Huron Peak
Colorado 14er
14,012 feet - 4,327 meters
14ers FAQ|New Climber FAQ

Mt Huron from just above treelineSometimes climbs can be thought of in three catagories: social, skills and stress. Our climb of Huron Peak on Sunday, August 7 2005 demonstrated all three. I met up with my regular climbing partner Patrick, his son Jonathan and two friends, Shari and Nora on county road 390 between Buena Vista and Leadville early that morning. This would be the first 14'er for Jonathan, Shari and Nora.

We took the dirt road to old restored ghost town of Winfield and then the final 2 miles to the end of the wickedly rough 4WD "road". The trailhead started at 10,600'. We enjoyed the steady rising trail through a series of switchbacks to treeline around 11,800'. Stopping several times to enjoy the view of Three Apostles and Ice Mountain, we soon broke through the trees and saw our goal for the first time.Huron trail view
Huron is an impressive sight for someone's first 14'er. It towers above a serene meadow with her rocky summit defining a cone mountain. Our first timers began to question their skills required to stand on top. But we pressed on taking the very well worn trail to the east of the mountain. It was a partly cloudy August day so the sun was not too hot but we still applied sunblock liberally.

Stopping every hour or so to make sure everyone was drinking and having some snacks we paused around the 13,000' level. Shari was not feeling well due to an ear infection and it was getting worse as we gained altitude. She made the decision to return to the car and Patrick accompanied her back to meadow. Jonathan, Nora and I continued the climb towards the summit.

Up and Up
The route took the east slopes and became less grassy and more rocky as we approached 13,500'. At a rather large outcropping, the ground was scree with a small dirt trail that switchbacked towards the summit. As we climbed, Jonathan kept looking back for his dad. Nora kept looking up thinking about the return trip. Patrick made sure Shari was good, gave her the other radio so he could stay in touch and and began a swift paced return back up the mountainside. We sat on some rocks about 100' below the summit and watched him quickly close the gap. Soon, he arrived huffing and puffing but glad to back.

We soon made the summit and smiles abounded as Nora and Jonathan celebrated their first 14'er with a sandwich, pictures, videos and more. Well actually they sat down heavily as Patrick and I took pictures, shook hands, gave hugs and picked out the 14'ers of the Sawatch range.

Since it was getting late we left the summit. Patrick and Jonathan bounded down but soon stress became the dominate feeling for Nora. Not comfortable with the loose dirt, sharp rocks and steep angles she carefully picked her way down from the summit. The stress was building but so were the skills. Soon we were back to the flatter sections with more secure footing. We paused at the outcropping to look back up where we had just come. Nora let it sink in that she had overcame some fears was now a true 14'er!

The rest of the journey was uneventful and we met back up with Shari at the car. She was feeling better but still not 100%.
Click for video of Summit View

As a social climb it was great to see two young climbers make their first 14'er. They were stressed at times but gained skills and confidence throughout the day. In the end they finished with a summit and tired feet! But it was fantastic to see Patrick and Jonathan on their first summit together. I am sure there will be many more.

So Huron is one of the "easy" 14'ers. I found it a nice day hike with some wonderful views. This August, the grass was green up high and the lack of snow allowed the thousands of wild flowers to show their heads. The route was clear and well marked. It is good first 14'er but the last section can be a little tough for some climbers. Maybe Bierstadt or Quandary would an easier "easy" first 14'er.