Colorado 14ers...

scvaughn

Seeking altitude...
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The Land of Mañana
Who else has the bug? I added twelve new ones in '22, and have big plans for '23.

El Diente, September 2022.

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Daniel

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Cottonwood Heights, Utah
I had the bug years ago and need to get it back to complete all of them, as I haven't summited a Colorado 14er in about 20 to 25 years. Going from memory, I've climbed about 38 of the 54. I got sidetracked climbing the highest points in all western states (still have a couple to go), the highest peak in all 29 Utah counties (still have about 5 to go) and many peaks in numerous other countries. By the way, I did El Diente, Mt. Wilson, and Wilson Peak in one big day, along with one of my brothers and a friend from Kayenta, AZ. The ridgeline connecting El Diente to Mt. Wilson was quite enjoyable! Best of luck to you in your quest.
 
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scvaughn

scvaughn

Seeking altitude...
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Posts
95
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The Land of Mañana
I had the bug years ago and need to get it back to complete all of them, as I haven't summited a Colorado 14er in about 20 to 25 years. Going from memory, I've climbed about 38 of the 54. I got sidetracked climbing the highest points in all western states (still have a couple to go), the highest peak in all 29 Utah counties (still have about 5 to go) and many peaks in numerous other countries. By the way, I did El Diente, Mt. Wilson, and Wilson Peak in one big day, along with one of my brothers and a friend from Kayenta, AZ. The ridgeline connecting El Diente to Mt. Wilson was quite enjoyable! Best of luck to you in your quest.

Thank you! Doing the Wilson Group in a day is highly respectable. I've met people who combine the Crestones, Humboldt, Kit Carson, and Challenger into a day hike. Maybe someday.

I'm at 20/58, with Crestone Needle as the most technical to date, and Crestone Peak, the Wetterhorn-Uncompahgre combo, and Blanca-Ellingwood as the longest days. I thought El Diente was actually more difficult due to snow and ice, but it would have been relatively easy dry. I skipped the traverse to Mt. Wilson because I was alone, and microspikes weren't cutting it on the ice. I'm going back for the traverse this year.

Hopefully you can get back into it, if that's what you want to do. I'm having fun, and hauling a backpack full of supplies to 14K'+ on a regular basis does make it easier to shoulder skis.

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Ken_R

Living the Dream
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Denver, CO
Who else has the bug? I added twelve new ones in '22, and have big plans for '23.

El Diente, September 2022.

View attachment 190275

View attachment 190274

I look for good, fun climbs. If they happen to be 14ers thats cool. A lot of 14ers are excellent climbs but quite a few are meh. Some standard routes can be really crowded and just a grind on a basic trail. There are options.

One example is Grays and Torreys. The Kelso Ridge up Torreys is a true gem, class 3, fun route. Most people hiking up the standard trail should never do it but if you have the skills, nerve and fitness (and good judgement) it is a must do 14er hike.

The further you get from Denver the less crowded the 14ers will be though. The ones close to the Front Range can be a true hassle almost any day during the Summer.
 
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scvaughn

scvaughn

Seeking altitude...
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The Land of Mañana
I look for good, fun climbs. If they happen to be 14ers thats cool. A lot of 14ers are excellent climbs but quite a few are meh. Some standard routes can be really crowded and just a grind on a basic trail. There are options.

One example is Grays and Torreys. The Kelso Ridge up Torreys is a true gem, class 3, fun route. Most people hiking up the standard trail should never do it but if you have the skills, nerve and fitness (and good judgement) it is a must do 14er hike.

The further you get from Denver the less crowded the 14ers will be though. The ones close to the Front Range can be a true hassle almost any day during the Summer.

Agreed, many CO 14ers are "meh," and I prefer the ones that offer more than a just a walkup. Kelso Ridge is definitely on the short list. I'm within about 3 hours of the best the Sangres have to offer, so I spend a lot of time there.

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Daniel

Out on the slopes
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Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Posts
408
Location
Cottonwood Heights, Utah
Thank you! Doing the Wilson Group in a day is highly respectable. I've met people who combine the Crestones, Humboldt, Kit Carson, and Challenger into a day hike. Maybe someday.

I'm at 20/58, with Crestone Needle as the most technical to date, and Crestone Peak, the Wetterhorn-Uncompahgre combo, and Blanca-Ellingwood as the longest days. I thought El Diente was actually more difficult due to snow and ice, but it would have been relatively easy dry. I skipped the traverse to Mt. Wilson because I was alone, and microspikes weren't cutting it on the ice. I'm going back for the traverse this year.

Hopefully you can get back into it, if that's what you want to do. I'm having fun, and hauling a backpack full of supplies to 14K'+ on a regular basis does make it easier to shoulder skis.

