GEM Trail wrote:Here's a question:
If someone has been climbing the Eastern highpoints, and you wanted to give them a taste of bigger things out West without scaring them off, what Western mountain(s) would you start with?
After our last trip Cypress is talking about doing Denali as soon as possible and before we think about that I want to get her used to, and excited about, the Western climbs.
I was thinking Wheeler is a pretty great day hike, that's the only Western one I have actually done. But Whitney, Hood, Guadalupe all seem exciting yet pretty easy. I was even thinking of taking her up Granite via the southwest couloir if anyone has done that.
What do you guys think?
If your plan is to increase the difficulty level slowly for Cypress, then I think the easiest western HPs to start with are White Butte, Harney, Black Mesa, Humphreys, Guadalupe and Wheeler. All are pretty easy day hikes and scenic.
Boundary, Elbert, Borah and Whitney can also be done as day hikes but add a level of difficulty. Kings is usually done as an overnighter but is also not that difficult. It's just a long hike (and scramble)...
Granite and Gannett are much more difficult than the others and usually require multi-day trips and some technical skill to climb.
Hood and Rainier are ideal glacial climbs to prep for Denali. (There's also a glacier on Gannett.) i think you should take her up some additional glaciated peaks or on a couple of other winter mountaineering trips before attempting Denali though. She should get plenty of winter mountaineering experience before heading to Denali. Elbert in winter makes for a great practice trip. Perhaps try Shasta or one of the other big peaks in the Cascades too.