I love Long's, and the cirque around chasm lake. Heavy!! Have enjoyed climbing on the Diamond, skiing the Trough, and camping in the boulderfield on the way to hiking the Keyhole. A special place.
Car to car solo ascent - mainly an excercise in ignorance.
There were a lot of people, but I certainly wasn't expecting a Wilderness experience. Before we left I spent weeks pumping up my group of high school kids about the importance of safety, hydration, warm clothes, and the like. They were all appalled and a little frightened I think, when we saw a dude just after Chasm lake wearing nothing but shorts and a tank top with a liter of Coke in one hand just after sunrise. Talk about a 'teachable moment'....
I climbed from trailhead to summit in 5 hours. What a workout. Don't expect to get any solitude on this one! It is a "social climb" My summation? Long's Peaks difficulty is overrated but enjoyable.
Camped at Black Lake. Good mixed climbing though in the Trough -rock, snow and ice. Turned around where the Bulls Eyes start.
My first time up Longs Peak was via the Keyhole route with a group from the Loveland Mountain Club. Since then I have climbed the Keyhole Ridge, Cables, Kepplinger's Couloir and the Keyhole route for a total of 10 times to the summit out of 14 attempts. When we summited Keplinger's in April we were the only ones on the summit...a rarity on Longs. My last time to the summit was by the Keyhole route, solo. Each ascent holds special memories for me.
It was pretty easy-going until the Keyhole. After that it was fun scrambling and amazing views all the way up to the summit, especially looking down into Glacier Gorge. Despite efforts to start early enough, the group I was with wasn't acclimatized to the elevation and had to go quite slow, which caused us to get caught in the middle of a lightning storm on the way back down. See "En'lightning' Experience" trip report for details.
Climbed this on my b-day that year, and my awesome partner whipped out some cupcakes and candles on the summit for a surprise celebration. All the other climbers on the summit joined in the singing!
6th time. Couldn't keep me away, after only climbing this route two weeks earlier. No wonder it is so crowded!
5th time up the peak, third time on the Keyhole. Pretty normal day on Longs, lots of people.
Did this route on the Diamond guided, with none other than alpinist Topher Donahue. When we were done, he told me, "that was that hardest route I've ever guided." and I said, "great, because that's the hardest route I've ever climbed." Still is. We summitted at 2:30 pm and had the honor of having the summit to ourselves, for all of 15 minutes.
3rd time. I returned this time via a different route, and with much more experience under my belt.
Second time up, this time with cold winds and the confidence of an 18-year-old (me).
My first 14er ever. The start of a life-long obsession with the Colorado mountains.
We attempted the summit from Black Lake but were moving much too slowly in winter with the heavy gear we brought with us. We turned back somewhere above the Keyhole route around 2:45pm. Next time I'll camp above Black Lake and take a day to acclimatize before the climb.
Attempted again in April 2009 but 2 ft of fresh snow and 50MPH winds created dangerous avy conditions. I never even stepped foot on the mountain. Hiked into Glacier Gorge and camped solo for the night and returned the next morning. That's the risk you take when you live out of state. You roll the dice, buy a plane ticket and hope for good weather. But it was not meant to be. Third times a charm?
Being much more experienced, this time was much "easier", dare I say, but still a challenge (how can it NOT be?)...With friends from the OC, they did really well. Scary weather this time, had to boogie down from boulderfield.
Next on Long's agenda: winter ascent via loft route!
Left at 2am, returned to car at around 4pm - What a long day! The Trough/Narrows/Homestretch took everything I had and I totally bonked on the way out. Was the most difficult climb we had done at that time. Beautiful weather the whole day, an unusual gift on Longs.
Left at 2:30 A.M. Beautiful moonlit night. Made the Keyhole by 6:00, and the summit by 8:30. The Park Service still considered the climb "technical" due to the huge amount of snow and ice on the route. 1983 was a late season. Lots of snow probably helped in the Trough, but the Homestretch was a lot more challenging with ice clogging up the upper rocks. A little scary coming down. Back at car by noon. It was smart to go early. All parties after mine and another all turned around due to storms that hit around 9:30 A.M.
Climbed solo in mid Novermber 2004 only person to proceed beyond Keyhole, Trough was slow breaking trail alone, turned back on Homestretch due to poor snow and a broken crampon.