I left way to early (2AM). The Boulder Field was not much fun in the dark, couldn't tell where I was going, just kept heading up. After the Keyhole, I could see and the scramble was fun. The Trough was full of hard snow that I couldn't seem to avoid, so I was glad that I brought an axe. Huge summit with no one else there. I passed about 10 or so people on the way down. Great trip that I highly recommend.
Climbed again in August 2004 by the Ridge Route. We climbed it in seven pitches, only two were sketchy at all (5.5-5.6). Fun stuff!
Long's was fun. Bit of a disappointment though... only took 10 hours... a bit less really, and not as hard as I was expecting... thought best case, maybe 12 hours... probably 15... worst case 19). Did have a little head ache @ the top, but no altitude sickness (two advil took care of it). Did drink about 110 oz's of water by the time I summited though... not unusual for me to drink so much. Plus they say altitude sickness is really more a case of dehydration. Thank heavens for that water filter on the way down. I had read a couple of books... I was very well prepared. I stayed fueled too... 100 to 200 calories every hour. I usually feel good when I do that.
I forgot gloves, and as I was on my 5 points of contact most of the way down off the top, I could have used them. Did not need sunglasses... did not wear them.... nor sun screen, but I didn't stay up there long either... only 1/2 hour. Took several pictures. Very beautiful. Wore heavy weight running tights... a full length running bra, a short sleeve T-shirt, a long sleeve T-shirt and a jacket... I only took off the jacket and the long sleeve T-shirt for a short time. All micro fiber stuff. Ensure your jacket is hooded... the hail on the way down pelted the back of my neck.
Started @ 0420 (later than I wanted). It took me 4 hours to get to the key hole... took a lot of pics on the way up. Sunrise was gorgeous. Like the books say, the hike is really two hikes... to the keyhole and then after the key hole. Took me four hours to get to the keyhole and then two hours to get from the key hole to the top... went fairly slow as I found some one to go with and was a little spooked about going alone. Then about an hour to get back down to the key hole. The hardest part is the trough (loose gravel and rocks). The easiest part is the home stretch (but you spend a lot of time on your butt on the way down). And the narrows are the scariest (but very short section really). You'll see. Ran the last three miles or so.... lost my jacket on top (was tied loosely to my back). Started to hail (hard but small) @ 1300.... then rained pretty hard... was very cold with no jacket (only day of rain in the whole month I think... go figure). Made it to the bottom by about 1415. The run was the best part... felt like a deer! Was pretty high from making it to the summit so easily, so the run was already adrenaline full... really felt awesome. Saw a ton of Elk.... even heard them trumpet or whatever its called. Very cool! Spent a lot of time just hiking around in Estes Park before and after the Long's Peak Experience... you must do that... some beautiful trails there (though quite crowded). Bought the T-Shirt. You have to buy the T-Shirt! Can't wait to do more climbing... hopefully more technical stuff.
This peak was the second 14er of my carreer. I climbed it with a girlfriend long before I made it to the top of Whitney. We were the only ones up there - wow!
Sorry for the late entry here since I did this so long ago, but as I was filling in summit logs for some other 14ers I did recently, I thought I'd chime in and 'virtually bag' this one as well. Longs was the toughest 14er I did, but mostly because I had a cold that day. We started around 6:45 and summitted at 14:30. The boulder field killed me. Walking around Lady Washington at 13,000+ feet for so long drained all my energy.
Then we got through the Keyhole and the weather turned on us. Howling winds of over 30 mph, cold temps and drizzling with thunder in the distance. We decided to press on since there was no lightning near us. Fortunately, the weather stayed away, and we were able to summit. My least favorite part was the trough. Going down it and knowing you have to regain all that elevation was not pleasant, and I was in no mood for it.
But my spirits all changed when we reached summit. My headache went away and I was able to breathe again. I wished we could've taken a different path down, retracing the steps got boring really quick.
All in all, I was very pleased to be able to get to the summit on my first try. I've heard some horror stories of people being turned back by weather. We were very lucky indeed.
First "alpine" ascent.
