Twilight 14ers

Colorado peak questions, condition requests and other info.
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CaptCO
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Twilight 14ers

Post by CaptCO » Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:26 pm

Which 14ers have you done in the darker hours and what made it enjoyable/eventful? Bonus kudos for snowy months as well
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XterraRob
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Re: Twilight 14ers

Post by XterraRob » Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:47 am

Doing the Sawtooth from Evans to Bierstadt around midnight was the closest I ever felt to the heavens.
The glow of the city, plus the stars.

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Re: Twilight 14ers

Post by My-Therapy » Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:06 am

My wife and I had an awesome experience on Windom Peak. We arrived on the summit just as sunset was at peak colors. Being deep into the San Juans on top of a 14er with that much color hitting the peaks all around us for miles and miles is something I’ll never forget. Once it was dark we starting making our way down and started noticing the occasional moth in our headlamp light. By the time we were a couple hundred yards off of the summit there were millions and millions of moths all around us, I have never seen anything like it before and we both couldn’t get over just how many there were and so close to the top of a 14er. Once we got closer to tree-line the stars really put on a show for us in Chicago Basin. Between the intense quiet when we stopped to turn off our headlamps and look up at the sky and the incredible amount of stars that we could see so clearly, I would have to say this was one of my favorite 14er hikes of all time. No one around on the trail and the basin totally quiet was the way to do Windom Peak. This was early September 2019.
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andrew85
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Re: Twilight 14ers

Post by andrew85 » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:01 am

It's in my Chicago Basin trip report but I summited Mt. Eolus and North Eolus at night (8:42pm and 10:25pm) in an attempt to go train to train in 24 hours, which I would have made it if I didn't get altitude sickness between Sunlight and Windom which killed my pace from then onward. Lol was considering repeating this effort, but seeing that several people since have gone Purgatory to Purgatory in 24 hours my quest seems kind of pointless :lol:.
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Re: Twilight 14ers

Post by JQDivide » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:18 pm

Anyone else feel...
Perfectly normal hiking in the dark in the morning, no worries?
But hiking down a peak in the dark evening feels eerie, noises are creepy, and you wonder what is watching you? Is that a cougar?
Why the difference? Maybe just used to the morning darkness?

Have done a few peaks at night. Mostly just to do it. Was OK. You can usually find people on the easier peaks during fool moons in the summer and early fall.

I really love sunsets on the summits. Few people, if any. Watching the colors change to the night sky, pretty incredible up high.

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Re: Twilight 14ers

Post by ellenmseb » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:07 pm

I overslept when heading up for Belford/Oxford/Missouri, in September just after the big snowstorm. This resulted in heading down Missouri just around sunset. This sunset was stunning, the very best picture I've ever taken on a 14er.

Image

On the way down the bowl from Missouri, in the pitch dark and snow, I heard a lot of eerie screaming/howling. I knew it was a fox because I heard the same sound coming from a fox previously, but it would've been easy to convince someone it was a hungry wolf or a person being murdered! If you haven't heard fox sounds before, they're extremely creepy: [YouTubeVideo]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zk1mAd77Hr4[/YouTubeVideo]
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Re: Twilight 14ers

Post by Alpine Guy » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:25 pm

I drove over from Kearney NE one afternoon to hike Yale. I planned to camp at the South Yale saddle but I just never stopped walking and reached the summit right at sunset. It was too windy to camp there so I headed down the Denny Creek trail for the descent. That probably wasn't a great idea in the dark but I made it and what I still remember to this day is the night sky at that altitude. I've been a casual astronomer for several years and I couldn't hardly make out anything familiar - so many bright stars.
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Re: Twilight 14ers

Post by Hiking_TheRockies » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:39 pm

did Longs starting at around 3 am. didn't really start getting light till the Boulderfield. does that count?
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Re: Twilight 14ers

Post by BillMiddlebrook » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:43 pm

My-Therapy wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:06 am
My wife and I had an awesome experience on Windom Peak. We arrived on the summit just as sunset was at peak colors. Being deep into the San Juans on top of a 14er with that much color hitting the peaks all around us for miles and miles is something I’ll never forget. Once it was dark we starting making our way down and started noticing the occasional moth in our headlamp light. By the time we were a couple hundred yards off of the summit there were millions and millions of moths all around us, I have never seen anything like it before and we both couldn’t get over just how many there were and so close to the top of a 14er. Once we got closer to tree-line the stars really put on a show for us in Chicago Basin. Between the intense quiet when we stopped to turn off our headlamps and look up at the sky and the incredible amount of stars that we could see so clearly, I would have to say this was one of my favorite 14er hikes of all time. No one around on the trail and the basin totally quiet was the way to do Windom Peak. This was early September 2019.
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CaptCO
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Re: Twilight 14ers

Post by CaptCO » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:26 pm

Ellen, that’s an incredible picture! I actually saw a fox late Fall ‘20 near the Bel/Miz split it was cute. I had no idea they could make a noise like so! I’ll try to find some good pics if I ever get the time, but had a similar descent from Elkhead pass and it was very relaxing. I’ve probably got around a dozen “dark” ascents so far.
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Re: Twilight 14ers

Post by Geckser » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:33 pm

I had a really good twilight experience on Elbert.

What about you CaptCo, I heard you had a really nice twilight experience on Belford/Oxford. :-k
Last edited by Geckser on Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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CaptCO
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Re: Twilight 14ers

Post by CaptCO » Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:36 pm

Geckser wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:33 pm
I had a really good twilight experience on Elbert.

What about you CaptCo, I heard you had a really nice night on Belford/Oxford. :-k
Keep up that energy! I love it! I don’t love that night so much.. just happy my dog made it out alive, could care less about my own
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