Aborted Attempts and Successful Re-dos

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jibler
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Re: Failed Attempts and Successful Re-dos

Post by jibler » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:19 am

I had two bad attempts at la plata back in the day - both from the south - with the one being just totally off any route anyone has heard of. finally did it like 8-12 years later from north.

then two fails on huron before taking it - and i think I did it again too.


2004 - I had plan to take Harvard via full moonlight from the south - and was on track and busting up there but the moon was hidden behind the ridge too long - as the temp dropped surprisingly low so I bailed. Have yet to return.

2008 - was going up shavano but my water purifier failed and couldn't bring myself to drink from stream. never returned.



oh and I also had a TON of misadventures in Montana back in the day. too many to count. but that was pre-google maps. it haunts me now that I coulda done more. BUT also access in montana is at times different than here. less roads. so just challenging altogether to get anywhere some times.
Keep looking up - Jack Horkheimer
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Re: Failed Attempts and Successful Re-dos

Post by nunns » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:36 am

2005ish: failed to even be able to find the trailhead for Elbert. Pretty lucky actually, since I was pretty inexperienced at the time and bad weather happened to roll in at 10am that day. Could have been a bad ending. Summitted it about 5 years later and again a few years after that.

2009ish: missed the turn from the Mount Princeton road onto the trail, thereby delaying progress. Ended up turning around early. Tried again another time and again did not summit. Eventually summitted a few years later, and again in 2019.

2019: missed a turn early on the standard route for Belford/Oxford when attempting them for a third time with my daughter (I had previously climbed both). Decided to bail since we were behind time-wise and were planning several more climbs in the following days. To date she has not been back for those.

2020: started up the gully off the Lake Como Road on a foggy, drizzly morning in an attempt at Little Bear Peak. Made to the very bottom of the hourglass before deciding the weather was just not conducive to success.

I don't really consider any of these to be failures, except for the first one. I use the term "did not summit". Failure would be when someone else brings you down the mountain in a big bag, whether you summitted or not.

Sean Nunn
"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." --Psalms 36:6
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bmcqueen
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Re: Failed Attempts and Successful Re-dos

Post by bmcqueen » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:57 am

Appears I'm at 493/509 on 14ers - not a bad 96.9% summit rate. The 16 no summits were:

8/20/00 - Longs - spun at the Keyhole with my dad due to inclement weather on the other side.
1/8/01 - Antero - got a later start with a partner fresh from a trip to Hawaii. Spun late in the day to get down before nightfall.
11/2/02 - Yale - deep snow/late start
5/31/03 - S. Maroon - first and still only attempt at Bell Cord - spun at 13k concerned we were moving too slowly to descend safely.
6/13/03 - Kit Carson - spun with my dad at Kitty Cat Carson with storm coming in.
1/19/04 - Quandary - got my car stuck in the snow before the gate was there and too tired to summit after digging it out.
8/19/04 - North Maroon - turned back with my dad in the rain at 12k
6/12/07 - Columbia - turned back with my dad in rotten early season snow
10/16/13 - Grays - Spun at 13k in knee deep early snow. Called it a good enough Denali training day from I-70.
1/25/15 - Pikes - tried for Jan summit with a partner that wasn't feeling it that day. Nice sunrise though.
12/22/16 - Uncompahgre - JQ and I got our asses handed to us on the first day of winter. Barely made it to 4WD TH.
9/29/17 - El Diente - spun in thundersnow at 14k - trip report out there for this one
9/30/17 - Wilson Peak - spun again in thundersnow - trip report out there for this one
3/31/19 - Crestone Needle - pulled my sled to SCL and realized I forgot all my food. Went back down.
12/31/19 - North Maroon - spun with Kevin and Justin when the west face was carrying way more snow than we were expecting.
1/26/20 - Longs - took a swing at Jan grid spot, but spun when partners were ready to go down.

