14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

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gratefulliam
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14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

Post by gratefulliam »

Hello all,

I am still relatively new to Colorado and was hoping to get some advice on where I stand in terms of skill and which 14ers I should pursue next. To give some context, I summited Capitol Peak with a friend of mine about two weeks ago. Overall, it was a grueling experience, though I definitely had a lot of fun. I would say that I didn't feel like any of the moves on the ridge or the scramble to the top were difficult, but I wasn't a huge fan of the exposure and loose rock along the final stretch. Though I would say I am an experienced climber, the only other 14er I've done here in Colorado so far has been Quandary Peak (via the west ridge), so I would love to hear some rec's on which peaks I should go for next. My only note would be that I don't want to do anything riskier than Capitol, since it was probably my limit as far as risk goes. I appreciate the help!!!

Thanks,
Liam
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CaptainSuburbia
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Re: 14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

Post by CaptainSuburbia »

I'd recommend Little Bear. You'd be bored on anything else.
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TaylorHolt
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Re: 14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

Post by TaylorHolt »

I'll start by saying that if you're strictly looking at standard routes, there isn't really anything riskier than Capitol. I'll also say that just because you successfully summitted a peak, it doesn't mean you were ready for that peak. I don't know if you were ready or not, but your comment about the exposure and loose rock gives me a little pause, and I don't want someone getting overconfident just because they reach a summit.

There is a page on this site that ranks all of the 14er routes by difficulty. Because you say you are an experienced climber, and you've done the West Ridge on Quandary in addition to Capitol, I'd recommend working your way through a lot of the class 3 routes: Wetterhorn, Wilson Pk, Longs, Crestone Pk, and Kit Carson to name a few.
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Tornadoman
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Re: 14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

Post by Tornadoman »

One thing to keep in mind is that some of the class 3+ peaks have had new snow (Wilsons, Pyramid/Maroon Bells, Longs, etc) so conditions may be much more difficult now. (I don't know if you are planning to try another peak soon).
gratefulliam wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 2:25 pm I wasn't a huge fan of the exposure and loose rock along the final stretch.
I guarantee that a lot of people who did Capitol weren't fans of the loose rock combined with exposure (you can include me in that bunch). Most won't admit it though.
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NatDog
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Re: 14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

Post by NatDog »

You should check out Kit Carson North Ridge. It is easier than Capitol and the rock quality is superb. There is some exposure at your back, but the holds are everywhere.

The Crestone Peak to Needle traverse is similar in overall difficulty to Capitol. It has better rock quality, but intense exposure at your back on the final pitch.

The Little Bear to Blanca traverse is harder than Capitol and it has more prolonged stretches of exposure. The rock quality is mostly good, though.

The two traverses I mentioned might be within your skill level, but I would recommend gaining more experience on other routes to ensure that they are within your comfort level. I think they are fun routes to work toward though. If you do either of them just make sure to really understand the route and give yourself a good weather window.
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climbingcue
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Re: 14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

Post by climbingcue »

TaylorHolt wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 2:46 pm I'd recommend working your way through a lot of the class 3 routes: Wetterhorn, Wilson Pk, Longs, Crestone Pk, and Kit Carson to name a few.
Taylor has some great recommendations here, I also think they would be fun peaks for you.
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Gandalf69
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Re: 14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

Post by Gandalf69 »

Do it again. Go up the ridge direct from the saddle to change it up. There is nothing wrong with repeating a peak. If you did Capitol excaly a year from your first summit I guarantee it will be different. My 1st Capitol summit was alone. A week later I came back with my friend and we shared the summit with someone who finished the 14ers that day. A few weeks later I came back, and meet people on the summit who went up the north face of Capitol. 13 pitches I belive they said, 2 groups of 2. 2 different groups of 2 climbers. Had I just "checked it off my list", I'd only have that first summit, alone.
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Re: 14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

Post by benmangelsdorf »

I just did Capitol this year and then did Bells Traverse and Crestone Traverse, both of which I found rewarding and logical next steps up from Capitol. Debatable on whether or not they are riskier, though....
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Camden7
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Re: 14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

Post by Camden7 »

A) The Bells (without traverse) and Pyramid are not nearly as hard as Capitol but a lot of fun. I would recommend them if your routefinding skills are strong. I have not done the traverse between the bells but that does seem like a logical step from Capitol.

B)Are you soley interested in 14ers? There are numerous 13ers that are as good or better than most of the 14er routes. Dallas Peak is really fun, although the summit pitch is probably snowed up already for the season. Consider Jagged Mountain. Wham ridge on Vestal. Loads of good stuff in RMNP. The Gores are full of great ridges and scrambles. The 13ers are a lot of fun. Don't ignore them based off elevation.
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GuiGirard
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Re: 14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

Post by GuiGirard »

Run them! Definitely not your 56 left are runnable, but most are.

Mountain bike them*! *most aren't legal for mountain biking, being on wilderness or other protected areas not allowing bikes, but there are at least 15 peaks that you can legally mountain bike all the way up and down the summit.

Ski them! I heard skiing is a popular activity in CO 😁

Or just take your time, take a good camera, and hike them. To be really honest with you, they all are beautiful peaks.

Oh, and congrats on your ascent and descent of Capitol!
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Re: 14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

Post by incognitobanjo »

+1 for Crestone traverse. It felt far less risky than capitol to me because of the amazing rock quality, though others might disagree because of the hard moves in highly exposed terrain. Overall I think they're comparable. I think the snow mostly missed the Sangres so it might still go at summer conditions for a bit longer, but don't quote me on that one.
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XterraRob
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Re: 14ers to Pursue Post-Capitol

Post by XterraRob »

Fun routes like Kelso for Torreys or West Ridge for Quandary are a nice alternative.
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