14ers.com has ranked all of Colorado's 14ers by difficulty. Eolus' "Catwalk" and steep, confusing route on the upper third of the mountain make it a top contender. Kit Carson Mountain is one of the Sangre de Cristo giants located right by Crestone Peak and Crestone Needle. Colorado’s 6 Easiest & 6 Hardest 14ers To Hike. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. They are the some of the most amazing mountains in the world and have been the number one object of adoration for hundreds of … Sunlight Peak is one of the few 14ers requiring class 4 climbing to reach the summit and is generally preceded by a very long backpacking trip and a steep ascent into the Twin Lake basin. Because the list is grouped by Class, you'll see some routes which may require more overall effort (longer distance, more elevation gain) higher on the page than others which have a higher class rating but lower overall difficulty. Handies Peak. A group of hikers with the Denver Botanic Gardens took a wildflower tour on Mount Evans. While most of my day hikes are around Fort Collins, hiking a 14er is a special experience. Colorado’s 6 Easiest & 6 Hardest 14ers To Hike. Additionally, Capitol Peak requires a lot of time to accomplish and once you are past the knife edge, you are committed to at least two hours more of climbing. The standard Colorado 14er routes 1ST) grouped by Class and 2ND) sorted by overall difficulty/effort required, within each Class group. Capitol Peak - Class 4 (Most Difficult). How so? Pyramid Peak, while not having many known fatalities, presents some truly heinous climbing obstacles, especially in wet conditions. With that being said, I'm going to use a mixture of my personal experience and some subjective ratings to present my case to you. Elbert – Northeast Ridge Route – 4,700 feet – 9.5 miles. It allows you to see your track and location on a USGS map overlay even in airplane mode. The Alpine Rescue Team offered some advice as to what you should know before taking the trip: Officials say you should let someone know your planned route and time to finish and when they should call the sheriff if you have not returned. Colorado’s highest summit is a grandfatherly gentle giant, at least by Rocky Mountain standards. Distance: 5.75 miles. Snowmass Mountain is usually climbed in the early months of summer, when the face of the mountain is mostly covered in snow, making for somewhat easier travel up the snow in crampons; however, the rock beneath the snow is quite loose and is constantly shifting due to erosion. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Standard Route: Southwest Slopes. The summit block of Sunlight presents a particularly interesting challenge for climbers and many people skip the summit block altogether if there is any moisture on the rock. Capitol is massive, imposing, and rugged. How did I do? These are the five hardest cruxes on all of Colorado's 14ers. Here are the six easiest and most challenging 14er hikes, depending on what skill level you are at. Since Sunlight is often paired with Eolus and Windom on the same day and often as the last peak climbed, it presents even more inherent danger as many climbers attempting it are more exhausted than if doing Sunlight on its own. Copyright 2017 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Each of the 53 ranked peaks offers unique challenges and rewards. In the mountaineering parlance of the Western United States, a fourteener is a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet (4270 meters). This email address is being protected from spambots. The route up Crestone Needle is steep, followed by difficult-finding routes. You can purchase it here and help support the site. Editor's note: Information about the difficult of each peak in this article was obtained from 100summits.com. The Hourglass presents some very difficult climbing, with few good hand-holds and potentially fatal ice and water sections, not to mention the hazard of frequent rockfall from above. Follow. Maroon Peak - Class 4 (Most Difficult). My ascent in 2010 was quite memorable, notably - the infamous "Hourglass" section just about scared me to death. The "Hourglass" section of the climb can be potentially fatal, as you have to watch out for ice and water and rock fall from above. There are summits for everyone. But while those two summits are quite happy to be the most famous duo in the state, Capitol is easily the King of the Elks. The north face of Capitol Peak, widely considered the hardest 14er in Colorado. There are very few breaks to be had and simple mistakes can and do prove to be fatal. Even though the rock is quite solid and sturdy, make no mistake - an error in judgement would likly prove fatal, especially in severe weather conditions. Ready to take on a 14er? Another Class 2 14er, Mount Elbert has a wide but steep trail that will take you all the way to the summit. Photo Credit: Daniel Jensen While this Class 1 route is a long, 4,700 foot ascent, there is no scrambling or technical features to slow you down. Climbers say that even though the rock is solid, a tiny mistake can prove fatal -- especially