Colorado has 58 mountains over 14,000 feet (4,266 meters) in height but only 53 are noted as ’14ers’. To qualify as a 14er the peak must be 300 feet higher than saddle of an adjacent peak.
So in that vein, I am trying to climb all 58 and this week takes me to my potential 48th and 49th with attempts on Snowmass Mountain and Capital Peak. Both are in the Elk range near Aspen. With winter approaching, I am going solo since it is mid week and my regular climbing buddies have to work. But as is usually the case in Colorado, I am sure I will have company.
Snowmass is a huge massif that is somewhat hidden from view unless you on the summit of another 14er. The normal route is from the east – a 21 mile round trip that most people backpack in, climb and hike out. Given that I want to grab both a day apart, I will be taking the west slope which requires a short 4WD vehicle (aka Jeep) to cover some tough roads. This approach results in a 9 mile round trip. That’s the goods news, the bad is a very steep 2,000’ climb on loose rock to gain the summit.
Next will be Capital. It is known as one of the “difficult” 14ers in Colorado primarily due to what is affectionally called the “infamous Knife edge” ridge leading to summit. Basically this is a, well, knife edge ridge that most people straddle; thus putting all their “parts”, so to speak, at risk.
So more 14ers but more importantly more training for my 7 Summits for Alzheimer’s starting next January. I will post a full trip report upon my return, assuming I have all my parts.