Where to go in the Rockies, overwhelmed by the possibilities

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
User Avatar
mbirtel

 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 5:31 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Where to go in the Rockies, overwhelmed by the possibilities

by mbirtel » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Hi guys,

we're trying to decide where to go for our 4 weeks summer trip to the Rockies.

Compared to our native Swiss Alps, the possibilities are just overwhelming. We'd be really grateful for some tips from you experienced Rockies' guys.

Here is what our ideal region would be like:

1. two to three classic mountaineering peaks close to one another, good for 2-3 day scrambles each
2. some granite climbing possibilities (multi-pitch) up to around 5.8, ideally with some protection already in place
3. not too crowded in the summer months
4. an (international) airport with car rental "close by" - any tips for cheap car rentals?

We were thinking about the Teton Range, the Sawatch Range (CO) or the Jasper area in BC, but we're really open to any other suggestions!

Martin & Kathrin

User Avatar
Bob Sihler
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 8381
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:20 pm
Thanked: 2658 times in 1476 posts

by Bob Sihler » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:45 pm

You're not going to find too much with the protection already in place unless you mean rap anchors, but the Tetons will mostly fit your bill. I don't know about the rock in the Jasper area, but someone will probably answer that soon. The Sawatch Range isn't known much for technical climbing, but there's some scrambling and plenty of opportunities for multi-peak traverses.

Based on what you outlined, though, I'd go with the Tetons.

User Avatar
jeep1212

 
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:43 am
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

by jeep1212 » Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:48 pm

Tetons and/or Wind River Range

User Avatar
Tonka

 
Posts: 1388
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:24 pm
Thanked: 115 times in 88 posts

by Tonka » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:01 pm

3. not too crowded in the summer months


This may be one of the hardest things to overcome if you are looking at the Tetons and Yellowstone area. The nice thing is most Americans are not that healthy so once you get a 100 yards off the beatin path you will lose the masses :lol:

If you have 4 weeks I would spend some time in CO. You could probably do a lot in the San Jauns and not see the crowds you might see near the big national parks.

Hijack:
I'm going to Switzerland for 9 days the end of May and first week of June. Any little hidden gem I should'nt miss? I'll be with my girl friend so we won't be doing anything technical.

no avatar
MattGreene

 
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:33 pm
Thanked: 6 times in 5 posts

by MattGreene » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:31 am

I live on the east coast of the U.S., and nearly every summer I head west to the Rockies on a month long trip like the one you'll be taking. Like you said, there's so much out there to see and do that it's hard to choose where to go.

My advice would be to plan out a big loop and visit a bunch of places rather than stay in one spot. You could fly into Denver, do some climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park, cross over into Wyoming and bag some peaks in the Snowy Range, drive up the west side of the Wind Rivers and check out the Cirque of the Towers, head to the Tetons for some more committing climbs, then loop back towards Denver by driving down the east side of the Wind Rivers, stopping for a few climbing days at Wild Iris or Vedawou.

Or, you could fly into Salt Lake City, take the same route up the west side of the Wind Rivers to the Tetons, then head west to the Sawtooth mountains in Idaho, then back south towards Salt Lake City, making sure you stop for a few days of climbing at the City of Rocks.

The driving distances will look like a lot on the map, but really aren't that bad. Places like the Wind Rivers and Tetons and Sawtooths would give you completely different experiences, yet each is only about a half day's drive from each other.

Have fun!

User Avatar
Buckaroo

 
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:49 pm
Thanked: 9 times in 7 posts

Re: Where to go in the Rockies, overwhelmed by the possibili

by Buckaroo » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:24 am

""1. two to three classic mountaineering peaks close to one another, good for 2-3 day scrambles each""

things are a little more spread out and less accessible in US/Canada, expect more driving and longer approaches than Europe. There's no cable cars either, you're hiking from the road. That said there are many short approaches, Yosemite being mostly short approaches.

see "50 classic climbs" and "50 favorite climbs". The Tetons, Canadian Rockies, Pacific NW, the Bugaboos weather is really a factor, Aug is best, earlier can get rain. In summer the high Sierras and Yosemite are guaranteed better weather but hot, you want shade routes in Yosemite. If your going to the Canadian Rockies the Banff Lake Louise area has a greater concentration of alpine than Jasper.

