I chose the following five winter 14ers based on access, minimal avalanche danger, ease of routefinding and general popularity. Many others are doable as relatively safe winter daytrips. These are simply the lowest-hanging fruit.
Mountain(s): Conundrum Peak (14,060′) and Castle Peak (14,265′) Route: Conundrum Couloir (Steep Snow) Date: July 11, 2015 RT Distance: 14.5 miles RT Gain: 4,850′ RT Time: 10 hours Climbers: Ben, Jeff Summer is here. It’s crazy how fast the Colorado mountains transitioned from buried to dry. Most standard 14er routes only require a few short snow crossings these days, which isContinue reading “One More Drink, and I’ll Move On (Conundrum Couloir)”
Mountain: Torreys Peak – 14,267′ Route: Southpaw Couloir Date: July 3, 2015 RT Distance: 8 miles RT Gain: 3,000′ RT Time: 6 hours 45 minutes Climbers: Speth (speth), Adam, Jeff This snow-climbing season was disappointing. Between major life changes, a new puppy, a minor finger injury and the unsettled weather, I accomplished almost none ofContinue reading “Cornice Busting on Southpaw Couloir”
I respect the right of everyone to spend a day in the mountains free from annoyance and fear, just like I enjoy the right to hike with my four-legged adventure buddy. So, how can the gun-toting dog hunters and Susie’s gaggle of mountaineer pugs coexist? Like most raging debates in the hiking community, it really doesn’t have to be that hard.
So many outside influences affect how we perceive ourselves. Our self-esteem is too often based on the opinions and actions of others. Climbing brings everything back to center. Mountains recalibrate the soul.
1. THE INFORMATION IS OUT THERE Don’t ask for information on Quandary’s East Ridge in August. There’s no faster way to rile up the masses. If you have a question about the 14ers, it’s already been posed and answered at least a dozen times. Invest energy in doing your own research. I promise, it’s moreContinue reading “11 Tips for Hiking 14ers Like a Grown Up”
There’s no point in denying it: Horseshoe Mountain’s Boudoir Couloir is a flat-out classic. I’d already climbed it in 2011 as one of my first snow climbs, but when Speth suggested it for this weekend, I had no qualms about returning. This April is all about getting into shape for the Skillet Glacier, anyway. IfContinue reading “A Bond Between Strangers (Horseshoe Mountain/Boudoir Couloir)”
MOUNTAIN: Mt. Princeton (14,197′) ROUTE: East Slopes RT GAIN: 5,400′ RT DISTANCE: 13.25 miles RT TIME: 10.75 hours PARTNERS: Jerry, Adam, Shawn, Joel Mt. Princeton had become something of a winter nemesis. I tried it in early January 2014 prior to shoulder surgery, but the recurring dislocations that necessitated said repair left me woefully out of shape. I only made itContinue reading “Third Time’s the Charm on Mt. Princeton”
So, you’ve decided to get into winter mountaineering. Forget that you’d benefit exponentially more from snowshoes, trekking poles, a softshell, goggles, a pair of mittens or myriad other essentials – it’s time to get sexy with it. There’s no faster way to decorate your pack and impress your friends than purchasing an ice ax. Choosing yourContinue reading “Buyer’s Guide: Ice Axes and Ice Tools”
One of the biggest perks of pursuing 14ers and 13ers is having an excuse to range far and wide across Colorado. Little towns that even natives haven’t heard of become favorite haunts, complete with their hole-in-the-wall restaurants, obscure festivals, historic sites, quirky attractions, sunny patios and small-batch breweries. When you exit ski country, you enterContinue reading “Top 5 Colorado Mountain Towns (for Dirtbag Climbers)”