Peaks for wimps

Colorado peak questions, condition requests and other info.
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EigenDylan
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Peaks for wimps

Post by EigenDylan »

In my limited experience out in the mountains, I've noticed that I'm not very comfortable with exposure at all. If I get somewhere where I have to do something more than class 2 above a big cliff, it's usually gonna turn me around. For example, I recently turned around at the V notch on sneffels. I have plans to work on this fear, but in the meantime, I want to focus on peaks that aren't so scary. I mostly use Lists of John and trip reports here to plan hikes, but it can be hard to gauge whether something is in my comfort zone or not. The V notch looked pretty mellow in pictures, but I was not feeling it at all in person. The class rating on LoJ is mostly helpful, but the 2+ rating covers a wide range of difficulty. Some examples: Hildebrand hogback - I think this one was pretty much just class 2?, Crescent Mountain - agree with the rating, nothing scary, Hagar Mountain - stressful but doable, Sneffels - turned around. If you've kinda gotten a feel for my comfort level, I'm curious specifically about 13ers (especially in the San Juans). Which ones with 2/2+ ratings might I want to avoid for now? Are there any rated class 3 with almost no exposure? Some specific peaks I'm interested in but hesitant about are half and quarter.
Skimo95
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Re: Peaks for wimps

Post by Skimo95 »

What is your athletic background, prior hobbies, and willingness to take risk? I’d imagine joining a climbing gym, or finding more experienced friends would benefit you. I’m one of the lucky few who seek exposure, also have led friends into their first class 3/4 experience. There’s definitely no substitute for “punching the clock”.
EigenDylan
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Re: Peaks for wimps

Post by EigenDylan »

I'm in relatively good shape. The longest hikes I've done are about 16 miles and 6k ft of gain. I'm trying to to a 10k ft gain day and a 30 mile day by the end of the summer. I have a climbing gym membership, I can boulder V5ish indoors and V1 or V2 outside. Haven't tried the roped stuff yet. I'm pretty risk averse but I'd be willing to try something a bit outside my comfort zone with an experienced partner.
Skimo95
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Re: Peaks for wimps

Post by Skimo95 »

EigenDylan wrote: Tue Jul 05, 2022 11:30 am I'm in relatively good shape. The longest hikes I've done are about 16 miles and 6k ft of gain. I'm trying to to a 10k ft gain day and a 30 mile day by the end of the summer. I have a climbing gym membership, I can boulder V5ish indoors and V1 or V2 outside. Haven't tried the roped stuff yet. I'm pretty risk averse but I'd be willing to try something a bit outside my comfort zone with an experienced partner.
If you’re ever in the Elk range, send me a PM. I’d be happy to take you up some class 3 scrambles. Work schedule is Mon-Thurs, hope some more can chime in!
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Danger_D
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Re: Peaks for wimps

Post by Danger_D »

Based on what you said Half Peak is iffy. Just befor the summit there is narrow-ish causeway that the trail follows. From what I remember there aren't any really big drop-offs, but there are sections where the trial drops down on the side of the slope where you wouldn't want to fall. Its definitely Class 2, but on the sides of some steep slopes. One of my favorite 13ers and definitely a good (and safe) climb, but cause some doubt for excessively cautious hikers.
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AnnaG22
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Re: Peaks for wimps

Post by AnnaG22 »

Really get after it in the Sawatch and Handies, Redcloud, Sunshine, then tackle Castle Peak. If you can stomach the final quarter mile on Castle (and head over to Conundrum), you may be ready for Blanca and Ellingwood, then Wetterhorn.
"The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need – if only we had the eyes to see." -Ed Abbey

"I get scared sometimes—lots of times—but it's not bad. You know? I feel close to myself. When I'm out there at night, I feel close to my own body, I can feel my blood moving, my skin and my fingernails, everything, it's like I'm full of electricity and I'm glowing in the dark—I'm on fire almost—I'm burning away into nothing—but it doesn't matter because I know exactly who I am." from The Things They Carried
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glenmiz
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Re: Peaks for wimps

Post by glenmiz »

I'd suggest using the information here to assess the elements that drive the class rating for each route.

LoJ ratings, as you point out, are hard to interpret and Bill has done a great job of breaking the rating down into its components. That helped me quite a bit during my 14erquest. Now that I'm chasing more obscure things, particularly lower elevation, I rely more on LoJ or Peakbagger for information. I've learned to look at particular trail report authors for what to get ready for when I chase some obscure bump somewhere. Sometimes, there isn't anything and, often, that leads to an adventure...

Incrementally working my way up to the difficult peaks got me over my fears and I suspect it will for you as well. Good luck.
Aim high to end high
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Wildernessjane
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Re: Peaks for wimps

Post by Wildernessjane »

Purely anecdotal on my part, but I’ve always found class 2+ to be synonymous with “steep, loose crappy scree fields/gullies” and it always gives me pause when reading route descriptions. I’ll take solid class 3 over class 2+ any day. I’m sure there will be some exceptions that I’ve not thought of.
“Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.” -David McCullough?
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