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14ers winter ascent questions.

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14ers winter ascent questions.

Postby crysent » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:53 pm

Hi,

Planning on heading down for some winter ascents late dec or early jan. Hopeing to spend a week or so.

Anyways I have some various questions I've had problems finding answers too.

Accessibility = Last year I was down there the biggest problem I had was getting near some of the 14ers I'm looking in the area of Evans/bierstads/grays torreys

Or

Bross/lincoln/quandary/cameron/democrat

If anyone could reccomend which area I might have better luck getting closer to trailheads I would greatly appreciate it, reccomendations outside those mountains are also welcome.

My next question is camping, unfortunatly I am a poor, poor college student so I plan on camping out in my tent, and limiting hotel stays. Any information on camping in the area of those mountains (do I need a permit? campgrounds in the area?) any information on this would also be greatly appreciated.

Finally any reccomendation on a book with good route descriptions or information on winter ascents would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your time!
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Postby Scott » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:20 am

Accessibility = Last year I was down there the biggest problem I had was getting near some of the 14ers I'm looking in the area of Evans/bierstads/grays torreys

Or

Bross/lincoln/quandary/cameron/democrat

If anyone could reccomend which area I might have better luck getting closer to trailheads


The road to Bierstadt/Evans used to be open to Guanella Pass, but it is no more. Supposedly you can get closer on the south side. Grays/Torreys is a long haul from the standard summer route if you do it in a day. It has some avy danger as well. There are other routes available in winter.

Since the closure, Quandary is the "new" easiest and most accessible winter 14er. Lincoln and Democrat are pretty accessible in winter as well.

The page below should have much useful information on which 14ers are more accessible than others:

http://www.summitpost.org/list/337648/c ... inter.html
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Postby crysent » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:13 am

Wow Scott, excellent information on that page, thanks a lot!
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Postby Clark_Griswold » Tue Nov 17, 2009 1:27 am

Looking to do Sneffels and Quandary around the same time, if interested.
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Re: 14ers winter ascent questions.

Postby MarthaP » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:28 am

crysent wrote:Accessibility = Last year I was down there the biggest problem I had was getting near some of the 14ers I'm looking in the area of Evans/bierstads/grays/torreys


Evans - drive Squaw Pass Road up to Summit lake. It's 14 miles on the road to the summit from there. Bring skis. Probably the most fun route and least avy-hazard in the winter.

Grays/Torreys - Scott has it right. Long haul from Bakersville just to the TH. As with most of the CO peaks winter ain't no walk-up and if you don't want the slog consider Hawaii. :roll:

crysent wrote:Bross/lincoln/quandary/cameron/democrat


That's a full saddlebag you got there, pardner. The Decameron is doable in a day in the summer but be careful of access issues. It's limited and only from Alma and who knows what the road to the TH will be.

crysent wrote:...unfortunatly I am a poor, poor college student so I plan on camping out in my tent, and limiting hotel stays. Any information on camping in the area of those mountains (do I need a permit? campgrounds in the area?) any information on this would also be greatly appreciated.


Much as I hate to say it, most of the 14ers are located on NFS lands and it's called dispersed camping. Thus it's free as long as you're not on private land or within 100 yards of either the road or a water source. It also gets mighty cold here in the winter so be prepared with a good 4-season tent or bivy and at least a 0 degree bag.

crysent wrote:Finally any reccomendation on a book with good route descriptions or information on winter ascents would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your time!


Lou Dawson. Two volumes on winter summits. Pay close attention to the details he offers.
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Postby MarthaP » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:29 am

jhodlof wrote:Looking to do Sneffels and Quandary around the same time, if interested.


:lol: :lol: Those are about the two most diametrically opposed peaks, both in challenge and location, as anyone could find in CO!
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Postby Clark_Griswold » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:35 am

MarthaP wrote:
jhodlof wrote:Looking to do Sneffels and Quandary around the same time, if interested.


:lol: :lol: Those are about the two most diametrically opposed peaks, both in challenge and location, as anyone could find in CO!


Well, I'll become round the mountain from Flagstaff, and and want to do Sneffels. Then I want to do an easier peak for the fun of it, and I thought it might be a fun and neat one to do for numerous reasons like location, dog, and ease of ascent.
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Postby MarthaP » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:42 am

That's cool and makes sense. I'm interested in Sneffels. How're your avy skills and gear? I might be down that way 4th weekend of January.
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Postby Clark_Griswold » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:56 am

MarthaP wrote:That's cool and makes sense. I'm interested in Sneffels. How're your avy skills and gear? I might be down that way 4th weekend of January.


I'll be in the area early in the month, since I have other firm obligations after the 10th.

Fair and Zero, to answer the question.
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Postby MarthaP » Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:22 am

Gotcha. Keep me posted, though. You never know. I would give Sneffels careful consideration - because of its aspects and slope it's prone to avalanche. This year is setting up to be a particularly bad one because of the extreme temps we've had between snowfalls. That means some pretty hefty slab on top of weak. So unless you have gear and training I personally would pick another peak. Quandary will be much less of a problem as long as you stay on the ridge and off Cristo Couloir.
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Postby Clark_Griswold » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:07 am

And that is part of why I have Quandary there, in case it isn't safe for me to do Sneffels alone. I might add Bross if I just go to the Breckenridge area.
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Postby Scott » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:41 am

I might add Bross if I just go to the Breckenridge area.


I hate to sound negative, but Bross isn't that great of a mountain. It's pretty tedious as well. Personally, I would suggest something else than climbing Bross alone. Lincoln and Democrat are better than Bross.
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Postby Clark_Griswold » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:59 am

It's just an idea. How is access to the others?
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Postby mconnell » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:25 am

MarthaP wrote: So unless you have gear and training I personally would pick another peak.


Gear means nothing if you're solo (which he's talking about) unless your goal is to make it easier to find the body. I personally wouldn't get on anything steep unless it's blown clear or a ridge line if I'm solo. I made that mistake once, but fortunately hit a tree before the slide went very far.
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Postby MarthaP » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:30 am

mconnell wrote:
MarthaP wrote: So unless you have gear and training I personally would pick another peak.


Gear means nothing if you're solo (which he's talking about) unless your goal is to make it easier to find the body. I personally wouldn't get on anything steep unless it's blown clear or a ridge line if I'm solo. I made that mistake once, but fortunately hit a tree before the slide went very far.


M - I'm glad you made it through that and appreciate your comment.

I'm having a hard time biting my lip on this one so I appreciate your input.
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