Peak(s):  Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Mt. Sneffels  -  14,150 feet
Longs Peak  -  14,255 feet
Date Posted:  12/12/2016
Date Climbed:   09/06/2016
Author:  PaulVee
 Great first experience on 14ers!!   

After our trip in 2015 from Maryland to Grand Teton National Park ( I had discovered and had to come to Colorado! I spent the year planning to explore as much as we could. So, we made it out in August and did some great hikes. While I only summited one of the three 14ers I attempted, the other two were called off for dangerous conditions, and we also enjoyed some other great hikes and basin areas. We had a blast and love all of the mountains in Colorado!

8-20-16 Drive to Pikes Peak to start acclimating
OK, so we drove up this one... but gorgeous nonetheless!

8-21-16 Drive across Trail Ridge Road of Rocky Mountain National Park for more acclimation

8-22-16 Grays Peak - While our plans to take Kelso Ridge to Torreys then Grays fell apart when one of our party backed out, the three of us (gf and friend Bob) went the standard route up Grays. For most people on this site it is probably laughable... but for someone who has never climbed a 14er, man the trail was tough! But we took our time and made it to the summit! Woooohoooo!! First 14er!!
The way up Grays

Our first 14er!!

8-24-16 Black Canyon of the Gunnison - various overlook trails
Wow that canyon was neat!

8-25-16 Ouray Perimeter Trail - Not really very strenuous but a nice scenic 6 mile loop around Ouray.
Cascade Falls on Ouray Perimeter Trail


8-27-16 Wetterhorn Basin - My gf isn't able to do long mileage hikes, so we knew that when we went into the Wetterhorn Basin from Owl Creek Pass, that it would just be to climb in the basin. (I secretly wanted to take us over the pass to where you can see Wetterhorn but not this time ) But boy are the views of Courthouse Mountain, Precipice and some of the others fantastic!!
Courthouse Mountain

Precipice Peak

8-28-16 Drive on Highway 550, "The Million Dollar Highway" from Ouray to Durango and back.

8-29-16 Mt. Sneffels attempt - Having met an experienced 14er climber early at the lower trailhead in Yankee Boy Basin, the original plan was to possibly attempt the Southwest Ridge. But it has snowed overnight for several days so the terrain was slippery! We ended up trying the standard route but it was tough slogging up with the slippery snow and subsequent mud where people hiked and snow melted. Up the second gully, my partner decided the notch was too slippery and wet to attempt. She was the leader, so we turned around there. It was gorgeous though nonetheless!
The way up Sneffels was a bit slippery!

Beautiful Views

The second gully

8-29-16 Canyonlands National Park (Island in the Sky and The Needles)
I think Thelma and Louise are down there somewhere

Perspective ?

The Mesa Arch - Touristy - Yes, Cool - Yes

8-30-16 Arches National Park
Arches - very neat to Easterners not accustomed to strange red rocks


and more Arches!

9-4-16 Maroon Bells Basin area - A moderate hike past Crater Lake
The obligatory Maroon Bells photo

9-6-16 - The day before flying out, my friend Bob and I took a shot at Longs Peak. Fully aclimated and in shape from all of the other hikes, we had the stamina to make it. But it was SO windy... now, I understand it is always windy on Longs, but the Rangers stated there were 50mph sustained winds through the Keyhole. Maybe if the wind was a little less, and maybe if we were more prepared for the constant wind (and subsequent chills), we could have forged on. But we made it on the Ledges to where the Rebar posts are. My friend Bob, who was the leader, did not feel comfortable passing that section so that was as far as we went. But what a great day!!
Sunrise along the Longs Peak trail

Almost to the Keyhole

Made it through the Keyhole!

Can't wait to go back and actually make Sneffels and Longs and many more!! And thanks to everyone on this site for providing all of the information and inspiration to do this wonderful trip.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions

12/13/2016 08:04
Looks like you had a fun time out west! Some great photos - I love image 14.

Every mountain starts with one step. Keep working at it and I'm sure you'll summit more.


Nice Sample
12/24/2016 15:02
of Colorado and Utah. Bet you come back for seconds... Have fun when you do.


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