""2. some granite climbing possibilities (multi-pitch) up to around 5.8, ideally with some protection already in place""

there's very little granite in the Canadian Rockies except the Bugaboos. Yose is nothing but granite, probably the highest concentration of multi-pitch granite routes in the world. At least five good multi pitch sub 5.8's, only the belays are fixed though.

"3. not too crowded in the summer months"

"50 classic climbs" can be "50 crowded climbs" Something like the NW ridge of Bugaboo spire is always going to have a line, but I did Eisenhower Tower on Castle Mtn in Aug and only saw 2 other people in 3 days.

"4. an (international) airport with car rental "close by" - any tips for cheap car rentals?"

plan and reserve ahead, Expedia.com, if you get the car when you walk from the plane it will be expensive. Banff/Jasper area flies into Calgary(100? mile drive), Yose flies into Oakland/San Fran (120? mile drive).
Last edited by Buckaroo on Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

User Avatar
aglane

 
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 1:16 am
Thanked: 12 times in 10 posts

by aglane » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:42 am

Tetons a good bet. Fly into Salt Lake City and drive from there, through interesting country, or fly into Jackson.

Go to the less commonly taken peaks, e.g. Owen, Moran, Buck as a scramble, limitless shorter rock routes. Teton high peaks are not very crowded--except maybe the Upper Exum on the Grand, nor are the rock climbs that take some good hiking to get to the base.

If driving from Salt Lake, maybe something in the Wasatch .... en route to or fro, or go to Beartooths, Wind Rivers or Colorado Rockies from Tetons if you have to get away.

Stay at Grand Teton Climbers' Ranch, see
http://www.americanalpineclub.org/pt/gr ... mbersranch
and
http://wsfife.net/fogtcr2/

User Avatar
mtnturf

 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:24 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

by mtnturf » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:55 am

Don't go to Colorado, it's flat and boring.

User Avatar
mbirtel

 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 5:31 pm
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Switzerland

by mbirtel » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:42 pm

Tonka wrote:

Hijack:
I'm going to Switzerland for 9 days the end of May and first week of June. Any little hidden gem I should'nt miss? I'll be with my girl friend so we won't be doing anything technical.


Well I'd recommend the Glarus region. Its one hour from Zurich by train and you can finf lovely meadows and some nice hills with easy hikes and there are basically few people around.
Another option would be to do a 3-4 hut-to-hut trip in the Praetigau region just at the border to Austria.

Just let me know if you need more infos.

Martin

User Avatar
dskoon

 
Posts: 3122
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:06 am
Thanked: 136 times in 104 posts

by dskoon » Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:19 pm

HOw about the North Cascades in Washington?
You will find it similar to the Alps, I think, and though I'm not sure what kind of rock, I do know it is a magnificent climbing area, and not too crowded. I can't speak for the type(s) of rock there, but it is a very popular area for all alpine and rock climbing endeavors. Some of the best climbing in the lower 48, in fact.
Close to Seattle as well.
Just my .02cents. Good luck.

User Avatar
jeep1212

 
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:43 am
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

by jeep1212 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:41 pm


User Avatar
Buckaroo

 
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:49 pm
Thanked: 9 times in 7 posts

by Buckaroo » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:29 pm

dskoon wrote:HOw about the North Cascades in Washington?
You will find it similar to the Alps, I think, and though I'm not sure what kind of rock, I do know it is a magnificent climbing area, and not too crowded. I can't speak for the type(s) of rock there, but it is a very popular area for all alpine and rock climbing endeavors. Some of the best climbing in the lower 48, in fact.
Close to Seattle as well.
Just my .02cents. Good luck.


2nd the cascades are good and there's quite a bit of granite, the only drawback is the weather, best in Aug and Sept, early summer has some rain.

the best guide to the Cascades is "selected climbs in the cascades" by Nelson. Volumes 1 and 2.


Return to General

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests