Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Longs Peak - Keiners Route - GPS, topo, gear, conditions Sept 2018


Original Post
Charlie Kirkwood · · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 30

Hi All,

Thinking of doing Keiners Route up Longs Peak this weekend.
A few questions:

!) Does anyone know of a GPS map for Keiners?  
    - I googled the hell out of the topic and haven't found one.  
    - Plenty of resources for the Keyhole (standard) route, In fact when I hiked longs at the beginning of July, actually used google maps (yes.... not bad huh?).

2) Regarding Topo, i've found a lot of trip reports with photos and such... not sure if this will suffice in lieu of a map.
    - Anyone have a good source for a map for Keiners?  
    - I'm planning on hitting up Netptune Mountaineering tonight in hopes of finding some info.

3) For the rock climbing section of Keiners, suggested gear?  
    - I've seen a few suggest a set of nuts and some long slings (esp for broadway - traversing around the boulder blocking the way), but what about the chimney section?  
    - Standard rack?  Just a few pieces?  No gear?  
    - (for reference... i'm topping on lead at 11c in Clear Creek on sport, and probably 9s in Eldo on trad)

4) Conditions on Lamb's Slide?  Is there any snow left?  
    - If not, should i be overly concerned for rockfall (more than usual?)  
    - Should I bring crampons / ice axe?  Or will microspikes and trekking poles suffice?

5) Though i understand afternoon storms are always omnipresent, is this much of an issue this late in September?

Thank you all!

Dan Miller 1 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

Looked down at Lambs slide last sunday from the casual route.  It looked like solid ice and had rock fall all down it.  Having been on it in the spring and knowing that it gets steep, I would think that microspikes would be scary this time of year.  Someone else might chime in who has been up it recently, but I'd guess crampons are needed.

My guess is that gps coordinates aren't given because it is mostly a rock climbing route, meaning your gps coordinates would need to also tell you elevation for your 'rights' and 'lefts'.....  The difference between turning right off of lambs slide at the bottom and at the middle to hit Kieners is probably not within resolution of your gps, especially next to that giant rock face, the diamond.  I'd say pictures and route descriptions are going to be your go to for this.  Once on the top, follow the keyhole or cables route down.

Regarding route finding, I topped out via kieners last sunday from table ledge.  As you follow the easy terrain up very near the top, you'll come to a gulley that looks like 5th class.  Don't go up the gulley.  Go just right of it where there are 3 foot steps of rock.  As you go up these steps, keep right very near the diamond.  A very easy path will be there that leads to the 3rd class boulder scrambling to the summit.  

We had stellar weather sunday.  It hailed soft hail for all of a minute.  The storm forecast was 20-30% for Tstorms and rain in the late afternoon.  It never hit Longs that day, but we saw rain in the lower valley.  I think the weather is more stable in September.

Good luck!

Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 41

I don't know of a GPS map for Keiner's. The latest RMNP guidebook probably has a great route description with photos. Here's a description off the top of my head:

1. Lambs slide/broadway to the notch couloir
2. Go 10 or 20 feet into the notch cooler and climb out the right on low angle 5.3.
3. Head up and left into a huge chimney (20 feet wide) where you'll walk up loose rock and slabs until you face a cliff.
4. Turn right and head up a narrower chimney and pop out on a huge ledge. Turn left and head uphill on 4th / 5.0 terrain.
5. Continue to head uphill, staying as far right as is easy. You are following the edge of the diamond, and you'll be roughly 100' back from the edge. Do not head straight up hill or you'll end up in harder terrain. Stay right.
6. Eventually you'll come to the "golden staircase" which is a short cliff with steps. It's easier than it looks, 5.0. Head right, and you'll end up squeezing though just a few feet back from the edge of the diamond. Head up to the top of the ridge (you're now directly above the apex of the diamond) and turn left, proceed to the summit.

Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 41

I usually do it in sneakers, and it sounds like you could too. If you do want gear, bring a short, skinny rope, nuts and/or maybe 5 cams.

Lambs' slide is definitely ice right now. Two tools and crampons.

A few weeks ago I ran up there and ended up going up the rock on the right side, all the way to the of lambs slide, traversed above the snow on loose rock, and then descended back to broadway on the right side of the snow. That sucked. Maybe you can find reasonable climbing to traverse low on rock above the snow on the right side of lambs slide.

Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 156

Lambs Slide is most def going to be your crux. Alpine Ice and good chance of rock fall coming down. Helmet. Ice tools and crampons. Experience on ice would help (I wouldn't go up there on that route at this time of year). You can scramble on the buttress to climbers's LEFT, instead of taking Lambslide, but you will still have to cross it up top. If someone is in Lambslide though, any rock you kick down will funnel into Lambslide so but very, very careful.

Once at the start of Kieners, it's mostly just a scramble. When in doubt go right. Up and right. Up and right. If something looks like a wide chimney, take it.

You climb way harder than me, so if you're OK with 5.easy terrain and massive amount of exposure in an alpine setting, forgo gear - maybe bring a light rope to rap Cables? It can be a bit iced over this time of year.

We're out of the monsoon season, so that weather pattern isn't going to be a problem.