during severe weather conditions. As you can see from the rock formations in the pictured above, the climb up to Maroon Peak can prove fatal for the unskilled. Pyramid Peak - Class 4 (Most Difficult). I've intentionally left out un-ranked 14ers such as North Maroon and El Diente - assume they can be bundled with Maroon Peak and Mount Wilson, respectively. The difficult section of climbing found on the upper 1/3 of the route is difficult to negotiate and offers many challenges for climbers of all levels. Filed Under : 14ers , Mountains Have fun and be safe. Each year I'm usually asked one of two questions - which 14ers are the easiest; and, which 14ers are the hardest? The approach on all routes of Snowmass requires quite a bit of travel, which increases the difficulty. When you make it to the top, you’ll have clear views of the Sawatch Range and dozens of other 14ers. In addition to the tremendous exposure found on the summit block, Mount Wilson's approach from the Rock of Ages trailhead is fairly long and quite committing, with a lot of up-and-down climbing (unless approached from Kilpacker Basin or Navajo Basin). If you’re not sure on which peak is right for you, here is a list of five of the mildest Colorado 14ers from easiest to hardest. Sunlight Peak - Class 4 (Most Difficult). Capitol Peak is another mountain in the Elk Range of Colorado, just a few miles away from Maron & North Maroon Peaks. While the mountain's standard route is mostly straight-forward, there are certainly sections that demand one's full attention and good climbing skills in order to ensure a successful summit. 4. Here’s a breakdown of the deadliest peaks in the state, looking at how many deaths have occurred on each peak between 2000 and 2017, according to Colorado’s 14er Initiative.Visit their Youtube page for an entire library of mountain safety videos. Varying difficulty. DENVER -- Climbing a Colorado 14er is rite of passage for transplants and natives alike, but there is a growing concern that many underestimate the risks involved. Most approachs require a backpack trip or a very early start and once above tree-line the terrain is quite extreme. Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post | THE DENVER POST. The hike is challenging but forgiving, making it one of the best 14er in Colorado for beginners. the only existing data available regarding mountaineering accidents in Colorado, Completing the Centennials - ending a decade-long goal on Thunder Pyramid, Cathedral Peak in August - Photographing the Perseid Meteor Shower and Sunrise from the Summit, Climbing the Crown Jewel of Colorado's Sawatch Range - Ice Mountain & North Apostle, Glossary of Colorado Mountain Climbing Terms, Backpacking in the La Garita Wilderness Area - Climbing San Luis Peak and Stewart Peak, « Colorado Lightning - A Primer for Hikers and Climbers. Of particular note, the traverse between Maroon Peak and North Maroon has claimed several victims and is a force to be reckoned with. It has saved me so many times. And it has Snowmass Mountain, which requires an eight-mile backpack just to get the chance to climb the … Some of Colorado's 54 fourteeners require technical climbing skills; others are long hikes with well-marked trails. The approach for Eolus is quite taxing as well and many climbers reaching the upper sections of Eolus find themselves out of energy and weakened - a terrible combination when paired with the rugged and loose terrain of the San Juan Mountains. The final 14er on our list is a neighbor of the Bells. Climbing aficionados call Capitol Peak "arguably the most difficult 14er in Colorado," due to is rugged terrain, a relentless climb up and arduous backpacking trip to Capitol Lake. Little Bear Peak - Class 4 (Most Difficult). The most difficult climbing on any of Colorado's highest 53 peaks. But don’t be intimidated by its height. What is the hardest 14er in Colorado? Here is a handful of some of the safest 14ers … Longs Peak, located within the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park, is likely Colorado's most frequently visited mountain other than perhaps Greys and Torreys. The approach is terrible - either a long slog on a rocky road in hot weather or an insane jeep ride over some of Colorado's toughest jeep obstacles (OK - those are kind of awesome). The summit of Capitol Peak can be seen from Capitol Lake on Sept. 6 in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. Follow. 6. Like Crestone Needle, Crestone Peak's approach is a very long day up very steep trails and rock formations, increasing the difficulty of this impressive peak found in the awesome Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Coming in at number 8 on my list of Colorado's most difficult 14ers to climb is the venerable, impressive and just-plain-freaking-awesome Crestone Needle - my favorite 14er of all. Additional hazards plaguing this peak are the frequent deposits of snow and ice early and late in the climbing season that often contribute to the dangerous nature of the climb. 