Keyhole route. Next time I'll try the old Cables Route for something more interesting.
Mary and I climbed this route from a camp at the Boulderfield. We hiked up early on July 20 and got a nice spot, although it was boiling hot all afternoon. We woke up at 4AM and were roped up at the start of the ridge by 6AM. It was Mary's first alpine ridge climb and she did fantastic. We simul-climbed essentially all of the route, arriving on top at around 10AM. There were tons of people on the summit who had come up the Keyhole. We descended the north face (old cables) route, which was quick and straightforward. After some lunch, we headed down with thunderstorms chasing us the whole way.
It was Friday the 13th, but everything went perfect for me on this climb. The NPS still had a warning posted about the route being a technical climb due to ice/snow. This kept the crowds away even though there was no need for crampons or ice ax. I had perfect weather. It was sunny, clear, 60s, and calm on top. I was on the trail at 4:45am, at the keyhole at 7:00am, and on top at 8:35am. I spent an hour on top eating and napping. I was back at the car by 12:45pm. Nice day.
This was one tough climb for me. I'm mostly a hiker, not a climber. Even though this was my 9th time to be on a 14er, this was the first time I had ever "climbed" one since the others were only hikes.
I was totally out of shape on a spontaneous trip up from Dallas. The 6 mile approach to camp at 12,000 ft. with 50+ lbs. kicked my butt. The keyhole ridge was spectacular and we even had some company that decided to follow us, er, I mean pass us. Had to turn around at 13,600 ft. as storms moved in.
lots of fun. My first class 3
a lot of snow up high (May 04). there were a few people on the trail down low, but no one else made it to the trough.
Going in the middle of the week has it benefits. Enjoyed the summit without the hoards. #53 One to go!
My 2nd time on Longs via the Keyhole...great full-moon climb except for like 700 people going for the summit that day! Fortunately starting earlier than most and going faster than most only resulted in about 30 other people at the summit (summited at 8 AM). Descended the North Face just to be different.
I've climbed the peak via the Keyhole route twice and experienced bad T-storms both times.
Climbed up the loft at sunset on good snow. Bivied in the loft and watched the sunrise from the top of Meeker. Then down toward Clarks Arrow, dropped too far, then ascended the coulier next to Keplingers. Had to navigate around 10ft of ice on sketchy C4, then topped out on good snow. Down the Keyhole, lots of snow, good footing with crampons.
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.
It was a blast except for the other 100 people going up!!!
fun route.. glad to have had the challenge of winter
involved .. made it that much sweeter of a summit.. great conditions. climbed with
johnnie V. 13 hr day..
My dad and I were facinated with this mountain when our family moved from Minnesota to Colorado. We saw it from our home in the 'burbs' of Westminster, and wanted to 'bag it' as he said. I was 16 yrs old, and it was my first 14,000' mt. We started at 3:30 am, summited at noon, and still got caught in a ferocious lightning/hail storm in the 'boulder field'. We ran to treeline... so exhilarating... I was hooked!
Great first climb. The keyhole really funnels the wind and takes you by surprise. Left really early to avoid the crowds and the resulting rockfall.
Great climb with CharlesD, thebeave7, zenalpinist, brenta, pksander, marella, and Mike. Perfect weather. A bit breezy up high.
Set up a basecamp at Black Lake on Saturday night with CharlesD, Chris, Brenta, Pksanders, zenalpinist, and a few others. Left camp at 530a, nice solid snow up the Trough, wind blasted us intermitently. Minimal ice on the narrows, steep snow up the homestretch. Weather was perfect except the ocassional wind. Up top at 945a. Snow softened up for the ski out from Black Lake in the afternoon(1-2p).
Loft route is as easy as Keyhole and crowds are nonexistent. Done this twice and topped out on Meeker both times before joining Keyhole Route.
Wow that was a long day i did the hike with a girl i meet she tryed one time before but had to trun around she was sick. The day he and i did it she was pretty strong and we did make the summit. Up and back time 12 1/2 hours.
I hiked Longs with my brother, Doug, a few days after he moved to Colorado. We summited in about five hours and the only weather we encountered was wind in the Boulderfield. Doug handled the altitude well and the views were spectacular. A long day, but well worth the hike.