All of the 14ers

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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fostej15
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All of the 14ers

Post by fostej15 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:25 pm

I came to Colorado at the end of July this year and hiked Mt. Columbia one day then Mt. Harvard the next. It was a blast and I want to come back this upcoming summer to climb all of a majority of the 14ers. However, I have found mixed reviews about when to start (May v. June, depends on the snow level). Also, has anyone claimed them all in one summer? I’m sure someone certainly has, but I’m wanting to know how common it is? So my questions are...
When can someone start climbing 14ers in the year and not run into snow?
How common is it to hike all of the 14ers in a season?
Would you recommend attempting it?
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Scott P
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Re: All of the 14ers

Post by Scott P » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:46 pm

Several people have climbed the 14ers in a single season.

As far as having no snow to walk through, in most years you would have to wait until at least mid July on some of the peaks.

Places like the southern Sawatch and Sanges usually melt out earliest, while some of the San Juans, Elks, and Longs usually melt out the latest.
Would you recommend attempting it?
Personally, no. Climbing just the 14ers means you will be missing a lot of great peaks in exchange to doing some rather uninteresting ones. All peaks are worth doing once, but in summer, some of the 14ers aren't that interesting. They make better winter climbs.
Last edited by Scott P on Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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justiner
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Re: All of the 14ers

Post by justiner » Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:48 pm

fostej15 wrote:When can someone start climbing 14ers in the year and not run into snow?
July or so. For the most part. Depending.

The snow-free season is July - October (or so). mid-July to mid-August is the monsoon season, which can hamper plans, and after Labor Day, things can get a bit brisk.

I'm not sure how common it is to do them all in a season (more common to do them over a few seasons, there's not that much rush into doing it, it seems), but I think you can do the majority without too much trouble. I caution on suggesting it, as jumping into something like that ill-prepared is how accidents can happen. People get very impatient with conditions (or weather, or...) and go out to summit taking risks.
Last edited by justiner on Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: All of the 14ers

Post by RhodoRose » Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:12 am

A word of caution about assuming that all 14ers are easy Class 2 hikes like Harvard and Columbia. :-D
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Re: All of the 14ers

Post by peter303 » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:37 pm

It depends on the amount of snow in a given winter, usually not known until May.
And some trails melt out a little earlier than others due the side of the mountain they are on and how much snow accumulates there.
In a typical year a few trails trails become low-snow around Fathers Day in mid-June. You might just need gaiters and minor traction like micro-spikes/yaktrax. In about one out of five years there is a snow drought with low-snow by the end of May. In around one out of ten years there is much higher than average snow lasting into July. I recommend to people who buy expensive travel arrangements to wait until July 1.
There are plenty of other recreations while waiting for low-snow like hikingg or biking Utah and river racting.
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Re: All of the 14ers

Post by jladderud » Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:55 pm

fostej15 wrote: Would you recommend attempting it?
In short, no. If you have an insatiable, gotta catch 'em all drive to check them all off, it is feasible. But you'll be missing so much of the experience that makes the checklist so special: that sunrise summit, that type-2 fun, that meeting a stranger on the trail who quickly becomes your friend and future hiking partner, that first winter peak, those spring couloirs,... You'll also be spending quite a bit of time in a car. Plus, as others have mentioned, summit fever and a condensed schedule can lead to some very unsafe conditions.

I like to refer people (myself included) back to this post as a way to cultivate a richer 14er experience. Of course, one size doesn't fit all.
https://14ers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52536
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Re: All of the 14ers

Post by CoHi591 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 1:22 pm

RhodoRose wrote:A word of caution about assuming that all 14ers are easy Class 2 hikes like Harvard and Columbia. :-D
Seconded.

Climbing all the peaks is a great challenge but my words of caution...first, if you start to think of them all as points on a list to be checked off, you will enjoy the experience less, and it may lead you to stop respecting the mountains for what they are and stop valuing your time there. Frankly, that's why I haven't finished. One summer I did one a week, and eventually found myself thinking "ugh, I *have to* get up so early and drove to BV, I *have to* climb this mountain that I'm not excited about, etc". I wound up having unsatisfying days thinking of things like Shav and Tab as obligations. The following summer I did no 14ers, but I still went backpacking and climbing every week, bagging absolutely gorgeous and remote and fun 13ers and even 12ers that were harder and more exciting. I got back to waking up at 1 am thinking "Yes! I *get to* do this" instead of I have to. And it was a much more rewarding summer. AND after taking all that time off from the popular peaks, I returned with a newfound appreciation for the long gentle walks in the Sawatch.

Also, and forgive me if this is a patronizing assumption, but if you have to ask "has anyone ever done them all in one summer" it leads me to believe that you havent spent a lot of time around this website, at least. Which is fine, but going back to the above post that I'm quoting, you should really do your research and understand that Harvard and Columbia are relatively easy peaks especially if done on separate days. I'm not saying you cant do the hard ones, but you should underatand that the difference between Bierstadt/Sherman/G&T vs Capitol/Bells/some Sangres are drastic enough to be essentially a different sport altogether.

All that said, good luck and have fun and please for the love of god pack out your trash and toilet paper.
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glenmiz
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Re: All of the 14ers

Post by glenmiz » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:35 pm

jladderud wrote:
I like to refer people (myself included) back to this post as a way to cultivate a richer 14er experience. Of course, one size doesn't fit all.
https://14ers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52536
^^^ That!
Aim high to end high
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Re: All of the 14ers

Post by CaptainSuburbia » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:38 pm

glenmiz wrote:
jladderud wrote:
I like to refer people (myself included) back to this post as a way to cultivate a richer 14er experience. Of course, one size doesn't fit all.
https://14ers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52536
^^^ That!
Another cool way to enrich your climbing experience is to use the 12er rule. You simply add a 12er to whatever climb you are doing. I tried it this summer and did
Ganley with Grays
Baker with Torreys
Otter with the Square Top loop
And Bandit with Rosalie.

It really gets you off the beaten track, and makes a simple climb more challenging and rewarding.
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CoHi591
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Re: All of the 14ers

Post by CoHi591 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:51 pm

CaptainSuburbia wrote:
glenmiz wrote:
jladderud wrote:
I like to refer people (myself included) back to this post as a way to cultivate a richer 14er experience. Of course, one size doesn't fit all.
https://14ers.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52536
^^^ That!
Another cool way to enrich your climbing experience is to use the 12er rule. You simply add a 12er to whatever climb you are doing. I tried it this summer and did
Ganley with Grays
Baker with Torreys
Otter with the Square Top loop
And Bandit with Rosalie.

It really gets you off the beaten track, and makes a simple climb more challenging and rewarding.
That's a really awesome idea
The days I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days.
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glenmiz
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Re: All of the 14ers

Post by glenmiz » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:13 am

OK, ^^^^Those!
Aim high to end high
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CaptainSuburbia
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Re: All of the 14ers

Post by CaptainSuburbia » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:22 am

CoHi591 wrote:
CaptainSuburbia wrote:
glenmiz wrote:
^^^ That!
Another cool way to enrich your climbing experience is to use the 12er rule. You simply add a 12er to whatever climb you are doing. I tried it this summer and did
Ganley with Grays
Baker with Torreys
Otter with the Square Top loop
And Bandit with Rosalie.

It really gets you off the beaten track, and makes a simple climb more challenging and rewarding.
That's a really awesome idea
Thanks! It's great for working on your bushwacking skills too!
Some day our kids will study Clash lyrics in school.
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