3. But the Elk Range has the two Maroon Bells, Pyramid and Capitol, four of what I think are the five hardest 14ers in the state (Little Bear being the fifth). Additionally, I highly recommend obtaining GaiaGPS for your phone. The whole area is steep and impressive, which comes with some inherent dangers and difficulties. This makes the mountain especially mentally taxing as those are two hours straight of focused climbing on rugged terrain where you also have to keep a keen eye on the weather. It’s technical, dangerous, and ends with scaling a section called the “Knife Edge” that has 1,000 ft. drops on each side. I try to check off three new 14ers every summer, and you should absolutely give a 14er … The steep approach, coupled with a downclimb mired in confusion and difficult route-finding, makes Kit Carson quite eligible for this list. The summit block itself has stopped many people in their tracks, just a few feet from the summit. Mount Wilson is easily one of the most challenging 14ers in Colorado to climb - the standard route, while mostly straight-forward, has many difficult sections of very loose rock at the summit. There are twenty-four southern Colorado 14ers. Indeed, Crestone Needle has claimed many lives and is a surely one of the most dangerous peaks in the Sangre de Cristo Range. Who knows, reading about these tragic events may just save your life. Because these 14ers are so far from the populated Front Range, solitude is almost guaranteed on most of these peaks. Out of all of the Fourteeners, Little Bear Peak is quite possibly my least favorite and least likely to be something I'd like to repeat. Access: this rating establishes the difficulty to reach this peak or how long it takes to get to the top. 14ers.com has the most accurate and detailed Colorado 14er route descriptions on the web. 5. Many people may rate Sunlight's next door neighbor, Windom Peak, as being the more difficult of the two; however, I personally found Sunlight to have more challenging route-finding and climbing requirements. All require stamina and a little bit of crazy. These mountains, or “14ers” as they are typically called, are a fun feat to summit. Indeed, Longs Peak is not nearly as difficult as, say, Capitol Peak; however, it has far more accidents due to the sheer number of inexperienced and/or unaccomplished people attempting it each year. The terrain on Pyramid is steep almost the entire climb and once above tree-line the mountain demands your concentration for the duration. Many of the peaks -- known as "approachable Everests" -- can be climbed by the average person, but experts warn even the easiest peak can be treacherous. Capitol Peak is widely regarded as the hardest 14er in Colorado. If you're still set on embarking on an incredible 14er journey, you may want to check out our checklist crafted by experts from the Colorado 14ers Initiative. Feel free to let me know if you disagree with my ratings! The exposure there is intense and not for the feint of heart. All are ranked assuming you can get to either an upper or lower standard TH and hiking the standard route, unless otherwise noted. Mount Wilson. The 27-year-old has summited 25 of Colorado's 14ers — mountains above 14,000 feet — totally barefoot since 2018. Sustained difficulty: this rating establishes the peak's sustained difficulty over the course of the entire climb, 2. New Country 99.1. Would you have rated them differently? Let's see how Capitol Peak rates in the four domains: Mount Wilson is easily one of the most challenging 14ers in Colorado to climb - the standard route, while mostly straight-forward, has many difficult sections of very loose rock at the summit. Here are the 7 most difficult 14ers in Colorado: 1. Others are decidedly more difficult. Here is a photo montage of my repeat climb of difficult 14er Capitol Peak in the Elk Range in CO. Not only was it their last one but it was Capitol Peak, considered to be one of the hardest 14ers due to the length of the hike and a 150-foot knife-edge ridge with major exposure. You can easily access Elbert’s large, rounded dome by several trails, all of which begin in vanilla-scented pine forests and emerge from treeline with stunning views of the Sawatch Range. Colorado 13ers. The rock on Mount Wilson is extremely loose and many people have perished on the slopes between Mount Wilson and the un-ranked beast to the west - El Diente. I will rate each mountain's difficulty ranking based on four equally weighted variables: 1. Maroon Peak is a steep monstrosity full of beauty and loose rock as well as an intricate network of rocks, spires and falling rock that a blessing and a curse. The 5 Easiest 14ers To Solo Hike In Colorado. Colorado's 20 Best Landscape Photographers, Last modified on Wednesday, 24 July 2019 22:57. Difficulty. Climbers call the approach to Little Bear Peak "terrible," as it means either driving on a rocky road under hot weather or partaking on an Jeep ride over some pretty challenging obstacles. The climb up Capitol is relentless and requires mountainners to focus on the mountain's terrain for a very long period of time. They cite very loose rock at the summit and a very long trek from the Rock of Ages as part of the