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climbing Longs Peak, Colorado

Posted Aug 17 2010 12:00am

People get hit by lightning here all the time. Brendan Baker was struck Aug. 4th .

13.6mi (21.9km) – Longs Peak ranger station trailhead

Longs Peak is the most climbed 14,000er in the Rockies. … I’m surprised to hear that. The ascent of almost 5000ft (1500m) is tougher than expected.

Recommended is a 4AM start with headlamp. The goal is to flee the summit by Noon, as afternoon lightning storms are frequent. … I did not start until after 6AM. …

It took me 5hrs to get to the top moving as quickly as I could. Weather was perfect.

Here’s the first view of the summit from the trail:

climbing Longs Peak, Rocky Mtn National Park

There are a few backcountry campgrounds en route, but they’re heavily booked. Most people do it as a long day hike, as I did.

If you’ve a weak bladder, know that there are many pit toilets en route. Here’s the Goblin’s campsite toilet throne:

And modern solar composting toilets higher up:

climbing Longs Peak, Rocky Mtn National Park

Many hikers turn back at the Keyhole.

climbing Longs Peak, Rocky Mtn National Park

They vist the Agnes Vaille Memorial Hut there.

climbing Longs Peak, Rocky Mtn National Park

After you climb through the Keyhole it gets tough. Here’s the view into Glacier Gorge, still cold as the sun has not yet reached the trail.

climbing Longs Peak, Rocky Mtn National Park

It gets hairy, quickly. Exposure. Potential rockfall. … Many have been killed on this mountain.

I slipped badly on black ice here, the rock still frozen.

The Narrows. The Homestretch. All challenging.

I never did find the register book. This photo is all the evidence I have that I was there.

Rick on summit, Longs Peak, Rocky Mtn National Park

I left a Summit Stone in this cairn.

climbing Longs Peak, Rocky Mtn National Park

Climbing Longs Peak is only recommended for hardy adventurers, agile with no fear of heights.

see all my photos from this scramble

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