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Posted: 4/8/2010 7:06:07 PM EDT
We have a few guys heading out your way primarily to hike MT. Elbert and maybe Massive or another 14er. We will be there for 4 days. Any tips or recommendations on where to stay....Currently I am looking at places in Leadville, Twin Lakes, and Buena Vista and they all look reasonably close and nice.

Any other activities in the area that are worth checking out?

Thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 4/8/2010 7:36:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By robpiat:
We have a few guys heading out your way primarily to hike MT. Elbert and maybe Massive or another 14er. We will be there for 4 days. Any tips or recommendations on where to stay....Currently I am looking at places in Leadville, Twin Lakes, and Buena Vista and they all look reasonably close and nice.

Any other activities in the area that are worth checking out?

Thanks in advance.


Be ready for altitude man!
Link Posted: 4/9/2010 2:40:41 AM EDT
There are lots of hot springs in and around Beuna Vista, go there to unwind after the climbs.

Drive up Cottonwood Pass west of Beuny. Amazing views.
Link Posted: 4/9/2010 1:46:51 PM EDT
PS: Four days after coming up from Georgia??? You're gonna be sucking some wind, dude. Don't overdo it, and go easy on alcohol.
Link Posted: 4/11/2010 7:14:27 AM EDT
^^ This.

I would definately give you and your party more time to acclimate before you start off. I'm not
saying you'll have problems, but even if you are in super good shape, your body will need time
to adjust coming from that altitude.

I live at 5K feet here, and usually do 1-3 14'ers a year and they kick my ass. I'm no slouch
physically, and I prepare weeks ahead of time by doing tons more cardio and weights.

Another suggestion is getting the book 'Colorado 14'ers" by Gerry Roach, as this book is
superb for it insight about various routes to each peak to summit, camping spots, and how to prepare.

IM me if you have some questions and good luck.

-Heuristic
Link Posted: 4/11/2010 9:24:42 AM EDT
If you're looking in the Twin Lakes area and want to camp, the Twin Peaks campground is usually not bad.

http://www.independencepassrockclimbing.com/Camping/tabid/64/Default.aspx
Link Posted: 4/11/2010 11:08:05 AM EDT
Do you guys use trekking poles? Some seem to think they are a necessity, others make it out like they are just extra weight.
Link Posted: 4/11/2010 11:58:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2010 12:02:03 PM EDT by vim]

Originally Posted By robpiat:
Do you guys use trekking poles? Some seem to think they are a necessity, others make it out like they are just extra weight.

Yes.

Their primary benefit for me is to take some strain off the knees when going downhill. The trails here can be easy or hard, and giant steps down several thousand feet of rock take their toll.

Their secondary benefit for me is to distribute the work when going uphill, moving some of the effort out of my legs.

I move faster both uphill and downhill with poles. When you hit the talus slopes higher on a mountain, it's trivial to tuck them away.

By the way, if you are planning on 14ers, google "fourteeners" –– there are a number of good resources. Some of the best are:

http://www.14ers.org/
http://www.14ers.com/ <== read some trip reports
http://www.summitpost.org/
Link Posted: 4/12/2010 4:15:45 PM EDT
Thanks for all the tips. Out of curiosity, are you allowed to CCW in the parks in CO?
Link Posted: 6/11/2010 4:16:02 AM EDT
Can you guys recommend any hotels?
Link Posted: 6/11/2010 8:04:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/11/2010 8:06:29 AM EDT by DD977GM2]
When you are making your decent on the plane.....take an aspirin. Then 4 hours later, take another aspirin. The morning you wake up for your 14er hike, take an aspirin.
Then repeat every 3-4 hours on the hike so you can stiffle the possibility of altitude sickness.
Hydrate like a motherfucker. You may not think you need a bunch of water, but your body is working harder at this elevation then at sea level.

Good luck and be safe.
Link Posted: 6/11/2010 8:10:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By robpiat:
Thanks for all the tips. Out of curiosity, are you allowed to CCW in the parks in CO?


The Natioal Parks and Forests must follow state laws. CO is open carry. Check on CCW reciprocation with your state, keep in mind that in most states your CCW must be same state as your drivers license.

NRA has good overview of the Federal and state laws.
Link Posted: 6/12/2010 4:13:34 PM EDT
Did Elbert today. Check the weather! We had a big temperature drop, lots of snow, and 40-50mph winds that would literally knock us off the trail. We prepped and it still took us several hours from treeline due to the conditions. IM me if you need more info.
Link Posted: 6/13/2010 7:45:37 AM EDT
I agree with the advice about acclimating. IMO - being here for only 4 days and going for a 14er may not work out. It can for some, but altitude has effects on even the most fit flatlanders often. As for advice? Start early, earlier than you think you need to. Pace yourself, hydrate,hydrate,hydrate. Hiking poles? I insist on them for descents, saves a ton of wear on the knees. I woke up to fresh snow this morning and up high just got a fresh coat. Prepare for summer through winter weather during the hike. Check out 14ers.com for up to date beta. You can make yourself sick, so don't hesitate to turn back or not do it if you're not feeling it.