challenge. Indeed, Snowmass has proved to be particularly dangerous in the past few years due to these shifting conditions and has claimed a couple lives in the past 5 years. Snowmass' upper slopes contains large white boulders that look secure but are often quite loose and came come crashing down at any moment. They’re divided into two ranges: The large and rugged San Juans to the southwest, and the fault-block Sangre de Christo Range which rises abruptly from the valleys along it. At 14,433 feet, Mount Elbert is the tallest 14er in Colorado and the highest peak in the entire Rocky Mountain Range. Hopefully, this will help you consider your options and decide which peak would be best for your abilities and goals: Mount Bierstadt (14,060 feet elevation gain) Grays Peak (14,270 feet elevation gain) PC 14ers.com I found a list that ranked all of Colorado’s 14ers from hardest to easiest. Of course, the views from the summit are to die for. As pictured above in the panoramic taken between Capitol Peak and K2 near the infamous Knife Edge, the terrain is rugged, exposed, loose and dangerous. The peaks range from do-able hikes to tough technical climbs. The approach to Pyramid is fairly straightforward, albeit somewhat long and committing once above tree-line. Maroon Peak holds some of Colorado's worst rock and even the most experienced climbers have been subdued by the dangerous terrain found there. The summit block itself has stopped many people in their tracks, just a few feet from the summit. While Pyramid is likely one of my favorite climbs of all time, it is not for a beginner climber and should be taking quite seriously. Additionally, you should also be physically and mentally prepared, know the route you're taking and the risks associated with the climb, as well as respect the mountain you're climbing up. Mount Wilson - Class 4 (Most Difficult). Crestone Needle - Class 3 (Most Difficult). I'd love to hear your thoughts! Colorado's 12 Hardest 14ers to Climb. That’s quite a few mountains that are over 14,000 feet tall! This past September 2019, Ellie Briggs and her eight-year-old Siberian husky, Loki, completed their last 14er. Here are the six easiest and most challenging 14er hikes, depending on what skill level you are at. Examples of this can be seen in my trip report from 2011. Mount Massive is the third highest peak in the Lower 48 states and is Colorado’s second highest 14er at 14,421 feet. The rock in the Elk Mountains is notoriously loose and nasty - making it very suspect in down-climbs and even more dangerous in rain or snow. At 14,252 feet, Mount Wilson is often ranked among the most difficult fourteeners in Colorado. Many people have perished in the Hourglass over the years, including one of the most memorable deaths in the past 5 years - Kevin Hayne. Jump to: Class 1 Class 2 Class 2+ Class 3 Class 4 Class 5. This mountain's location in a National Park makes it a very popular destination by people from all over the world and it often lures inexperienced climbers on its more dangerous upper sections where people find themselves ill-equipped to complete the climb, both mentally and physically. Not only does Capitol Peak have some very difficult sections, it has, in my opinion, the highest sustained difficulty out of any of the 14ers. While it may make sense to simply use the only existing data available regarding mountaineering accidents in Colorado to determine 14er difficulty, my experience has been that the difficulty of a peak is more than just cold, hard facts. Which mountains are you the most nervous for? Indeed, according to the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI), approximately half a million people attempt to climb a fourteener each year. Or take on a more challenging one?. While Capitol Peak has only seen two deaths since 2010 compared to five on Longs Peak (as of August 2014), it is arguably the most difficult 14er in Colorado, as I attested in my 2010 trip report. (Lyn Alweis, Denver Post file) These five peaks are time-tested hikes for novice fourteener folks. Climbing to high-altitude spots around Colorado can be quite dangerous, sometimes resulting in death. 09-03. 2. Terrain: this rating establishes the difficulty of the peak's overall terrain, taking exposure and looseness of rock into account, 4. For these ratings it is assumed that the climber is approaching via the standard route in "normal" conditions. Climber say the climb up Pyramid Peak can prove difficult due to its notoriously loose rock, making the climb and the descent very challenging, especially under wintry or rainy conditions. If you're interested in climbing a 14er, read the route description to make sure it's within your ability and then print a version for the trail. This is what makes the idea to climb in Colorado so alluring to so many people. Several climbers have perished on Kit Carson in recent years, almost always due to off-route climbing. Climbers say the terrain in the Chicago Basin -- where Sunlight is located -- is quite loose and can be dangerous as it is susceptible to quickly changing extreme weather conditions. 13ers by Route Difficulty.

