Summer of 14er Fever Part 1

So as of 7:41pm on July 14th, 2008, I have climbed 8 14ers in the state of Colorado. 6 of them have been this summer. The first 4 were all in one day: Mt. Democrat, Cameron Point, Mt. Lincoln, and Mt. Bross. I climbed these with my friends Max and Lindsey.

Max and Lindsey starting up Democrat, #1 for the day.
Mt. Democrat
Mt. Lincoln
Cameron Point

The hike up to Democrat was the only major climbing, then it was just saddle hiking, most of which was above 14,000 feet. The weather was perfect and no clouds were around until we were already descending Mt. Bross. Here are pictures of the 3 of us on the summit of Demorcrat, then on Lincoln, and finally on Bross. Cameron’s summit was short of spectacular, to say the least, and isn’t considered to be a “true” 14er because of it’s closeness to Lincoln.

Summit of Democrat
Summit of Lincoln
Summit of Bross

With a successful start to my “Summer of 14er Fever” with 4 in a day, the next week I drove to north eastern Colorado for a day on Long’s peak with my buddy John. I arrived at the trailhead at midnight, and because of all the “no camping at the trailhead” postings, decided to spend the night cramped up in the back of the extended cab of my pickup for a nice 4 hours of sleep. When 4am came around, so did John from Fort Collins, and the hike began. We were greeted at treeline by this amazing sunrise, as well as the Diamond on Longs basking in the alpenglow.

Longs Sunrise
Longs Alpenglow

A while after this we were able to find the boulderfield, the poo with a view, and the keyhole all where they are supposed to be.

poo with a view

After some treacherous snow crossings in the narrows and the trough, we made it through the homestretch and to the summit on yet another perfect day for mountain climbing. A photogenic marmot posed for us before the decent.

Longs Summit

With my 5 14er of the summer down and my brother arriving into town looking for a challenge, we took on Capitol Peak one week after Longs, also to be done in a day. We left Glenwood at 3:30, and were on the trail by 4:30 (in the AM, mind you). We were greeted at 1st light with this view

Steve and Cap

We hiked for about five hours before beginning any actual climbing, but this photo stands out as my favorite from the trip: steve poised and ready to attack K2, the peak before the top of Capitol.

Steve on K2

From the top of K2 we were greeted with this rather famous shot of Capitol as well as the Knife Edge. Once again, the weather was absolutely perfect for bagging summits in Colorado.

Cap and Knife edge
Close up of the knife edge
Steve on Knife Edge

7 hours after leaving the trailhead with some class 4 climbing and lots of exposure we ended up at the top of Capitol Peak, with Snowmass, the Bells, Pyramid Peak, and Castle and Conundrum Peaks in the distance, as well as the mountains near Marble, and the south side of Sopris all visible (a much better view than from Longs)

Capitol Summit Shot
Pano from the Summit of Capitol

After coming back over the Knife Edge, which Steve looks stoked upon completing, we got some July glissades in on a snow field, and then decided that instead of descending all the way down and climbing Daly Pass again, it would be better to traverse across the “dry” part of the lower ridge, which led to some pretty intense class 4 climbing.

Coming Back
Glissading Down
Sketchy traverse on Goat Trails

After a 14 hour trip with 18 miles and 5000 feet of vertical covered, we called it a day.

That concludes part one of my summer of 14er fever. Part 2 will include Snowmass Peak as well as some redemption on Blanca, Little Bear, and Ellington Point after being shut down Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully I’ll see you then.


2 thoughts on “Summer of 14er Fever Part 1

  1. Juan!!! Really cool pictures…The knife edge definitely looked like fun 🙂 I’d say that makes for a pretty substantial summer. Well almost–Blanca still needs to be put in her place, and this time we’re bringing shoes, firestarter, Darcy, and Tyger. If that’s not a recipe for summiting, I don’t know what is.

  2. Jon J—Love your pics of the Capital climb!!!!! Your pics are as close as Iwill get to ever climbing that mountain. Though I love looking at everday out my office window, and of course from home also. Thanks for the postcard. Hope your lovin it there as much as Laine loved India. Keep the pictures and blog coming. By the way, Lots of fresh snow up in those Elk Mountains right now…..Ruth

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