Quite a few non-14er spins too of course including first Rainier attempt, both Denali attempts so far, Chimborazo attempt, Aconcagua attempt and some 13ers too. Importantly though, I don't view spins as "failures". Failures would be not getting down safely. All of the above were great adventures full of learning opportunities. Biggest failure to date would be the one that cost Melissa her toes of course (even though we reached the summit that day).
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." --- Nasreddin

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WildWanderer
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Re: Failed Attempts and Successful Re-dos

Post by WildWanderer » Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:53 pm

How about failed attempts for just this past year? I average one a month...

Clark Peak – August 2020 - bad beta (write-up not yet written)
Silver Mountain – July 2020 - just switched peaks because I was up in my head from failed Coxcomb attempt the day earlier https://wildwandererlmc.wordpress.com/2 ... eak-13091/
Coxcomb – July 2020 - wasn't 100% sure I was in the right area so I turned around at chimneys https://wildwandererlmc.wordpress.com/2 ... mpt-13656/
13626 – May 2020 - lost my water bottle. Didn't think it was safe to continue without one. https://wildwandererlmc.wordpress.com/2 ... se-canyon/
Bull Hill – April 2020 - unsafe snow https://wildwandererlmc.wordpress.com/2 ... 8-attempt/
Tuckaway Mountain - March 2020 unsafe snow https://wildwandererlmc.wordpress.com/2 ... -mt-kineo/
Rinker Peak – January 2020 - got in over my head with unconsolidated snow. Learned not to make winter peaks a loop. https://wildwandererlmc.wordpress.com/2 ... r-attempt/
Mt Elbert – December 2019 - Partner needed to turn around. https://wildwandererlmc.wordpress.com/2 ... r-attempt/
PT 13795 – November 2019 - unanticipated snow in gully. https://wildwandererlmc.wordpress.com/2 ... 5-attempt/
Rolling Mountain – October 2019 - unanticipated snow in bowl, wrong beta/ended up being a solid rock couloir. https://wildwandererlmc.wordpress.com/2 ... -attempts/
Last edited by WildWanderer on Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Failed Attempts and Successful Re-dos

Post by ltlFish99 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:14 pm

Failed twice on the mighty mt. Princeton.
Light snow turned into a near whiteout the day after Thanksgiving 1st time.
Turned back about 13,000 feet.
light rain turned into more rain, lightning, etc. On 2nd attempt
. Bailed just above timberline.
Made it to the top on 3rd attempt.

Longs in calendar winter.

1st attempt ended at keyhole due to group decision.

2nd attempt, we were going to do the cables route from a boulderfield camp. After over a foot of snow with 70 mph winds at camp we could barely even see the cables route. Packed up, and headed home.

3rd attempt via camp at Black lake and up the trough went great. We had the summit to ourselves, which for longs is a rare experience.
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Re: Failed Attempts and Successful Re-dos

Post by nunns » Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:15 am

bmcqueen wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:57 am
Appears I'm at 493/509 on 14ers - not a bad 96.9% summit rate. The 16 no summits were:

8/20/00 - Longs - spun at the Keyhole with my dad due to inclement weather on the other side.
1/8/01 - Antero - got a later start with a partner fresh from a trip to Hawaii. Spun late in the day to get down before nightfall.
11/2/02 - Yale - deep snow/late start
5/31/03 - S. Maroon - first and still only attempt at Bell Cord - spun at 13k concerned we were moving too slowly to descend safely.
6/13/03 - Kit Carson - spun with my dad at Kitty Cat Carson with storm coming in.
1/19/04 - Quandary - got my car stuck in the snow before the gate was there and too tired to summit after digging it out.
8/19/04 - North Maroon - turned back with my dad in the rain at 12k
6/12/07 - Columbia - turned back with my dad in rotten early season snow
10/16/13 - Grays - Spun at 13k in knee deep early snow. Called it a good enough Denali training day from I-70.
1/25/15 - Pikes - tried for Jan summit with a partner that wasn't feeling it that day. Nice sunrise though.
12/22/16 - Uncompahgre - JQ and I got our asses handed to us on the first day of winter. Barely made it to 4WD TH.
9/29/17 - El Diente - spun in thundersnow at 14k - trip report out there for this one
9/30/17 - Wilson Peak - spun again in thundersnow - trip report out there for this one
3/31/19 - Crestone Needle - pulled my sled to SCL and realized I forgot all my food. Went back down.
12/31/19 - North Maroon - spun with Kevin and Justin when the west face was carrying way more snow than we were expecting.
1/26/20 - Longs - took a swing at Jan grid spot, but spun when partners were ready to go down.