I live in Summit Co and work at a great gear shop that sells and rents stuff. If you want any detailed info or gear, IM or PM me and I'll help out if I can.

-JC
Link Posted: 6/13/2010 9:26:53 AM EDT
Thanks again for all the advice. Any Hotel tips? We are not sure whether to stay in Leadville or Buena Vista.
Link Posted: 6/13/2010 11:28:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2010 12:00:36 PM EDT by mhoffman]
Originally Posted By robpiat:
Thanks again for all the advice. Any Hotel tips? We are not sure whether to stay in Leadville or Buena Vista.


Leadville is closer to Elbert and Massive than Buena Vista.

_MaH

ETA: Is this you? http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=8077&parmpeak=Grays+Peak&cpgm=tripmain&ski=Include

Trip report on 14ers.com on a Grays/Torreys combo, with Quandary the following day. There's mention in the comments about being from Georgia. Just curious.
Link Posted: 6/14/2010 3:43:59 AM EDT
No we are heading there at the end of August.
Link Posted: 6/14/2010 6:46:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By robpiat:
Thanks again for all the advice. Any Hotel tips? We are not sure whether to stay in Leadville or Buena Vista.


Matt is right about the proximity of Leadville to Massive/Elbert. Leadville and BV are two very different towns. Both towns offer great access to hiking. BV will be hot in Aug - not GA hot, but hot and dry. Leadville will be a little cooler being higher. If you want to travel around to other popular spots like Vail, Summit Co, or anything else around the I-70 corridor, LV is a better choice IMO. BV is a great crossroads if travelling around the central or southern part of the state. Both towns have fine accomodations. Leadville probably has more to do in town, but that's not much. BV is about 35 miles from Leadville.
If there is more to the trip than the hiking, Leadville may be better, and it offers easier access to Elbert. But that's kinda a negligable difference. Anything accessed from BV will be nearly as easy to get to from LV. Staying in Leadville will motivate you to climb Elbert and Massive as they are the primary view looking west out of LV. It's higher and will be better for acclimating. Leadville would probably be more fun and has some cool history stuff too.There are some motel type places on the eastern end of town. One is called the Columbine and another is the Silver King Motel I think. If you'd like I can give you more details when I go up there sometime next week. There are "Hotels" in town that are nice but pricey and have an old-west vibe to them.
Snowing as we speak here. Maybe the snow will be melted by then............................

-JC

Link Posted: 6/14/2010 6:56:58 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Slopes-2-Shores:
Originally Posted By robpiat:
Thanks again for all the advice. Any Hotel tips? We are not sure whether to stay in Leadville or Buena Vista.


Matt is right about the proximity of Leadville to Massive/Elbert. Leadville and BV are two very different towns. Both towns offer great access to hiking. BV will be hot in Aug - not GA hot, but hot and dry. Leadville will be a little cooler being higher. If you want to travel around to other popular spots like Vail, Summit Co, or anything else around the I-70 corridor, LV is a better choice IMO. BV is a great crossroads if travelling around the central or southern part of the state. Both towns have fine accomodations. Leadville probably has more to do in town, but that's not much. BV is about 35 miles from Leadville.
If there is more to the trip than the hiking, Leadville may be better, and it offers easier access to Elbert. But that's kinda a negligable difference. Anything accessed from BV will be nearly as easy to get to from LV. Staying in Leadville will motivate you to climb Elbert and Massive as they are the primary view looking west out of LV. It's higher and will be better for acclimating. Leadville would probably be more fun and has some cool history stuff too.There are some motel type places on the eastern end of town. One is called the Columbine and another is the Silver King Motel I think. If you'd like I can give you more details when I go up there sometime next week. There are "Hotels" in town that are nice but pricey and have an old-west vibe to them.
Snowing as we speak here. Maybe the snow will be melted by then............................

-JC



The snow on Elbert this weekend was nothing to worry about. I left my ice axe and micro-spikes in the truck, and I was right - never needed them.

Snow started around 12,700, but there was also precipitation the night before and it was snowing that morning, too.

The only time snow was ever a "problem", was when the trail went through a snowfield above 13k and I post-holed a couple times. Even that wasn't a big deal, because right next to it was a bunch of exposed scree that I made my way over to and never had to worry about it again.

There's still snow up there - no question about that. But it's nowhere near the amount that would necessitate snowshoes or even micro-spikes/yaktrax.

