Peak(s):  Longs Peak  -  14,255 feet
Date Posted:  03/08/2016
Modified:  03/09/2016
Date Climbed:   03/06/2016
Author:  maxhikes14ers
 Epic Day on Longs Peak Cables Route   

Amazing Day up the Cables route on Longs Peak for my first winter 14er ascent.

I decided to make a video trip report and it turned out great! Here is the link. Read below for a written description and pictures.


Ive been dying to get up a mountain lately. I climbed all 58 of Colorado's 14ers by the time I was 12 years old, but since then, I have only done a couple and so I was having "14er withdrawals". Now a couple years later, I decided I couldn't wait any longer. Since Track and Field season was starting up and I would have meets almost every weekend, I knew it was now or wait till late May. I wanted it to be a big, exciting, epic, fun day so I thought Longs Peak up Cables route would be perfect. My dad and I started preparing for the climb and gathering gear. We got helpful beta from Bill Wright and couldn't wait to go. On Saturday we got everything packed up and drove up to Estes Park. We car camped in the back of our van.

The alarm went off at 2:30am on Sunday and we were hiking by 3am. The conditions on the trail were good. Below treeline, it was fully covered in snow, but well packed the whole way. Although I did not use micro-spikes, I would definitely recommend them. From treeline to Chasm cutoff the trail was mostly bare and the ground was exposed. Across the face of Lady Washington to Granite pass there was a few large Snowfields that had to be crossed and the trail had some snow, but it was well packed and pretty safe.

My dad and I made it to Granite pass at Sunrise and it was looking like it would be a beautiful day. I was very surprised by how long it was from the pass to the Boulderfield, as I was 8 years old the last time I climbed it and didn't remember it too well.
From the toilets in the Boulderfield, we headed straight for the ridge between Longs and Lady Washington, getting some pretty amazing views.
We followed the ridge to Chasm view and the view was truly spectacular. The weather and conditions were spring or even summer like, warm temps, lack of snow and wind, etc. We thought it was like we were cheating, it seemed so easy for a winter ascent... so far!
Chasm view was so cool, one of my favorite places on earth! To get from Chasm view to the Base of the Cables route, there were some pretty steep icy snowgullies and climbing that required Crampons and Ice axe. The eyebolts were pretty easy to spot, and we found 4 of them, each about 30 feet apart. We brought a couple cams to place to reduce the runout. It was annoying, because there were bolts every 10 feet or so, but most of them were cut off. The climbing felt pretty hard and scary for 5.4 because of the snow, ice and runout. It was really fun though! I lead the climb and set up a belay at the 4th bolt to get my dad up.
The video shows what the climbing was like.
Above the technical pitch, was all class 3 and we followed snow patches for most of the way. We were starting to bonk, so we hurried up in about 20 min. As soon as we crested over to the top, a huge snowstorm cloud was rolling in from the west, engulfing the mountains behind. We didnt spend much time and I did not get many shots from the top. We carefully rushed down to where our rope was stashed and rappelled down. The edge of the storm was starting to come over the summit. We were really bonking, and I forgot to film and take many pics. We reached the toilets in the Boulderfield at 1pm, and the storm hit. Regular intervals of high winds and heavy snow pelted us. One gust even blew me off the trail. "Snownadoes" ripped by us. We slogged back to Granite pass by 2 and there was a significant amount of more snow on the trail across Lady Washington. The storm was crazy, but we were having fun. Around 3pm, we got to treeline and in our half conscious slog, we took a wrong turn onto a snowshoe trail. Soon, it was post hole hell, and it did not meet up with the real trail untill Goblin Forest. We reached the trailhead at 4:30. It was a crazy epic day that definitely got me my mountain fix... for a couple days.



Comments or Questions
coltex
Wow
03/09/2016 08:43
Bout says it all.


PaliKona
Agree, wow
03/10/2016 06:52
Love the video recap. Great climb!


GarrettEly
Nice!
03/10/2016 19:50
Thanks for sharing!!



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