Peak(s):  Longs Peak  -  14,255 feet
Date Posted:  11/19/2021
Date Climbed:   11/07/2021
Author:  Scary_Canary
 Why the Long face?   

Climbing Longs peak has been an odd venture for me, I never had much real interest. The 14 number doesn't matter in my book, I just like fun and aesthetic routes, no matter what the mountain or it's height may be. Honestly, the crowds around that area are enough to keep me away. Most peaks that are busy will be places I avoid. So the 14ers, atleast in the summer are pretty much off my radar unless the route offers up some fun stuff.

I've been around the peak many times, and have been on peaks around it. But I've had a few failed attempts at this mountain for various reasons and never stood on the top. The most ridiculous one was an attempt before my friend had to be at work in Boulder at 9am. We didn't have far to go before the summit, but timing was slightly off and it was either summit, or get him to work on time. So we turned around. Fast forward about a year and in August we had gotten together a group to climb Longs by the Cables route. Why not summit this beast from its original standard route. In short, I finally got to summit this peak I stare at every day! It felt good, but it was definitely the most crowded summit I've been on to date.



The same friends and I had talked about climbing the Cables in winter. Well, it was winterish conditions and we all had time off together so plans were made, and on the night of the 6th of November, we all met at the trailhead for an early start the next morning. Thanks to daylight savings, we got an extra hour of sleep in the cars which was quite welcomed. One of the few times I've actually questioned if I over slept cause I felt like I had slept so long. I'm sure we'll be back in true winter in a couple months, but that approach is not my friend haha. I've written it off now for a few weeks.

Anyways, in typical longs peak fashion the winds were nothing short of vicious. Rocking the cars in the parking lot, and pushing us around and off our feet up higher. That deafening flapping of the hoods in our ears. We knew we were in for a longs day. However, despite the winds the air temp wasn't terribly cold until we got up to the chasm view and beyond. Me, who is always cold even when its not was very surprised. The day was forecasted to be perfectly clear minus the winds, so if we could deal with that we were good to go. This crew seems to love being out in awful winds, and cold, our ascent up Kelso ridge in January was quite a day. Anyways...

We got to see a fantastic sunrise on our way between the Chasm Junction and Boulderfield.

Seriously, just look at this!

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Look as pretty as the sunrise and say Cheese! Photo credit Travis

It was truly spectacular, and made us stop for a few minutes to take in the beautiful view. There was only 1 other group we saw all day. They passed us as we were taking a break after we split from the keyhole route and putting on harnesses and what not.

Staring down the objective.

Moving along.

Spin drift action, we got lots of that this day. Photo credit to Travis

We made our way up from our break spot to the chasm view overlook, while the wind continued to push us around. I got thrown off my feet at one point and bonked my head on a rock. Nothing serious, just another realization of how darn windy it is.

The elusive sun we barely got to have. Photo Credit to Keyton

We were glad to have our spikey stuff on after that as it had turned into a little snow slope on the ledges up to the belay spot. The snow made this area pretty easy to manage in comparison to the summer with the weird slabby rocks to navigate. This area sure looked a lot different than in the summer, and with the snow we stood a few feet higher than our belay spot a few months ago.

A little color amongst the white. Photo credit to Blaine

Seeing the same places in different seasons is always special, the personalities of mountains changes so dramatically. I like the summer vs winter-ish comparisons a lot. I really enjoy doing repeats in different seasons for that exact reason

These two were almost taken near the same area, but you get the idea

August 2021

The crux pitch was short, but more tricky than the summer offered due to some inconveniently placed ice and snow.


We found out that having crampons on was not the best, but having an axe out helped to get grip and be able to pull up where gloved hands wouldn't grip.


Made pretty quick work of the technical pitch, then coiled up the ropes for use later on. We put our crampons back on and kept the axes out after the technical pitch since there was a decent bit of snow covering the remainder of the trail.

Snowy little chute right after crux pitch

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With the trail looming close to the 2000ft drop off the diamond wall, slipping wouldn't be ideal. We got on to the last few hundred feet to the summit, to enjoy what would be the only little bit of sunshine on our shoulders all day. Not another soul in sight tho, the other group had already begun the descent.

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.

We stayed for a short bit of time, but had some beers at the cars calling our names into the wind, whispering in our ears all the way up here.

We make it back to the rappel station in quick time and set up the ropes to drop down below. Those moments when pictures make you look so much more badass than you are haha, this area is great for those. We all slide down safely, and meander our way down to where we could take off the spiky stuff, helmets and harnesses and put that away.

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The summer vs snow pics are always cool. This was from back in August again.

We got lots of sunshine on our shoulders this day. A few others below me

Travis dropping.

The way out is uneventful, but full of me groaning about the 70000000 stairs that await me ahead. Sorry knees. Did I mention I love the approach? As we were going down, the sun was quickly going down behind the mountains, yay daylight savings time.

Bye bye for now.

It made for a very pretty shadow over the city scapes below tho.

Good night, sweet princess in white.

We eventually make it back to the cars by headlamp and finally crack open the much awaited fizzy drinks, they were so good. Just as we take a sip another car full of the next days adventurers arrives in the lot. We eat a little food, i have the sandwich in my bag that froze through the day, so I tried to eat a few bites, to no avail.

The day was a long one, but a spectacular day to be out with an amazing group of friends. A very surreal experience having that area almost to ourselves. These mountains we have are very special, as are the people who we spend our time in them with.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Nice report and photos
11/20/2021 12:05
It looks like a good time was had by all. Thanks for posting.

11/20/2021 19:20
Report with great photographs. Wind is no stranger to that mountain. Years ago a friend and I thought it would be fun to climb the cables route from a camp in the boulderfield.
This was in early March, our comments were, it's almost spring and will be great fun.
After a long hike hike in fairly deep snow in a snowstorm we get the tent up, takes forever to prepare dinner as the wind kept blowing out the stove, even in my vestibule. We eat, now its really showing, and incredibly windy. Yes, I knew March is typically our snowiest month, but we thought we could maybe get away with a nice couple of days. we were wrong.
We got little sleep due to the wind, even with earplugs, got up to about a foot of new snow, relentless 50mph winds, at least. We could not see mt. Lady Washington, from the boulderfield, so our plans to climb the cables route were over. Packed up camp, hiked out.
By the time we got to Lyons for coffee and a snack, the sun was out and it was warm. Just another weekend in Wonderful Colorado.
Thanks for the memories.

Fun report
11/20/2021 20:20
Thanks for the beta in the parking lot. Our trip up the next day ended about the same as yours. Congrats on another summit to you and your climbing crew.

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