Gregger Man · · Broomfield, CO · Joined Aug 2004 · Points: 1,320

This is the bit between Table Ledge and the top (no snow right now):


(original photo is not mine: https://www.mountainproject.com/photo/106001036/upper-kieners-and-the-diamond-as-seen-from-the-east-summit-of-meeker-62307 )
Andrew P · · Denver, CO · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 20

Unless you’re happy soloing 5.4-5.5 I’d bring a light rack (eg nuts and a handful of cams).

Probably will be pretty bulletproof ice up Lamb’s slide, would want tools/crampons/screws

Charlie Kirkwood · · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 30

Thanks to all who responded.  This is making me take it a bit more serious.  Headed to Neptune tonight to see if there's anyone there who has done the route and has suggestions, comments, etc.

I have ice gear - technical crampons, boots, technical ice axes, screws... i didn't think i'd need to bring them this early in the year, but you all have made me rethink this.

So thank you!  If anyone has any other thoughts, suggestions, etc... please post away!  :)

Cheers...

Charlie

Peter B · · Denver, CO · Joined Sep 2018 · Points: 0

Just did Keiners last weekend.  Lambs was definitely solid ice, but you can easily scramble up the the slab to the left and cross over above the ice.  I brought micro spikes and tent stakes, but didn't use them.  That was my first time doing it...solo...in running shoes and I thought it was very straight forward and easy scrambling with the exception of exposure.  Good luck.

Charlie Kirkwood · · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 30

Peter... the cross-over above the ice... is this the pic that Gregger Man posted above?  
- This is the bit between Table Ledge and the top (no snow right now):

Peter B · · Denver, CO · Joined Sep 2018 · Points: 0

No that is closer to the summit.  I think that is what they call the diamond step.  I'm talking about in lambs slide.  As you're scrambling up the rock just to the left of lambs, the ice eventually ends about 20 feet or so above where you need to cross over to get onto broadway.  I went up and over the ice and dropped back down to a nice ice free broadway.  I'd recommend not bring ice gear and going this way.

Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 156

Wow lucky about no ice on lambs slide that high up! Snap a photo of that id love to see that if you go out.

Kieners is so much fun once on Broadway. 

Charlie Kirkwood · · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 30
Peter Bookmyer wrote: No that is closer to the summit.  I think that is what they call the diamond step.  I'm talking about in lambs slide.  As you're scrambling up the rock just to the left of lambs, the ice eventually ends about 20 feet or so above where you need to cross over to get onto broadway.  I went up and over the ice and dropped back down to a nice ice free broadway.  I'd recommend not bring ice gear and going this way.
Peter... So you didn't wear crampons? Just mountaineering boots?
Jim Amidon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 880

Dude,

Sorry to say the route this time of the year is much different than the middle of summer or spring.

Like peeps say Lambs Slide will be bullet proof ice with rocks coming down when the sun hits the upper slopes.

I've also been on the Casual route late in the summer and have watched huge boulders let loose and tumble/cascade the entire length of Lambs Slide with collisions so violent you could smell the burnt air from the rocks colliding.

Andy Novak · · Golden, Co · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 370

 Lambs Slide has pretty serious objective danger right now and should not be taken lightly. If you have lots of technical ice experience it will be a breeze, but its not an easy summer scramble anymore. Wear a helmet. There are far better route options this time of year. 

Charlie Kirkwood · · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 30

So after talking to a few people in Neptune and looking up some photos... (along with the responses above)
It looks like the goal would be to hit Lambs slide JUUUST after the sun hits it, while it's still mostly frozen - keeping loose projectiles above in place - and soft enough for easier kick-stepping.  I was told to keep high right on Lambs to avoid the majority of rock-fall (was told by several that most rock-fall comes from the ledges to climber's left).  

SOOO bringing:
----------------------------
* technical ice axes
* technical crampons
* mountaineering boots
* microspikes
* 70 meter tag line
* 2 short, 2 med bd ice screws,
* BD cams up to 2 / Nuts
* a 20' cordalette
* trad draws/slings
* harness / belay device
* helmet
* rain and warm layers, water, hat,gloves,  
* water / food
* 2 headlamps

My pack is heavier than i'd like for a 15 mile-hike....

OK gang... NOW - what should i weed out?

Jonathan Awerbuch · · Boulder, Colorado · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 41

tag line, rock gear, ice gear, but no rope?

Andy Novak · · Golden, Co · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 370

I think the only thing left to do is Facebook Live your climb so we can watch and give you pointers along the way.  

trice Rice · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 0

Why would you bring microspikes and crampons. Micro spikes aren't going to be much help on bullet-proof ice. After you finish climbing lambs slide you will be on rock the entirety of the way to the summit and off.

Brian · · North Kingstown, RI · Joined Sep 2001 · Points: 720

I don't mean to be condescending but if you need GPS corodinates to find this climb and you need to ask for a gear list you probably aren't ready for an alpine climb.  BTW...another thing I didn't see mentioned is if you are coming from Philadelphia get acclimitized to the altitude before going up Longs Peak or you will be gasping for breath.

garrett knorr · · fort collins · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 60

Do you have a partner going with you bc if not i agree with Jonathan. What's the point of trad gear, ice screws or anything but bail slings if you won't be on belay/have a rope?

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Colorado
Post a Reply to "Longs Peak - Keiners Route - GPS, topo, gear, c…"

Log In to Reply