a bit of snow still, storming for the topout
Took the keyhole route before the snowpack melted out of the trough and while it was slow going with crampons and axe - no crowds to compete with. I had the summit all to myself.
A classic Colorado mountain with the Keyhole route being quite entertaining. Only problem is the hordes of people making rockfall a real danger in the trough.
4 attempts, 3 successfull. Twice by summer Keyhole, 1.5 times by winter Cables. This mountain never disspoints.
Soloed this when I was young & dumb, avoided Lamb's Slide by climbing Glacier Rib to the left of the slide. It was late enough in the year, so I was told, that there would be chopped steps across Lamb's to access the route. The only difficult sections I remember was bear hugging a rock to squeeze through a very exposed traverse $ finding where the route began on the Staircase.
We went up the cables on the North Face, then down the Keyhole route. The cables were icy and slippery; perhaps that is why they were removed years hence.
My friend Tony B and I were 16 years old, and came in from the eastern US. We back-packed up to Chasm Lake and spent one night in the Chasm Lake shelter -- no one else joined us. Tony spent about an hour repairing the bunk. He had a mother marmot sitting on his lap while he took pictures; ptarmigans walked right by.
We were woken up about 4 AM by the mechanical buzzer on Tony's watch (remember: 1971!). In the dark, I made chocolate milk by mistake, and had that milk on my Kellogg's "concentrate" cereal. My strongest memory is of burping up chocolate milk for 1.5 hours until the sun rose and distracted us with the beautiful scenery.
By the time we descended, storms were moving in from the east and west. We picked up our gear at Chasm Lake, and hiked out in a light rain.
Camped in the Boulderfield the night previous. Rained solid from Friday afternoon to Saturday morning. Saturday morning we chose to attempt summit despite incredibly dense fog. Less than 10 others summited that day. Began to drizzle as we descended, so already slick rocks became much more slippery. The Trough became a virtual cascade of streams and waterfalls on descent, making for less than ideal conditions.
Broke camp as soon as we returned to Boulderfield and descended as quickly as possible - not out of fear of lightning, but to return to dryness and warmth.
Wonderful ascent to Loft and quickly up Meeker in early morning light. Descended considerably too far down and ended up having to do some complicated moves to make our way back on route below the Palisades. Actually found Clark's Arrow! Kind of a joke if you ask me with how guide books talk about finding it. The stress of trying to get back on route was exhausting, yet rewarding with the scrambling up to the homestretch and eventual summit. Keyhole descent was long, but enjoyable after successfully climbing the two highest peaks in RMNP.
Made great time on the way up, summitted as clouds engulfed the view unfortunately. Was definitely fun though and would love to do it again on a clear day! Trough and homestretch were faves on this one.
Beautiful, shorter, less crowded and perhaps easier than the Keyhole. Rappelled off the north face for fun on the way down. The Loft is the way to go, especially on Labor Day weekend. September 2005.
Left parking lot at 2:00am. Solo. Spring conditions. Snow not firm enough for crampons but an ice axe was essential for the many exposed traverses after the Keyhole. Few people. Great conditions.
First time attempting Longs in September 2006: Could not go beyond Keyhole due to wind and verglas. Solo trip. Bivied near treeline and began climbing at 3:00am. Sunrise was epic from the boulder field. An extremely valuable solo experience even without the summit!
Great hike up until keyhole when clouds started moving in. Got to the summit but couldn't see anything then it started to snow. Made it quite a long day.
A whole lot of fun! Started hiking at 2:30am. Summited by 8:30am. The top of the mountain was engulfed in a cloud, so the view was minimal, though the cloud broke for a few minutes. I thought the homestretch was great fun - best part of the mountain!
Crazy Climb! Story forthcoming. Wouldn't change anything, but wouldn't climb Longs that way again.
With my buddy Jeremy. We drove up there from Denver after work on Friday, had dinner and started hiking at midnight. Back at the car around 2pm the day after.
My first 14'er. Climbed the cables route and descended the Keyhole route in June 1984. We didn't have much of a view, snowed like crazy the whole time and if I remember correctly, most of the route was still snow. Good times, need to get back and do Longs on a clear day.
Windy climbing up to Loft, but died down while we were on Meeker so went on to Longs and down Keyhole.
Had planned this trip for three years, and it kept getting cancelled. Finally tackled it (and many of my fears) on this hike. My first Class 3 hike...I may be hooked, although I'm still kind of an exposure weenie...
Keyhole route, solo. First to summit that day.
Great day, sunny and mild. No ice axe needed. Fun scrambling from boulderfield to summit. 12 hours round trip.