Beginner looking for guidance

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Broderick22
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Re: Beginner looking for guidance

Post by Broderick22 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:51 pm

Daggermonkey wrote:
Broderick22 wrote:Here are my thoughts for those new to 14ers:

Buy hiking shoes. They may be the most important gear you own. I like Solomon.
Buy wool socks. This will save your feet. Trust me.
Grab a pack that has a 3L bladder in it. Essential for 14ers imo.
Buy a rain/wind shell (coat) and good waterproof pants. These are the last 2 things that really make a difference. You will need both towards the top of most 14ers.
Bring gloves.
Plan to summit before noon. Leave the TH early. Time depends on length of hike.

These are the absolute essentials for starting out and I think if you follow them you will be in good shape.


I know shoes are vital. First thing to contact the ground and has to survive elements of you wont (rain/snow/rocks)

Got wool socks already.
Still testing out bags but I found a 30L pack with 3L compartment (needs bladder). Teton 1800, weighs 2.5 and has some support. Enough for essentials and last me at least until I get into serious climbs.
Probably getting an osprey 3L bladder
Got columbia hiking pants (conversion shorts with cargo pckts)

Still need shell jacket. Probably getting a columbia glennaker
Emergency blanket
Basic First aid & eventually a small trauma kit
Whistle, compass, flashlight, firesource
If you don't have shoes already check out the Salomon Ultra X3 GTX. I have haked 30+ 14ers in these things ranging from technical (Maroon Peak) to simple (Bierstadt). I also like the low top version and not the mids or high tops. I feel like they are lighter, keep you from getting hot and work for anything the mountain can throw at you.
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Broderick22
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Re: Beginner looking for guidance

Post by Broderick22 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:54 pm

Also, I have a Osprey 30L and its perfect. Great choice here. I would highly recommend this.
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Jon Frohlich
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Re: Beginner looking for guidance

Post by Jon Frohlich » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:51 am

Conor wrote:
Jon Frohlich wrote:I second pancakes, bacon, and coffee for summit food.

38144355_10156561009489099_3550967338427744256_o.jpg

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That bacon looks too much like the canadian version. Which isn't bacon.
Maple brown sugar bacon that I cooked in the oven. I get the bacon from a butcher near my house.
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Broderick22
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Re: Beginner looking for guidance

Post by Broderick22 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:14 am

I haven't tried bacon on a 14er before but it looks like it is worth it!
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Re: Beginner looking for guidance

Post by stephakett » Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:53 pm

Broderick22 wrote:I haven't tried bacon on a 14er before but it looks like it is worth it!
BACON JERKY omg. bacon jerky and a coors banquet was my summit go-to for a longgggg while.
“My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing.” (Aldous Huxley)
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LURE
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Re: Beginner looking for guidance

Post by LURE » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:42 pm

stephakett wrote:bacon jerky and a coors banquet was my summit go-to for a longgggg while.
Yee to that. Though after strenuous hiking at altitude I find the Coors Heavy to be a tad... well heavy. Silver bullet down the hatch for me :iluvbeer:

Or just save weight and bring whisky into the mountains.
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Re: Beginner looking for guidance

Post by brichardsson » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:01 pm

stephakett wrote:
Broderick22 wrote:I haven't tried bacon on a 14er before but it looks like it is worth it!
BACON JERKY omg.
my favourite use for jerky on the trail is to rehydrate it for dinner and make fajitas with it.
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Re: Beginner looking for guidance

