winter ascents

9:05 p.m. on December 5, 2005 (EST)
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Looking for advice on a winter(mid Dec.) climb on mt. Elbert and then over to mt. Massive. Also wondering if roads are drivable to trailheads. Always willing to take advice,, thanks.

11:04 a.m. on December 6, 2005 (EST)
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Depends on what you mean by "trailhead". The winter trailheads are a bit farther than where you can get to in summer. In summer, you can get an extra couple miles beyond the South Mt Elbert trailhead with a 4WD for the East Ridge trail, but in winter, you will have to start from the campground above Twin Lakes. Some of the longer trails start from the paved and plowed roads, but you probably won't be able to park at the actual trailheads (depends on the kindness of the highway folks and their plowmen). I haven't been to the North Elbert and nearby Massive trailheads in winter, so I don't know about the plowing there. Watch the snow conditions carefully - some parts of the trails cross slopes known to slide.

7:18 p.m. on December 13, 2005 (EST)
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a.k.a. ryandobbs

Thanks for the advice bill. Im actually getting discouraged now with the mt. Elbert and Mt Massive trip in the winter. Im wondering if it would even really be a challenge. I know winter months can be brutal but i have heard of ascents on them by just about anyone. I thought about the west face giving more challenge , but what are your thoughts

7:57 p.m. on December 14, 2005 (EST)
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Challenge?

Hmmmmm.... I think I would suggest you read what Lou Dawson has to say about these two (and other CO 14ers) in winter. It is true that on a really nice winter day, given enough time for the snow to consolidate, and reasonable shape/acclimatization/skill on skis or snowshoes, "anyone" can get up and down most of the 14ers. But a rather excessive number of folks get in deep trouble on them as well, even on the "dog" routes. Don't underrate the potential challenge. I would assume you will go with a partner. What level of skill/conditioning/etc is s/he? (If you haven't planned on a partner for a winter climb, I would strongly urge you to think really hard about it). All of the routes have potential for avalanche. How are your avy evaluation skills? Under the right conditions, there is great skiing on the regular routes. Since you pick these two, I also assume you have done winter ascents of a few of the other 14ers and have dealt with storm conditions.

7:56 p.m. on December 18, 2005 (EST)
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a.k.a. ryandobbs
Re: Challenge?

hey Bill, i of course have a partner, my long time climbing partner and best friend. we both have had good times on some 14ers out there. we have never gone on any trips this far into winter. Elbert i see is rated the easiest , so we used that grade along with the choice of a full blown winter ascent. were both precautios climbers. no interest in skiing. snow shoeing and bringin the crampons and axe will be about it. my exp. with aval. skills arent there b/c of no exeriences. what do you think about that? i think making precautios moves and reading up best as possible , would work. thnks for you advice so far. advice from someone with first hand is better than all the best sale books in the world

5:07 a.m. on February 3, 2006 (EST)
(Guest)

Re: Challenge?

Check out 14ers.com. They have a wealth of knowledge on climbing Colorado 14ers, current conditions, etc.

November 26, 2014
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