Long's Peak Keyhole Route (Or Potentially Other Route)


Original Post
Hayley M · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Hello,

I am seeking one partner for a one-day summit attempt (starting around 2:30-3:00 AM) of Long's Peak at the end of this month (somewhere between June 29th - July 2nd) on the Keyhole Route. 

An Honest (Albeit Nervous) About Me:

  •  Relatively new individual in terms of technical mountain climbing (experience with scrambling, scree fields, crampon use in ice climbing/glacier treks)
  • Rock climber indoors/outdoors (primarily toprope up to 5.11s, minimal leading experience - should not be a factor for this climb as much since it only involves up to class 3)
  • Slow hiker (i.e., I get there, but I start early - hence the early start)
  • Comfortable at altitude (have been up to 19K+ feet with no issues)
  • Have a positive, non-competitive attitude
  • Have all the necessary gear
  • Possess a good balance of perseverance and caution.

Also, I would prefer that my partner(s) do not drink/smoke before/during ascent/descent; any other time, all groovy.

Any potential takers? Sorry if this is too much information, just wanted to be candid and clear.

aikibujin · · Castle Rock, CO · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 200

The Keyhole Route is class 3, it's long, but not particularly difficult. At the end of June you may still need to deal with a little bit of snow/ice depending on how much melting happens between now and then, but it sounds like you have all the experience you need for this route. Don't sell yourself short.

Shadrock · · Here and there. · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 263

The most important skill to have, missing from your post above is understanding (better yet, having practiced) self arrest. The only real challenge you're likely to face is the snow climbing section in the Trough or some delicate scrambling once through the keyhole. Call the RMNP backcountry office for any recent reports on trail/route conditions: I expect the trough is still snowed-in (it usually is through July and we've had a lot of spring storms). It's never really technical, and I've always felt really good on it, but if you slide, you slide a long, long way. It's probably a bit more intimidating coming down so be familiar with the "plunge step." Your cardio is going to be the key but if you've been to 19k, you're good: don't worry too much and go have fun!

Earl Dean 1 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

Hey Hayley!  I am down. 

Joe Trabucco · · Wheat Ridge, CO · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

14ers.com

TheBirdman · · Eldorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 0

With your ability to top rope 5.11, if you can find a competent leader, I'd recommend the Cables Route. It is bolted, literally, with giant eyebolts every 10-15 feet. It is maybe 5.4. It will also cut at least 6 (probably more like 8) hours off your trip. Not to mention instead of slogging up the Trough with the hordes you get some (relatively) private and easy climbing with good exposure to the summit. Nothing more than approach shoes, belay device, harness, a few alpine draws, and a thin rope needed. Rapping/downclimbing the Cables Route is also far faster than walking back down the Keyhole. The one pain can be the slog from the Boulderfield through the talus/scree up to Chasm View but the views and the time saved definitely make it worthwhile. 

Eric Klammer · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 1,430
TheBirdman wrote:

With your ability to top rope 5.11, if you can find a competent leader, I'd recommend the Cables Route. It is bolted, literally, with giant eyebolts every 10-15 feet. It is maybe 5.4. It will also cut at least 6 (probably more like 8) hours off your trip. Not to mention instead of slogging up the Trough with the hordes you get some (relatively) private and easy climbing with good exposure to the summit. Nothing more than approach shoes, belay device, harness, a few alpine draws, and a thin rope needed. Rapping/downclimbing the Cables Route is also far faster than walking back down the Keyhole. The one pain can be the slog from the Boulderfield through the talus/scree up to Chasm View but the views and the time saved definitely make it worthwhile. 

This guy knows what's up. The Cables is a shorter, more fun, and probably overall an easier climb..

Hayley M · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Hello, y'all,

Thanks for the replies! And thank you to Earl Dean 1 for being down. If the bullseyes are not visible by next week, I am thinking I may forgo the Keyhole Route and wait for better weather. The cables route does seem quite interesting, though... still, perhaps it might be better to wait until late July...hm. Also, it does not seem that individuals use ice tools, but would they probably be necessary at this time? I have my regular axe, but am not yet the proud owner of ice tools.

Josh Preuss · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Hayley M. I'd do the keyhole route with you then. If we do it not on a weekend it should be fine IMO. I'm the same as you, slow and steady. 301-204-9566

Shadrock · · Here and there. · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 263

To answer your question about tools, I've never used tools on either the Keyhole or Cable. I have climbed Cable route in somewhat mixed conditions and all I needed was one axe. I would expect Cables to be running with water until late July but that's just a guess. Call the RMNP backcountry office: they often get reports about route conditions from climbers. 

Kimmy Stein · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0

Hey Hayley, 

The hike is easy and if you go last week of August or 1st of Sept there is no ice and no need for a technical climb. I will go with you. Email me at kimjstein@yahoo.com    My name is Kim.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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