View attachment 190345
That's a great shot of the traverse over to Mt. Wilson! We climbed the trio of 14ers in early-to-mid June (1987 I believe) and encountered less ice and snow than anticipated due to a milder and drier winter that preceded our visit. Just before our venture to southwest CO, we had done several daylong hikes on the Navajo reservation that few Anglos get to do. Our friend grew up in Kayenta and had permission to park a vehicle and undertake hikes in places normally restricted to the general public/non-tribal members. He took us to several amazing places! He'd always wanted to climb El Diente and the Wilsons but felt better doing it with companions. My brother and I were about 4+ weeks into a 45-day-long mountain climbing and multi-day backpacking trip focused in eastern NV, southern UT and northern AZ and were happy to include time in southwest CO. After all the remote (mainly desert) peaks we'd recently climbed, many/most off trail, we were in peak shape to rocket up El Diente and carry on over to the Wilsons. We didn't see anyone that day until well into our descent off Mt. Wilson and then again while ascending Wilson Peak. I imagine things are different now.

I used to live in CO (attended CU) and my first 14er was Pikes Peak, which was also the only climb of a 14er I've done in the winter. Our timing/planning could have been better, as the ascent and descent took place in full on winter conditions. As a result, my first 14er was also my most difficult 14er. Obviously, all things being equal, there are many other 14ers that are much more challenging. As noted by yourself and another participant in this thread, several are very routine walkups, often starting at high enough elevation that total elevation gain is nothing overly demanding.

The last peak I climbed in CO wasn't a 14er or even a 13er but was nonetheless quite enjoyable. Lone Cone can be seen from many vantage points in southwest CO and southeast UT and the views from the summit are excellent. My job took me to Grand Junction for three weeks during August 2009 and, rather than return to UT over the weekends, I spent the first on Grand Mesa mostly mountain biking and the second in the area around Lone Cone, summiting and mountain biking.

It sounds like you've already knocked off some of the more difficult mountains in your quest and are poised to significantly increase the number of summits this year. I still climb mountains frequently but 14ers haven't been a priority for a long time. Thanks for starting the thread because communicating and thinking about 14ers may just move adding summits to my total up in my list of priorities going forward!
 
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scvaughn

scvaughn

Seeking altitude...
Skier
Joined
Jul 26, 2022
Posts
95
Location
The Land of Mañana
That's a great shot of the traverse over to Mt. Wilson! We climbed the trio of 14ers in early-to-mid June (1987 I believe) and encountered less ice and snow than anticipated due to a milder and drier winter that preceded our visit. Just before our venture to southwest CO, we had done several daylong hikes on the Navajo reservation that few Anglos get to do. Our friend grew up in Kayenta and had permission to park a vehicle and undertake hikes in places normally restricted to the general public/non-tribal members. He took us to several amazing places! He'd always wanted to climb El Diente and the Wilsons but felt better doing it with companions. My brother and I were about 4+ weeks into a 45-day-long mountain climbing and multi-day backpacking trip focused in eastern NV, southern UT and northern AZ and were happy to include time in southwest CO. After all the remote (mainly desert) peaks we'd recently climbed, many/most off trail, we were in peak shape to rocket up El Diente and carry on over to the Wilsons. We didn't see anyone that day until well into our descent off Mt. Wilson and then again while ascending Wilson Peak. I imagine things are different now.

I used to live in CO (attended CU) and my first 14er was Pikes Peak, which was also the only climb of a 14er I've done in the winter. Our timing/planning could have been better, as the ascent and descent took place in full on winter conditions. As a result, my first 14er was also my most difficult 14er. Obviously, all things being equal, there are many other 14ers that are much more challenging. As noted by yourself and another participant in this thread, several are very routine walkups, often starting at high enough elevation that total elevation gain is nothing overly demanding.

The last peak I climbed in CO wasn't a 14er or even a 13er but was nonetheless quite enjoyable. Lone Cone can be seen from many vantage points in southwest CO and southeast UT and the views from the summit are excellent. My job took me to Grand Junction for three weeks during August 2009 and, rather than return to UT over the weekends, I spent the first on Grand Mesa mostly mountain biking and the second in the area around Lone Cone, summiting and mountain biking.

It sounds like you've already knocked off some of the more difficult mountains in your quest and are poised to significantly increase the number of summits this year. I still climb mountains frequently but 14ers haven't been a priority for a long time. Thanks for starting the thread because communicating and thinking about 14ers may just move adding summits to my total up in my list of priorities going forward!

Thank you regarding the photo! I spent some time on the Navajo Reservation in the early '90s, and am unlikely to forget the experience. They're wonderful, but crushingly impoverished people. On the same two-month trip, I ventured into the Weminuche for the first time, and solidified my love for mountains outside of ski season. Climbing and skiing appeal for a similar reason, in they both force me to live in the moment, and love it, instead of somewhere in the past, or possible future.

I'm planning to do Longs, North Maroon, Snowmass, and Little Bear, along with the El Diente-Mt. Wilson Traverse, and several easier ones. If conditions permit, the Crestones Traverse seems completely feasible as well.
 
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