Throw your boots on, your layer 3 clothing, maybe a pair of gaiters if you'd like, and the only thing between you and the summit is 4.5 miles of Class 1 trail and your endurance level.

_MaH
Link Posted: 6/14/2010 1:00:24 PM EDT
I have a cabin in the Leadville area and spend a great deal of time there. The suggestions about acclimating to the altitude should not be overlooked. Even with the amount of time I spend at 9,300 MSL, I still "feel" the altitude, even though I am in decent shape. Hydration is key.

I have climbed Mt. Elbert several times in my life. The key for me was to not rush the climb, and allow plenty of time to make the summit, particularly if you want to avoid summer thunderstorms! It's not a technically challenging climb...just L-O-N-G!

Leadville is the place to stay if you want to do other 14er's. Mt. Massive, Mt. Democrat, and the Collegiate peaks are close by. There is also fishing and other activities in the summer. The first weekend of August, Leadville hosts an event called Boom Days. Street fair, music, beer garden, gun show, etc. Good time!
Link Posted: 6/14/2010 1:06:58 PM EDT
I lived in Leadville a long time ago, and liked it a lot. The long winters did get old, though. Then I moved to the city, and then I got old.
Link Posted: 7/28/2010 4:09:01 PM EDT
Guys

We are getting closer to our trip. Can you recommend any fishing spots in the leadville area?? It would be neat to hike up a mile or two to a lake with some wild trout. Anything like that you can think of?

Rob
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 12:00:51 AM EDT
Turquoise Lake is just west of Leadville, it's the closest. Twin Lakes is south of town a little ways. Very pretty, sits just south of Mt. Elbert, at the eastern foot of Independence Pass. If you turn in at the dam, then hang left a ways, you can park and hike around the south side of the lake, lots of places to stop and fish.

If you go NE out of Leadville on Hwy 91, you'll top out at Fremont Pass, up at the Climax mine. If you continue a couple of miles, you'll see a very nice little lake called Clinton Reservoir on the back side of Bartlett Mountain (Climax), on the right side as you head down the east side of the pass. I had one of the best days fishing there in my life. Maybe I'll tell the story another time.
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 6:16:58 AM EDT

My Army Reserve Inf Battalion pulled 2 weeks one time down in the Pando valley at Camp Hale. We were all from Denver, Ft Carson,and Pueblo.
We all had headaaches etc the first 4 days of traning. Dehydration was a problem. It wasn't until the end that we felt "normal" at that altitude. I sure would climatize alittle before humping around that area.
The end benefit was, when we were allowed into Leadville for a little R&R, our alcohol comsumption was cut in half because we were so "buzzed" by the mix of alcohol and altitude....
Link Posted: 7/29/2010 6:48:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By TaosBob101:

My Army Reserve Inf Battalion pulled 2 weeks one time down in the Pando valley at Camp Hale. We were all from Denver, Ft Carson,and Pueblo.
We all had headaaches etc the first 4 days of traning. Dehydration was a problem. It wasn't until the end that we felt "normal" at that altitude. I sure would climatize alittle before humping around that area.
The end benefit was, when we were allowed into Leadville for a little R&R, our alcohol comsumption was cut in half because we were so "buzzed" by the mix of alcohol and altitude....


During WW II, soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division training at Camp Hale were barred from visiting Leadville. It wasn't to protect Leadville from the soldiers, it was to protect the soldiers from Leadville, which was still a pretty rowdy place in those days.

Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:52:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By robpiat:
Guys

We are getting closer to our trip. Can you recommend any fishing spots in the leadville area?? It would be neat to hike up a mile or two to a lake with some wild trout. Anything like that you can think of?

Rob


well, how was the trip?

Link Posted: 9/15/2010 4:49:54 AM EDT
The trip was great. Leadville was relatively unremarkable.

We found a nice 3BR house on VRBO for about the same price as a hotel.

The first day we wanted to do an easy hike to get a feel for working at elevation. I had found some info on a West Tennessee Lakes trail that was supposed to be 1.5-2 Miles.Perhaps due to road washouts or whatever, the parking is now about 4.5-5 miles from the lakes! It kicked my ass pretty good.

The next day we went and did Elbert. I made it up to about 13K, well above the tree line, and gave up. The last mile or so of the hike is like a 30-45 degree angle! The lack of air was causing me to go a few steps and stop. Even taking a drink of water was enough to make me feel like I was starved for air. I wished I would have trained a lot harder up front. One of the guys I was with was a flight attendant and he didn't even really get winded (Airplanes are pressurized to 8K-10K). The other guy also made it but he was struggling.

On our way out we drove down through Buena Vista. Its a much nicer area. I had a burger at the Eddyline Cafe and it was pretty phenomenal. Perhaps I was just hungover from Leadville food

Gotta go back and finish what I started.

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