May 19, 2013 at 8:21 am #1303089
I will be flying into Colorado Springs June 28th with my 14 year old son. We have 5 days to explore before heading to Philmont Scout Ranch. We really want to hit a couple of tall peaks without too much technical hassle or ice/snow to deal with. I was thinking about heading toward Leadville and camping around Clear Creek resevoir or Twin Lakes. How are Elbert/Massive that time of year? Any suggestions in the Collegiates or elsewhere? Any great car camping or overnight backpacking recommendations? We are a very fit pair with experience at lower altitudes back east and in the Olympics. Not much snow/ice experience. Thanks, BoMay 19, 2013 at 9:03 am #1987525
Snow came late to the area. Elbert/Massive probably will have little snow in late June but you do need to be coming off the peak by about 1Pm to avoid the expected afternoon thunder storms.
Check out http://www.14ers.com for good information.May 19, 2013 at 9:33 am #1987531
I have taken my 2 older kids to Co for similar trips. Elbert is an easy walk. That may be just what you're looking for. The 14ers site is really helpful for planning, selecting the appropriate climb, and getting info on conditions. My last trip there was in Weminiche of the San Juan's. Its a bit more adventurous than most of the collegiates I if you have the time or inclination.
Be aware of elevation issues. One of my sons had no issues and the other had to go back down for altitude sickness. There seems to be no good way to predict who will be affected.
One easy 14 area to hit is Mt Democrat and the other surrounding mountains. The summit is easy, short, and straight forward. You can make several other 14ers in one circuit if you're feeling it. You can car camp right at the base.
Have fun.May 19, 2013 at 10:27 am #1987543
deletedMay 19, 2013 at 10:43 am #1987547
"I was thinking about heading toward Leadville and camping around Clear Creek resevoir or Twin Lakes."
There are 14 peaks above 14k between Leadville and Salida. (An easy drive of under an hour.) Most are walk-ups, depending on the snow.
Elbert and Massive can be done in a day. Missouri Basin will get you 3 in the same day. Shavano and Tabaguach near Salida are together. There might be other "sets", but for the most part they will take a day each.
Clear Creek, Twin and Tourquoise have campgrounds and the usual RV culture. Heading up to Independence Pass is less developed.
If it's Forest or BLM you can camp. Keep your ear to the ground regarding fires. By June 28th it could be dry enough for fire bans to come into effect.May 19, 2013 at 11:35 am #1987562
@antonsolovyevLocale: Colorado, Utah
I don't have much experience further south where you are headed, so no specific recommendations.
In late June monsoon is about to start, if not it may be dry and good for alpine adventures. "Alpine starts" (before first light) are recommended. Try to be down below treeline around noon to avoid thunderstorms. Coming from the sea level you are likely to experience AMS (mountain sickness).
Good resources are: 14ers.com, summitpost.org, mountainproject.com.
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