and Supplies

Unless you are planning a roped, technical climb, the following list includes most of the gear you'll need:
Main Gear:
Colder Weather and Snow Climbing:
Gear for Overnight Summer Trips:
Backcountry Ski Gear:

Know Your Limitations

Safe Trekking

Watch the Weather


Safety is always more important than peak bagging!

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