Peak(s):  Longs Peak  -  14,255 feet
Date Posted:  07/31/2011
Modified:  12/23/2013
Date Climbed:   07/31/2011
Author:  mountainmicah83
 Almost Free Solo 5.6 Keyhole Ridge  

Almost Free Solo 5.6 Keyhole Ridge


Total Elevation Gain: ~12,700 between 3 attempts. 5,100 on success day.
Total Mileage: ~40 Miles between 3 attempts. ~14mi on success day.
Peaks Climbed: Longs Peak
Ascent Party: Mountainmicah83, Sean
Note: Picture credit to Sean for donating his pictures. I won't list every picture of who took what but below are a mix of our pics. We have plenty more so email if you need for reference or more conditions.
(Warning: This preface is a long read so if you wan't current conditions skip this text and a few pictures until you see summer conditions.)
It's so funny that I have done quite a few peaks and Long's peak hasn't met my tick list yet. I think part of that was on purpose a couple of years ago when I was looking at what peaks were possible in winter. Another part of me wanted to save Longs for my last and summit my first time via a technical route on the diamond. Well, Thanksgiving weekend rolled around this year and I had a planned attempt on the North Face Cables route with Dancesatmoonrise. With an originally good weather forecast, it slowly deteriorated throughout the week until the usual 100MPH summit winds were forecasted and we had to cancel our plans. We know our limits and know we aren't invincible! Winter rolls in and Matt and I get the Little Bear Blanca traverse in the end of January and we are looking at something that will fuel our desire for exposure and difficulty. How do you top something like that? I look at harder things and my soul quivers. I look at easier things and think, ohhh too easy. Stuck, Matt and I finally decide to make a go at the cables in an unfavorable forecast with Dancesatmoonrise. Our motto is almost always to go check out the conditions and at least get a recon trip out of the deal. With 80MPH winds forecasted, we left Colorado Springs around 2 AM and were on the trail by 0530. The trip to treeline was quick but then we got blasted. Every step was grueling as we fought the wind and we kept wanting to turn around but just couldn't. Our cutoff for starting the 5.4 section on the N. Face was 1100 AM and we arrived just in time to give a go at it. With iffy conditions on the slow below the technical stuff, we decided to rope in to keep us from washing down the hill in a slide. I lead up to just below the "technical" section

The remainder of the report can be seen on my blog HERE

Thanks to Sean for suggesting this climb and accompanying me on the journey.

See you at the Top!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

 Comments or Questions

08/03/2011 04:50
Looks like a fun climb. Nothing dissapoints on Longs (including the weather? ) Ill have to do it soon. Strong effort and well done.

Did you take any pictures of the Diamond while looking from Chasm view? I was on it on the 31 and it would be awesome if you caught any pictures of me! 8)

It was a nice hot day!


Re: Nice!
08/03/2011 15:23
You are right it was pretty hot, for alpine! My legs were practically on fire when we got back to the TH.

Yeah we caught lots of pics of two groups still up the way on the Diamond. What route were you on? We'll PM you some pics and see if they are you!


Diamond Pics
08/03/2011 15:42
Sent you a PM Winter8000m

Brian C

Splitter photos
08/03/2011 16:41
Great shots of that splitter crack. Gotta love how the hoards below have no clue that you're up there. Nice work on a fun route.


08/05/2011 17:25
Congrats on getting Longs, Micah!


Sie sind Mädchen
11/21/2011 21:03
Sie Kerlaufstieg wie kleine Mädchen. Lassen Sie mich das 4runner und das i' holen; ll Erscheinen Sie, wie man ein Mann mit dem beatles Haar ist.

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