Post by SeanAlfred » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:22 pm

Doest look like anyone has mentioned it in the previous posts, but caltopo is a great website for maps. Find what you need, print it off. Its a pretty simple site, but offers A LOT of different layers you can add to your map...only down side is unless you buy some fancy printer paper, your map won't be water resistant.
As for food, your body will digest carbohydrates much faster and easier than anything else. Protein isn't bad, but takes a while to digest, and as far as fats go, they can take the longest to digest and kick in. I can hike all day on a couple packs of fig noutans and feel great...I tried protein bars several times and they just make me feel awful at altitude.
I also haven't seen anyone mention weather. I love the mountain-forecast.com site, but always cross reference with other sites. I use NOAA site and the link from the 14ers page just to get a good idea what the weather should be from a few different sources.
If you're in Denver, Wilderness Exchange is great. They are a great outdoor store a block down the street from REI...they have great used gear for all activities. If your looking in Fort Collins, there is the Gearage on Mountain Ave...Far better and a lot more used gear that Wilderness Exchange, but a little out of the way if you're not in the area.
Frying bacon on mountain tops is for show offs...same with coffee. Who really wants to carry all that extra weight?
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Re: Beginner looking for guidance

Post by Molasses » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:08 pm

I have recently climbed my fifth 14er, and still consider myself a newbie. Each time I climb another 14er I learn something I can use on future climbs. So, here are my newbie lessons learned so far:

1) Whatever day pack you get, make sure it has a strap/belt at the bottom so that, when clipped, you can carry some of the weight on your hips. This prevents a killer muscle ache between your shoulder blades.

2) I too like the mountain-forecast.com website for weather forecasts. It forecasts the temperature at the trailhead and summit for a specific mountain. After checking the weather forecast, I would pack and wear the layers I needed for the temps I would encounter. I never took into consideration how much warmth I would generate from the physical exertion of hiking up a mountain! So, I always lugged too many layers up and down the mountain in my daypack. It took me several hikes to finally figure this out and adjust. For me, the warmth generated by hiking equals about 1 layer of clothing.

3) I also lugged too much food and water up and down the mountain. I didn't know that when you are hiking/exercising your body stops digesting until the exercise is over. So, I didn't get hungry during my hike. I found I didn't need food to relieve a hunger pang, I only needed it for energy. So, for Bierstadt, Evans, Sherman, etc... I only take 2 food bars, some trail mix, and (being a former distance runner) a packet of goo, that I consume somewhere between tree-line and summit. For water, I use (2) twenty-four ounce bottles of lemon flavored water (Propel). Then, it is important to remember to DRINK the water. My first couple hikes, I would be on the summit with 2 1/2 bottles of water still left out of three total!! Then I would get back to the trailhead and still have 2 bottles left.

4) I got this tip from a doctor friend of mine: Often a person new to hiking 14ers will get sore muscles from hiking. Why wait till your muscles are sore? Pop some Ibuprofen at the trailhead and avoid the soreness all together.

I hope some of my lessons learned are of use to you, and that you get as hooked on 14ers as I am. Have fun!

Oh, and one more tip - keep a journal of your hikes. When you reread what you experienced on past hikes it will help you with future ones. I keep a pen and paper with me at all times during the hike.
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Re: Beginner looking for guidance

Post by Daggermonkey » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:26 pm

I can see where fancy food is more for ‘show offs’ as you put it. Don’t plan on me doing anything fancy for a while, but if its something you enjoy whats the harm? I imagine many summit-baconheads have scaled enough mountains to know what they want in life from a hike. To each their own.

Thanks for the map info. Could always look into those plastic sheet covers for waterproofing if thats your thing. Wont seal everything but would cover most of a map. Doubt i would go this way but its an option to those interested.

I have been looking at daily forecasts on a number of mountains (front range) and getting a feel for the 3 day and then current to see how it typically rolls out. Should help me avoid unwanted/untimely rain&storms.

I drink almost 2 gal of water at work each day. Consuming the water is a great tip for those that overlook it. Won’t be an issue here.

Love the journal idea. Back to the store I go
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Broderick22
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Re: Beginner looking for guidance

Post by Broderick22 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:15 pm

stephakett wrote:
Broderick22 wrote:I haven't tried bacon on a 14er before but it looks like it is worth it!
BACON JERKY omg. bacon jerky and a coors banquet was my summit go-to for a longgggg while.
I've never had bacon jerky. I think thats gonna change!
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