Got on trail at 3:15am and reached the summit of Meeker via the lambslide couloir. Then we proceded to follow Clarks arrow to the homestrech on to the summit of Longs. Came down the keyhole route and made it back to the car 15 hours later. As if Longs isn't enough on it's own we threw in Meeker(13,911) and made for a very long challenging day. The weather was ideal and we had no problems with the exception of exaustion. Longs is an amazing mountain and I know that I will return to try another more technical route in the future. Anyone considering this mountain be aware that it is a serious mountain and is not in any way good for the inexperienced.
Took two kids up their first 14er. We got a late start and it started snowing in the Trough, but we continued. Half way up the Homestretch with lightning hitting the summit at two minute intervals, we decided it would be prudent to turn around. The good news is we had the whole mountain to ourselves :-) Photos.
Climbed solo from Chasm Lake over Lady Washington, then a nice direct route up class 3 slabs, not hard except for one 5.4 move, a chest high overhang where you have to lunge over and grab into a crack. Descended the Keyhole in wet blowing snow, much harder than the climb. Lost feeling in 4 fingertips for 2 months. 10 hours car to car.
Climbed Longs Peak on a beautiful day in fall with my friend Chuck
Cables Route is fantastic. For any experienced climber, it gives a quicker and, in my opinion, better way to the top than the Keyhole route. Rock fall danger only when lots of other climbers there. Best route for early summer. We roped up (rated 5.4), but found the rope pretty useless - though above the technical stuff, there were dicey moments if you lost the route. Casual Route was scary as hell for a climber of my ability - summited at 4:45 PM, way too late. Very commiting climb, but easiest one on the Diamond. Descended Cables Route, which was sopping wet and the descent to Chasm View was miserable, but better than a Keyhole descent. (posted: April 2002)
edit (Sept 2008): I've since been back many times, climbing Keplinger's Couloir, Keyhole once or twice, Casual Route again, Cables Route again, and Pervertical Sanctuary (also on the Diamond).
Left at 1 a.m. reached the keyhole by sunrise. Banged my knee up pretty severely just below tree line falling on a slick wood bridge crossing a mountain stream. The crowds weren't too bad and those that were there gave me the encouragement to keep going through the pain. I had to quit at the trough though because my leg wouldn't support my weight. I decided to err on the side of safety and call it a day just an hour or so from the summit. I will be returning though to get this peak on a winter ascent in December
First my girlfriend (See Snake Dike trip report) dumps me, next I take a 40foot fall rock climbing at Vantage WA, leaving my arm in a cast for the summer. Third, I decide since I'm now solo and can't rock climb, it's time to bag some summits, so off to Colorado.
Longs Peak was the first CO peak I tried. After sitting on the couch for 2 weeks nursing my emotional and physical wounds, this was sure a wake-up call. The other 14ers I tried were easy after Longs. What a fat mountain.
Very Nice! My first roped alpine experience.
Beautiful day and lots of 4th of July Summiter's at the top.
Went back in 2001 for Keyhole Ridge and rapped down Cables. I love this mountain! Casual Route - Here I come!!
I enjoyed every minute of the climb except for the mass crowds. Climb this one during the week for sure if you are heading up in peak season (summer). Be extra careful during the trough portion not to launch off any rocks to the people below.
I am surprised there are not more accidents from rock fall during the scrambling portion while you are in the trough.
I'm lucky to have this mountain in my backyard!
Made it to Keyhole
The Keyhole Route is an awesome experience! It is long (16 miles round-trip), but very well worth the effort. Took about 12 hours to do the round-trip, car-to-car. From the trailhead to the Keyhole, it is just a "hike." From the Keyhole to the summit, it is a nice, long "scramble." Saw quite a few people who got sick from altitude as well! Would definitely do this baby again!!!
Long day, got snowed on in August. Very windy at the Keyhole, the finish is fun, but very, very crowded.
The ascent was fantastic 5.11 climbing.
The descent on the other hand was a total epic. Never trust the forcast, we were caught unprepared in a fluke blizzard and spent a long time on the north face in our climbing tights looking for the rappel anchors. Thank god there were others in the same situation thât knew where they were when we heard their voices. A humbling experience.
Fun climb. While on top met people who had come up the cables route. Talking to them is what got me started with technical mountaineering. Sat there watching the clouds build below us. Decended in snow, whiteout, and lightning. (Stupid climber!)