Quite a few non-14er spins too of course including first Rainier attempt, both Denali attempts so far, Chimborazo attempt, Aconcagua attempt and some 13ers too. Importantly though, I don't view spins as "failures". Failures would be not getting down safely. All of the above were great adventures full of learning opportunities. Biggest failure to date would be the one that cost Melissa her toes of course (even though we reached the summit that day).
I don't want to preach but I think that we can all learn from a guy like Brad and the list above.
He has been doing this for a while (500+ attempts on 14ers) because he has been smart enough to know when to turn around. You can see that sometimes he turned around due to a mistake (late start, forgot food, etc) and other times due to weather or other circumstances beyond his control (partners, etc.) But the point is that in these situations, he was smart enough to turn around instead of foolishly pushing on.

I just finished reading 14er Disasters. The common theme that comes up over and over is someone pushing on to the summit despite running out of food, water, being slightly off-trail, partner being exhausted, etc. Coming down early is not a FAILURE, its a smart decision. I do understand that it is a subtle thing; I have pushed on to a summit even slightly after noon on a good day, or pushed on even when I saw a few clouds starting to form if I was very close to the summit. But in retrospect those were probably mistakes, especially in the latter case.

Sean Nunn
"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains." --Psalms 36:6
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Re: Failed Attempts and Successful Re-dos

Post by greenonion » Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:26 pm

Completely agree with those who have said that these are not really failures, but rather smart decisions. And that is mostly what I wanted to see come out of this thread by suggesting we give lessons learned to anyone "listening." I'll see if I can re-name the title, and if not, hopefully no biggie. Thanks for the great perspectives on "failure." And all the great responses of your experiences.
A painter’s got a canvas. The writer’s got reams of empty paper. A musician has silence.

I’m all for a quiet life. I just didn’t get one.

...Keith Richards
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Re: Aborted Attempts and Successful Re-dos

Post by SchralpTheGnar » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:01 pm

Columbia peak, tried to hike it twice from two different sides finally succeeded with a spring ski of three elk side.

Pentigell peak took me a third try as due to weather, poor visibility.

Blanca took a few attempts, failed on gash ridge twice, came back and skied the normal route.

Those are the only three that didn’t succeed in the first time and came back again to do it. I credit this to doing most, like 80%, of my hiking during the spring time with stable snow and stable (at least predictable) weather.
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Re: Aborted Attempts and Successful Re-dos

Post by lodgling » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:05 pm

SchralpTheGnar wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:01 pm
Blanca took a few attempts, failed on gash ridge twice, came back and SLAYED the normal route
fixed it for you
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Re: Aborted Attempts and Successful Re-dos

Post by Above_Treeline » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:21 pm

W. Spanish: came up from TX, headed to the TH, saw a pullout. What a mountain! No way I'm making it up that today. Kept going to the TH and started hiking.5:30 p.m. Not really intending to go. Got down the trail a bit, decided to go.

Made good time, 1 hr to treeline. The summit is right there, I'm going to do a 13er straight from TX! This is easy!. 1 hour later I was still on the ridge. It occurred to me that maybe I could have a heart attack, since I wasn't acclimated. Or maybe it was no problem? Didn't really know. Turns out, 1600' ridges can take longer than expected.

Turned around about 7:30. Pretty bummed. At some point realized that weather headed my way. No real surprise, there had been rain in the area earlier, and I knew it was coming from that direction if it was coming, so I tried to get down the ridge as much as possible. The wet rocks didn't sound appealing to hike on.

