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Hiking Colorado's Fourteeners

Colorado has 54 "fourteeners" (mountains over 14,000' in elevation) that call to many hikers with their challenging trails and exceptional vistas. Greg is gradually conquering one after another. I have only summited one and climbed to 13,000' on two others. The views are inspirational and worth the struggle.

Hiking fourteeners should not be approached lightly. Allow yourself a couple days to acclimate to the higher elevations if you are a flatlander. July through early September are the best months for dry paths, but there is a possibility of snow anytime of the year. July is good for wildflowers. Start as early as tolerable and be off the summit by noon to avoid common afternoon thunderstorms. Expect that the weather can change suddenly and drastically.

Bring layered clothing, including a windbreaker and rain poncho. Take off layers if you are sweating too much because you don't want to freeze if the temperatures drop. Wear a brimmed hat, sunglasses and sturdy hiking boots for sections with loose rock. Use sunscreen for the intense sun exposure. A hiking pole really helps with the descent, which can be hard on the knees and feet. If there is snow to contend with, gators (shin wraps) will keep it out of your boots and an ice axe will help control speed going down glissades. Bring lots of water, some food and basic first aid items. Check ahead to see if a 4WD is required to reach a trailhead. 14ers.com is very helpful for basic trail information.

Mount Sherman late September

Mount Sherman - the easiest Fourteener (August and September '09)

View from summit looking south

Mount Democrat -
One of the easier Fourteeners
October 2009 blustery challenge

Trail nearing quandary summit

Quandary's summit - summer hike with scenic photos and trail information.

Mount Evans summit - 14,264' elevation Mount Evans -
North America's Highest Paved Road

Near the summit of Mt. Elbert Mount Elbert - the tallest "Fourteener" (and Twin Lakes)
NOTE - did not summit.

Pikes Peak The Long Eastern
Ascent up Pikes Peak via Barr Trail

Grays and Torreys Grays and Torreys
2 peaks in one day

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