How hard is class 3

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Dan_Suitor
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Re: How hard is class 3

Post by Dan_Suitor » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:52 am

kansashiker69 wrote:Thanks. And we were thinking we should just start with a class 2. But possibly doing the sawtooth. How difficult would you guess it would be this time of year?
I just saw this thread https://www.14ers.com/forum/viewtopic.p ... 73#p662373 that says the conditions on the sawtooth are good.
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Re: How hard is class 3

Post by stephakett » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:13 pm

kansashiker69 wrote:Thanks. And we were thinking we should just start with a class 2. But possibly doing the sawtooth. How difficult would you guess it would be this time of year?
I think the biggest benefit of this one as a starter Class 3 is that you do not have to downclimb the route. You can either cut down after the Sawtooth or hit Evans and come back down, but neither require going back the way you came. So with that said, I do not chalk this one up to being difficult at all.
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Re: How hard is class 3

Post by stephakett » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:18 pm

i should also sidebar: seriously those !@*&ing willows on the slog back.

from up high it looks like a nice walk through a meadow back to the trailhead... until you're up to your knees in muck. i believe i saw something (of course after i repeatedly got my boot stuck with a sprained ankle thinking about BBQ on top of Evans) about staying high to hiker's left on the way down to avoid them.
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Re: How hard is class 3

Post by Dan_Suitor » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:34 am

stephakett wrote:i should also sidebar: seriously those !@*&ing willows on the slog back.

from up high it looks like a nice walk through a meadow back to the trailhead... until you're up to your knees in muck. i believe i saw something (of course after i repeatedly got my boot stuck with a sprained ankle thinking about BBQ on top of Evans) about staying high to hiker's left on the way down to avoid them.
Agreed. So make sure you bring gaiters. Your feet will still get soaked, but the gaiters make it a lot better. Also, you have to cross over Scott Gomer Creek to get from the gully to the left side of the willows. It might be running high this time of year.

Let us know how your climb goes and what you ended up doing.
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Re: How hard is class 3

Post by kansashiker69 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:13 pm

We decided to do Bierstadt and we are hoping to beat at least some of the crowds. How early would we have to start to do this?
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Re: How hard is class 3

Post by Ptglhs » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:22 pm

kansashiker69 wrote:We decided to do Bierstadt and we are hoping to beat at least some of the crowds. How early would we have to start to do this?
If you go on a summer weekend? Midnight. I jest, but expect both lots to be full by 530. If you go during the week it's MUCH better. There isn't much that would compel me to volunteer to hike a front range/tensquito 14er on a summer weekend.
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Re: How hard is class 3

Post by strayster2 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:34 pm

kansashiker69 wrote:We decided to do Bierstadt and we are hoping to beat at least some of the crowds. How early would we have to start to do this?
On a Sunday last summer I got to the Guanella Pass trailhead around 3:45 AM, parking lot was about 20% full.

Summited at 5:30 AM and had the summit to myself for 10 minutes.

Parking lot was full by the time I got back to my car at 7 AM.
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Re: How hard is class 3

Post by tb8331 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:23 am

cedica wrote:If you have done class 2 before and happen to be with somebody with experience, then class 3 can be fairly cruising in dry summer conditions.
If you are alone though, then your biggest problem will be route finding. On typical class 3 (excluding Longs Keyhole with bull's eye makers) you have to look carefully to find path of least resistance and stay on the correct route.
For comparison, take Sneffels (difficult class 2) and Wetterhorn (class 3) standard routes. If you have route description with you on Sneffels, it is always obvious where you need to go. On Wetterhorn is not, sometimes you have to poke around a bit and exposure could make you nervous. But if you are on the correct route, there is no single move on Wetterhorn that is more difficult than V-notch on Sneffels.
Bring helmet, relax and enjoy!
This! I did Wetterhorn last summer. Had downloaded the route description and pics off here. They helped for part of it. But somewhere below the prow I was doing exposed moves I wasn't expecting. I know I didn't find the "right" way up. Still, loads of fun.
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Re: How hard is class 3

Post by nyker » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:18 pm

kansashiker69 wrote:How hard is a class 3 hike? I don't have a ton of experience hiking difficult peaks, but I've hiked a couple of moderate ones. I am only going to get to take a short trip to Colorado, and so I will only get to hike a single 14er. I was hoping that it would be enjoyable without being dangerous. Is a 3 out of the question? If so, is there a class two that is on the more difficult end? I am 23, and in good shape.
It's all relative too and needs to be put into context. Most of the more difficult sections on peaks with class 3 routes are higher up on the mountain in more exposed places and are reached after you've been hiking and climbing for a while so you'll face them a bit more weary at higher altitude which makes them harder all things equal.

On many peaks the class 3 sections are often pretty short (certainly not all of course...Longs and Crestone Needle have longer class 3 sections). Similar looking terrain located at sea level or on a rocky outcropping in a town park, you'd likely never give them a second thought to scramble up. Central Park in NYC has many rocky areas that would technically qualify as Class 3, that on any given weekend are filled with kids climbing up the 50-100 feet to the top. Do that same rock at 13,500ft in howling wind after you've been hiking 6 hours on little sleep, possibly feeling a bit ill from the elevation and you might feel differently. Add in snow and ice and the need for crampons, it becomes entirely different.
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Re: How hard is class 3

Post by Eli Boardman » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:48 pm

How hard is class 3?

Do the Keyhole on Longs, then you will know.

And besides, you'll have climbed Longs, so you'll have that going for you, which is nice.
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Re: How hard is class 3

Post by timberlinecolorado56 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:15 pm

For me I’m looking more at the exposure rating. Yes class 3 is more careful route finding and some fun scrambling up sections but it’s really more about the exposure or poor rock that I’m I’m concerned about. As has been said, class 3 stuff in parks or closer to the ground is no big deal. But at elevation on a long hike things are different. Still very fun a doable!
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Re: How hard is class 3

Post by NetJetsHiker » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:24 am

How hard is Class 3, depends on which mountain and route you are on. Snowmass west slopes was much more difficult IMO than Long's Keyhole. Kit Carson (class 3) seemed less difficult than Challenger (class 2+).
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