Ah, Longs...the only mountain I ever looked at and said, "I am going to climb that someday!" My sister and I left the trailhead just after 3:00 A.M. We reached the campsites on the Boulderfield around 6:00. Gaining altutude seems to be easier in the dark! The route was well populated, but wasn't too crowded. We summited around 9:00. By the time we got back to the Keyhole, the up-to-then great weather was deteriorating with dark clouds gathering above the summit. Near the bottom of the Boulderfield I noticed that my sister's hair was standing up. Needless to say, we tore off down the trail toward timberline.
Our timing was impeccable, the weather was perfect (not a single cloud the entire day!), but the route was a complete mess. We ascended the entire route only to find that the wall below the loft was frozen over by an inpenetrable shield of ice making the remainder of the route to the loft a much more difficult experience.
This was our 4th attempt on this route and we finally summited! We were slowed down a bit and eventually had to bivy on the Diamond because of nasty weather on the 30th - outside of that it was a GREAT climb! Descended Keyhole
My first 14er!!!!!
Very crowded on Labor Day, but it was a scenic peak.
A great, albeit very long day. I summited with my wonderful girlfriend and fellow SPer, Virginia (aka Vannibell).
A snowstorm at 8am in August? You gotta be kidding! But this is just what we were rewarded with despite a start time of shortly after 1am. Made it halfway up the trough when it started coming down pretty hard. We had to make a difficult decision to turn back after all that work but it was the right one. Longs is far too formidable to mess with under these poor conditions, and believe me negotiating the slick wet ledges on the way back was more than enough of a challenge for one day. I'll be back...
A great climb.
I left the trailhead at 5:30am and so had to keep a steady pace to make it before the clouds did. I happened to be wearing a new pair of Salomon XA Pros and found they gave great traction going up, but the stability coming back down lacked a little. But I would wear them again. Lekki Trekking poles gave great stability and much needed support in the varying terrain. Summit reached at 11:30am. WOW, what a view. It seemed like an interstate though with all the people on the trail.
Beware to the older set such as myself, the boulders and trough are rough on the hips and knees. Braces would be a great addition next time.
Thanks to MIZTFLIP for his separate email correspondence and route description!
Our team of 4 left the Longs Ranger Station at 1:30 a.m. By 4:00 we were in the gully leading up to the Loft. Within that gully we scrambled up a hard-packed snowfield that could have been avoided by moving more towards the center of the gully, (something you could observe during daylight, from a distance). As it was we kicked and clawed our way up the snowfield until we came out on dry boulders at the top.
Ultimately we reached the top of the Loft by 6:00 a.m. and after crossing diagonally to the northwest we found several small cairns and began our descent off the Loft.
As we worked our way into Keplinger's Couloir beneath the Palisades we continued to spot small cairns along the way as we ascended towards the Notch. We never spotted Clark's Arrow but still feel we were on the correct route. The summit was reached at 9:00 a.m.
The Loft Route is awesome (especially if you "enjoy" scrambling) but it's more work than the Keyhole Route so be prepared! Triple or quadruple the Trough and you'll have an idea of how much boulder scrambling is involved in climbing via the Loft Route...
On this day we didn't see any other climbers until we got close to the Home Stretch. This is definitely the way to go if you enjoy a break from the crowded Keyhole Route and feel confident in your route finding abilities.
On my prior trip up Longs from the Loft we missed Clarks Arrow and descended 200-300 feet too low before getting into Keplinger's Couloir. This time I found the right spot, the system of small ledges, and the short down climb. The elusive Arrow exists!
Interestingly two parties, one a group of two, the other a group of six, had turned back from the exact spot as were heading to it. They were convinced it was not the way. So our group of three and one solo climber we met had this side of mountain to ourselves this Saturday.
Back at the trailhead we stopped to chat with Chief Ranger Jim Detterline, who told us Clark's Arrow was painted in 1960 by Ranger Roy (?) Clark. It is now fading away and often missed. Clark's photo is in the station, rapelling with a dangling water bottle clipped to his harness. Detterline wondered how often the bottle would get hung up in the ropes.
Jim also said that he hasn't been getting out much, he'd not been up Longs yet this month, and its already the second day! He just did a new 5.11a route on the Trough side, and is up to 214 summits, a mere 207 ahead of me.
This was an excellent alternative to the keyhole route. You most likely will not see anyone else on this climb until the last 300 feet to the summit.
It presents more challenging route finding and climbing and allows you to also climb Mount Meeker with only an additional 450 vertical feet in about .5 miles.
The Keyhole route is a wonderful social experience :-). Among the dozens of people I met were a couple from the Netherlands, a guy from Oregon, and a lawyer from D.C. My trip report is at http://www.masoner.net/TR/longs.html
Went solo and enjoyed a truly beautiful day on Longs. Despite warnings of "technical conditions" and snow and ice by the rangers, I found that any snow in the trough was easily bypassed by staying on rocks to the north (left). I actually found the route to be easier than I had expected. The exposure wasn't too bad, and the climb from the Boulder Field to the Keyhole was shorter than it looked. The trough was a bit tedious, though.
This was a mid-week climb before the rangers deemed the climb "non-technical," but I stil encountered about 15-20 climbers on the route. I can't imagine how crowded Longs must be on a weeked after the Rangers have declared it non-technical!
Nice and quite summit, mild ice and snow.
Tried kieners route two weeks prior but got snowed out.
An excellent climb as always. Little bit of snow in the trough made for a couple tricky spots, but nothing impossible.
What a climb! We left Denver at 2 am, and did the route car to car in 15 hours. Keiners is beautiful. Lambslide was in great shape, and Broadway was exciting as well! Keiners Chimney was a bit wet. We got slightly off route near the top of Keiners (we didn't follow the black band all the way north to where we could've scrambled) and had an interesting last 5.6-5.7 pitch that topped us out just below the summit. Highly recommended route
Sweet Climb! - You just can't beat a sunrise at Chasm Lake. Lots of snow made for some routefinding challenges in getting on Kiener's proper though. Similarly, lots of snow on the North Face make for a "not-so-fun" rappel. Anchors (slingable rocks) are far below the surface and hard to find.
After being rained out in 2001 I made it to the summit a year later with my friends Jeremy and Dave.
Not as hard as I had been told, but certainly a challenge. Sore feet, but a lot of fun!!
This was another of the 14ers I did with my dad. Seeing this mountain virtually every clear day from where I lived, finally climbing it (esp. with my pops) was very satisfying. Making an alpine drive-start from our home in Federal Heights, I think we got to & left the parking lot around dawn. The weather was good on the way up, & the views were spectacular. The view of the Diamond from the Boulder Field absolutely blew my mind. Considering the length of the hike, the altitude, and the tremendous exposure in certain places, the dozens of people we encountered amazed me (including this late-sixties/seventy-something year-old guy who was hauling major ass). After a short time on top, a storm materialized, chasing the throng (including a guy I knew from the CU hiking club who'd gotten altitude sickness) downwards. Halfway back to the car, my legs had been reduced to 2 strands of wet spaghetti noodles, and I had to use a knee brace of my dad's to make it back. All in all, an amazing day on an amazing mountain!