So I'm getting my waterproof jacket thing out, Trying to put it on over a pretty full daypack. At some point a water bottle falls out. Not good. Before I could set the pack down a camera lens fell out, and landed on rocks. Right at the beginning of vacation!

The rain came, not too bad, lasted maybe 15min., but the wind was maybe up to 40mph during the rain, and kept howling after the rain. I got back to treeline after sundown. Wound up walking back in the dark, which might have been pretty fun actually if I'd done a couple things differently. Saw an owl! Got back just in time, before anyone called S&R.

On the way home, tried again. 5:20 pm start. Ugh. The person we'd been staying with fed us low carb diet. Not good for climbing. But I realized turning around half an hour earlier gets me back 1 hour earlier, so that part was good. Still Need to summit. Glad I got our and hiked rather than sitting in the car.
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Re: Aborted Attempts and Successful Re-dos

Post by glenmiz » Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:27 pm

Longs - 1st attempt 1989 flying from Houston night before, never had been on a 14er before, had no idea what to expect, serious fear of exposure - FREAKED out at the start of the Narrows, crawled to the end of the narrows on my hands and knees and couldn't get up the step at the end. 2nd attempt 2005 - turned around at the Boulder Field when it started to snow. 3rd attempt, with my 14 year old son - he freaked out at the same place I did in 1989 but gathered himself and we cruised to the top

Torreys - 2008, I took a large group of family up. Late start, questionable weather and the group split up. After summiting Grays with my daughter and neice (and taking a picture with my niece's hair in an Albert Einstein splay due to static electricity), my daughter and I started up Torreys ridge after I told her "if I say we're turning around, we're turning around" we made it to within 50' of the summit and I said "we're turning around". She didn't talk to me for a month but we didn't get struck by lightning and we didn't perish from hypothermia despite the run down.

Chicago Basin - 2016 with my twins. We planned two nights camping with option to add Jupiter the second day on the way back to the train if we were able to get all four the first day. Weather looked crappy but forecast to clear about 4am the first day. On the drive to Durango, my son said "oh, yeah, Dad, I have a test on Monday so I need to cut the trip short by a day". We started up from our camp about 2:30am with lightning all around. We got to the lakes and hid below some rocks waiting on the weather to clear for over an hour before starting toward Windom. At 13500' on the ridge a squall came in and we lost sight of everything and turned around. When we got to the lakes, the sun was shining and we decided to try the other side of the basin. We got the Eolus/N Eolus saddle and made a decision to go North to N Eolus summit. Snapped a selfie and went back to the saddle into another squall and headed down. Go figure - we only summited the non-ranked 14er on this trip. I came back the next summer and got the other three from Needleton with one night of camping. Nick came back in 2018 and tackled all four from Purgatory in a 24 hour push. Rachel still has the other three on the "to do" list.
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Re: Aborted Attempts and Successful Re-dos

Post by brichardsson » Sat Sep 05, 2020 8:50 pm

mt russell, CA 14er - i think i tried this one three times getting turned around by weather. because of the permit system in the whitney zone, you can't just go when the weather is clear. i was finally successful on my 4th attempt, the weather was glorious.

shavano - attempted twice - both times the angel, both times turned around due to weather - once in a whiteout at 12k. finally gave up on the angel and successfully climbed it dry.

la plata - turned around on my first attempt due to lightning, eventually summitted.

harvard - turned around on my first attempt due to conditions - way way way too much snow. eventually climbed it dry.

licambro - bailed due to weather (whiteout conditions), eventually summitted

i also turned around about 40 vertical feet from the summit of mt hood in super icy conditions. that one still bugs me. but if i'm being honest i would probably make the same decision all over again. i think it bugs me more because i haven't gone back for it yet.

what did i learn? weather can suck, and the mountains aren't going anywhere. almost every single failure i've had, i've eventually gone back and done.
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