Capitol Peak: Snowmass/Maroon Bells Wilderness

. Today, July 19, the Colorado 14ers Initiative is scheduled to release the latest video in a new series about best practices and safety when climbing the Colorado … Lastly, access to Capitol, while doable in a single day, usually requires an arduous backpacking trip to Capitol Lake and a very early start on a subsequent day. Additionally, consideration of any traverses between 14ers was not considered for these ratings. Climbers say this 14er has "some of Colorado's worst rock," that even experienced climbers have difficulty with. When we review the colorado 14ers ranked by difficulty, people are surprised that the state’s tallest peak is the 4th easiest. Climbing aficionados call Capitol Peak "arguably the most difficult 14er in Colorado," due to is rugged terrain, a relentless climb up and arduous backpacking trip to Capitol Lake. Mount Eolus marks the second of the Chicago Basin 14ers to make this list and arguably the more difficult of the three, despite my lower rating here. Colorado's Fourteeners (14ers) are legendary. Ready to take on a 14er? Lastly, it might be a good idea to arm yourself with the most up-to-date information about mountaineering accidents in Colorado. That’s not to say it’s a walk in the park — there’s a matter of 4,400 feet of elevation gain over 4.5 miles to deal with — but the paths are well-maintained an… Capitol Peak (14,131 ft.) is more a climb than a hike. In Colorado, there are 53 peaks rising above 14,000 feet and higher! While Little Bear Peak is very straight-forward and mostly an easy climb, the Hourglass section marks it as one of the toughest mountains around. A simple google search of Longs Peak deaths will just tell you how dangerous this peak really is, especially on the upper areas such as the Narrows and the Trough. Class 1 Thirteeners. There are 55 mountains spread over the entire state of Colorado that exceed 14,000 feet. There's an elevation gain of 5,300 feet and Capitol Peak is the 14er pictured at the top. The tallest mountain in Colorado is Mount Elbert at 14,439 feet tall. Filtering Tip: Click on each class heading to drill down and view a list of peaks for that difficulty only. Part of the Sawatch Range, get ready for a long day: 14 miles round trip with 4,400 feet of gain. Most difficult section: this rating establishes the difficulty of the peak's most difficult section, 3. KOOL 107.9 KBKL. Why? Colorado's Fourteeners (14ers) are legendary. Terrain in the Chicago Basin where Sunlight resides is notoriously loose and dangerous as well as highly susceptible to frequent and quickly changing extreme weather conditions. The approach to Kit Carson's standard route involves a lengthy backpacking trip and an ascent over the less impressive, albeit quite steep 14er, Challenger Point. The Maroon Bells have claimed many lives through the years and are certainly some of the most dangerous mountains in America. Elevation Rank Peak Name Range … They are the some of the most amazing mountains in the world and have been the number one object of adoration for hundreds of thousands of Coloradoans. 14ers.com has ranked all of Colorado's 14ers by difficulty. 2. I’m really not nervous about any of them, but if I had to put one on top of all of them, it definitely would be Capitol Peak. 4) Mt. 7. Each of the 53 ranked peaks offers unique challenges and rewards. Here is my list ranking the Colorado 14ers, each mountain has a link to the write-up/video and more information about it. No Colorado 14er is “Easy” No hike up steep elevation gains along a windy, rocky trail to high places is easy. The hardest 14er to climb in Colorado is about two and a half hours away in the Elk Mountains. I decided to lay out the hardest 14ers here for you in this article. The photo above was taken from the summit of Pyramid Peak looking out across the valley at the Maroon Bells and their insane stature. 09-04. Includes the Knife Edge on Capitol Peak, the Hourglass of Little Bear, the summit cap of Mt Wilson, the gap on Sunlight, and the Chimney of North Maroon In terms of 14ers, Colorado has over 50 of these famous peaks. Difficulty: Class 1. The standard route of Crestone Needle brings you up a steep approach and then plants you right in a series of difficult route-finding challenges and some of the steepest yet most solid rock there is. Climbing 14ers is a dangerous activity; however, good planning, fitness, and awareness of the potential hazards will provide climbers with good opportunities to accomplish these monsterous peaks. Perhaps the most notable part of Longs Peak's approach is the sheer length of the climb, a full-day affair to be sure. Thinking about climbing, or are you preparing to climb soon? Experts agree: Capitol Peak is by far the hardest 14er in Colorado. Some of the 58 Colorado 14ers -- peaks higher than 14,000 feet -- can be climbed in three or four hours by the average person, and require little more than a long walk on a well-established trail. Let me know how I did based on your own experience. Or take on a more challenging one?. Climbing them from least to hardest, even roughly, is going to be kind of wasteful with your time/gas, as 14ers are clumped together and you can most certainly climb a few in a day/weekend. Two climbers have died on Capitol this year. Climbers have called Mount Wilson "easily one of the most challenging 14ers" in the state. Hardest 58. Elevation Gain: 2,500 feet. Crestone Peak has single-handedly claimed many climbers' lives over the past several years due to the loose and difficult terrain found on the upper sections of the mountain. 24 July 2019 22:57 half a million people attempt to climb in Colorado which 14ers are six... 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