Perfect weather to hike this beast of a mountain. There were hardly any people on it on a Saturday. This is a classic hike.
08/15 w/Cory Martin
Connected Ship's Prow to Clark's Arrow in order to get Meeker and Long's in one long, swift go. Great weather and only 2 other parties on the mountain.
The date is approximate. I climbed this with my wife's sister's husband. Fantastic route, reminiscent of the East Face route on Mt. Whitney. We descended the north face as a short-cut back to the Key hole route trail, requiring some rappelling.
Spring climb of the Keyhole Route..hardly anyone up there other than me and my partner.
Started at 12:00AM (started early for sunrise). Lamb's Slide was solid snow. As far as I was aware, it was all hard snow with no ice, but then again it was completely dark. Used Loft traverse to Homestretch. Made it to top at 6AM in time for sunrise. I am very familiar with the area, but I must say that traveling with only a headlamp for light is a challenge here. Back at car at 11:30AM after staying at summit for an hour.
Ascent of Longs Peak via the Keyhole Route on Sept 13 2015.
Great day! 7.5 hour RT with mucho breaks. Great mountain, not as crowder as expected.
Only 14er that my entire family did together.
Left tent at 3am from Goblin. We had a blue-bird day, great climb up the north face, and alone most of the time on the summit and trek out, which was surprising and nice. Some snow climbing and crossings still there, but not a problem. Bit of wet rock at times. Great day!
Decided we were going to go up at 4pm the day before. Started climbing at 3am via Keyhole Route. Brought microspikes and used them once, but all snow was avoidable. Summited at 9am and were down by 2pm, narrowly avoiding a thunderstorm.
Started around 3:45AM. Lot was filled by this time. Very, very busy day on Longs. Perfect conditions. Almost no wind. Back around 3:15PM.
It was really windy, but I was training for a really windy peak. So it all worked out.
After hearing about this mountain for years from some friends that live next to it, I finally made the climb! It was magnificent!
For a full trip report:
Rained most of the day. Slippery up on the Keyhole Route. No lightning luckily. Such an exhausting hike. Beautiful views.
Fun and classic 14er climb.
Pretty straightforward route. Insane winds the day we went up, and a bunch of the folks we were hiking around turned back at the keyhole. The winds made the Narrows a little interesting, but nothing too difficult. Fun route!
KH route with Matt C
100% agree. Straightforward and graded Class 3 appropriately with negligent exposure and never without ample holds. With any inclement weather it would be a whole different ballgame, but in nice condition it's simply a great, interesting route with manageable obstacles.
I will start by saying that I was actually a bit intimidated by this mountain before I got on it. There had been a few deaths on the mountain in the months preceding my arrival and one of my climbing friends said they were freaked by the exposure on the mountain when they did it. To add to that, when I arrived at the keyhole, several groups turned around.
After being on the Keyhole Route, I have to say that I don't know what the big deal is. I left my camp at Goblin's Forest at about 5 am and headed toward the keyhole. Once in the boulderfield, I hung out for a bit to wait for sunrise and catch the alpenglow on the Diamond. What a great sunrise it was!!
From here, it was to the keyhole. It was here that a group of younger dudes (wearing sneakers and jeans) turned around. I actually gave them props for their decision... It was snowy and icy in spots beyond the keyhole, with about 40 degree temps and some wind whipping about... They were not prepared.
Unfortunately, they weren't the only ones... Not long after I got through the keyhole, I ran into another struggling group. The one group member was lagging behind and clearly getting his ass kicked by the altitude. He was staggering around on wobbly legs as he approached the "bar dihedral" section of the ledges. For a moment, i thought I was going to witness someone plummeting to their death. Luckily, the group turned around and I could go ahead.
From here, it was mostly smooth sailing to the summit. There were a tricky section or two in the Trough because of the ice, but that was it. The Narrows are straight forward, and the Homestretch is simple for anyone who has done any rock climbing in their lifetime.
All in all, it took me less than an hour to reach the summit from the keyhole and I was on my way back down before 9:30 am. The way down was mostly straighforward because of the painted bullseyes on the rocks. I suppose that the route finding would be a good bit harder without the markings.
After exiting the keyhole, it was smooth sailing (though tedious) back to camp. I got back to Goblins Forest, packed up camp, and headed out to the car. I was in the car before 1 pm... Not bad!
Now, let me say, I really enjoyed the climb up the Keyhole Route. Long's is a beautiful mountain (that sunrise on the Diamond was spectacular), and the route was a good time. With that said, the exposure was vastly overstated by the descriptions I saw/heard, and the route finding (in good conditions) is basically non-existent.
As is the case with many mountains, I suspect that the high-traffic of the area leads to much of the problems reported. I think that, for hikers/climbers who are experienced, Long's is an enjoyable mountain that presents minimal danger. In fact, I think it's a great introduction to class 3 routes!