This is a contributor’s blogpost …
Everyone has a reason why they’re getting cabin rentals in Colorado. Some might be renting one just in time for the skiing season, while others might be there for the X games. You, on the other hand, might be there to embark on a whole new experience: mountain climbing. Of course, with hundreds of mountains to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Perhaps with this guide, you’ll decide where to start then maybe later try to conquer the others.
Photo courtesy of Greg Willis via Pixabay
Grays and Torreys
Grays and Torreys may be a bit crowded compared to the other mountains on the list, but depending on the person, this can be either a pro or a con. It can be a pro if you’re seeking companionship and camaraderie during your climb. It can be a con if what you seek is solitude and to be alone with your own thoughts.
Grays is 14,270 feet tall while Torreys stands at 14,267 feet. There’s a good, steady, wide main trail for you to follow, so it will be pretty hard to get lost on the way to the top of these mountains. The best part is that Grays and Torreys is connected by a path akin to a saddle, making it feel like you’re getting two climbs for the trip (or price) of one. From the top, you’ll spot a few mountains around like Mt. Bierstadt, Mt. Sniktau and Mt. Parnassus. Oh, and was the lovely view mentioned? Be warned though, if you’re getting there in a car you better leave home early because there is some competition for a parking spot.
Photo courtesy of Jeremiah LaRocco via Flickr
Located in Buena vistas, Huron Peak stands at 14,012 feet and at that height, it ranks a mere 52nd among the 53 mountains rising above 14,000 feet . Officially named in 1956, nobody is actually sure where the name came from in 1956, but there is some speculation that it came from the Native American tribe, the Huron.
Climbing the mountain is a steady climb, although it is recommended to bring walking or trekking poles because despite being considered one of the beginner mountains, Huron Peak is still pretty steep. At around 10,600 feet is a basin on which you can stop to look and admire the Three Apostles and Ice Mountain. It’s highly recommended to climb the mountain during the summer months of July and August. Since Huron Peak is located in the Rocky Mountains, better check the weather before leaving to climb as this area is well known for carrying a lightning risk.
Photo courtesy of James Tiffin Jr. via Flickr
Named after Albert Bierstadt, a German born American landscape painter who is known to be the first climber to reach the mountain’s summit, Mount Bierstadt is often thought of as one of the most accessible mountains above 14,000 feet.
When climbing Mount Bierstadt, it is highly recommended that you wear waterproof clothing as early on in the climb you will get wet when crossing the creek. Opting for a waterproof bag will also save you a lot of trouble. Once you get to the top of this 14,060 foot mammoth, you will get a view of Mount Evans as well as Grays and Torreys peak. It’s a mostly easy climb, with no need for a trekking stick although there are some steep spots.
Photo courtesy of Paul Kehrer via Flickr
If you have a dog you like to take with you when you climb, then you’ll be glad to know Quandry peak allows dogs, although they must be kept on a leash at all times. Since it can be a bit rocky, it would be best to make them wear shoes so as to prevent the sharp stones from hurting their precious paws. Expect a lot of people traffic since this 14,265 foot mountain is quite popular.
The trail up on Quandry peak is class 1, meaning you’re mainly walking on well-maintained, even terrain. This is probably why as mentioned, it’s a popular mountain to climb. In addition, it’s near a ski town, so you won’t have any problems in getting any supplies you may have forgotten in your cabin. Although it is class 1, it can be steep just like Huron peak, so better bring and use hiking poles. On the way up, you might s spot a few mountain goat, but don’t stop to pet them as they’re known to be quite unfriendly. Once you get to the apex, you’ll get to see Pacific Peak, Crystal Peak and Mt. Democrat to name a few. In the winter, you might want to come back to Quandry peak since its steep slopes are ideal for skiers.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Davidoff via Flickr
Of all the fourteeners in Colorado, only Mount Sherman has had an aircraft successfully land on its summit back in 1967. It’s 14,036 feet high and the best part is, you can drive up until 12,00 feet, a feat you won’t be able to do on most mountains. If this is your first time ascending a mountain, then Mount Sherman should be number one in your list.
Mount Sherman is so easy to climb, you’ll wish all your ascents were this pleasant and wonderful. Sherman Mine used to be on the mountain, which is why you’ll see a bit of history on your way up, mainly thanks to the rotting, old mining buildings. Don’t venture into the area near the mines since it is on private property.
No matter what mountain you’ll be climbing on, always wear a good pair of shoes, bring plenty of water, some snack and wear a lot of sunblock. Also, don’t forget to protect your eyes with a pair of UV repelling sunglasses and wear a cap to shield your face from the sun. A reliable pocket blanket is also essential for climbers who are often on the lookout for the next adventure.
Have fun conquering new heights!