Part of the Sawatch Range, get ready for a long day: 14 miles round trip with 4,400 feet of gain. 4. Capitol Peak is another mountain in the Elk Range of Colorado, just a few miles away from Maron & North Maroon Peaks. Follow. The final 14er on our list is a neighbor of the Bells. There are very few breaks to be had and simple mistakes can and do prove to be fatal. Climbing 14ers is a dangerous activity; however, good planning, fitness, and awareness of the potential hazards will provide climbers with good opportunities to accomplish these monsterous peaks. Perhaps the most notable part of Longs Peak's approach is the sheer length of the climb, a full-day affair to be sure. 13ers by Route Difficulty. Ready to take on a 14er? Jump to: Class 1 Class 2 Class 2+ Class 3 Class 4 Class 5. Because these 14ers are so far from the populated Front Range, solitude is almost guaranteed on most of these peaks. The steep approach, coupled with a downclimb mired in confusion and difficult route-finding, makes Kit Carson quite eligible for this list. The summit block of Sunlight presents a particularly interesting challenge for climbers and many people skip the summit block altogether if there is any moisture on the rock. Colorado’s highest summit is a grandfatherly gentle giant, at least by Rocky Mountain standards. Elevation Rank Peak Name Range … Additionally, Capitol Peak requires a lot of time to accomplish and once you are past the knife edge, you are committed to at least two hours more of climbing. Because the list is grouped by Class, you'll see some routes which may require more overall effort (longer distance, more elevation gain) higher on the page than others which have a higher class rating but lower overall difficulty. Here are the six easiest and most challenging 14er hikes, depending on what skill level you are at. Additionally, you should also be physically and mentally prepared, know the route you're taking and the risks associated with the climb, as well as respect the mountain you're climbing up. Indeed, Longs Peak is not nearly as difficult as, say, Capitol Peak; however, it has far more accidents due to the sheer number of inexperienced and/or unaccomplished people attempting it each year. Indeed, Snowmass has proved to be particularly dangerous in the past few years due to these shifting conditions and has claimed a couple lives in the past 5 years. 6. The approach for Eolus is quite taxing as well and many climbers reaching the upper sections of Eolus find themselves out of energy and weakened - a terrible combination when paired with the rugged and loose terrain of the San Juan Mountains. Lastly, it might be a good idea to arm yourself with the most up-to-date information about mountaineering accidents in Colorado. The Alpine Rescue Team offered some advice as to what you should know before taking the trip: Officials say you should let someone know your planned route and time to finish and when they should call the sheriff if you have not returned. All are ranked assuming you can get to either an upper or lower standard TH and hiking the standard route, unless otherwise noted. At 14,252 feet, Mount Wilson is often ranked among the most difficult fourteeners in Colorado. Capitol Peak is widely regarded as the hardest 14er in Colorado. Mount Wilson is easily one of the most challenging 14ers in Colorado to climb - the standard route, while mostly straight-forward, has many difficult sections of very loose rock at the summit. When you make it to the top, you’ll have clear views of the Sawatch Range and dozens of other 14ers. Filtering Tip: Click on each class heading to drill down and view a list of peaks for that difficulty only. Feel free to let me know if you disagree with my ratings! Elbert – Northeast Ridge Route – 4,700 feet – 9.5 miles. Copyright 2017 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. It’s technical, dangerous, and ends with scaling a section called the “Knife Edge” that has 1,000 ft. drops on each side. Let me know how I did based on your own experience. The peaks range from do-able hikes to tough technical climbs. 2. Coming in at number 8 on my list of Colorado's most difficult 14ers to climb is the venerable, impressive and just-plain-freaking-awesome Crestone Needle - my favorite 14er of all. Like Crestone Needle, Crestone Peak's approach is a very long day up very steep trails and rock formations, increasing the difficulty of this impressive peak found in the awesome Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Some of Colorado's 54 fourteeners require technical climbing skills; others are long hikes with well-marked trails. If you're interested in climbing a 14er, read the route description to make sure it's within your ability and then print a version for the trail. Snowmass' upper slopes contains large white boulders that look secure but are often quite loose and came come crashing down at any moment. If you're still set on embarking on an incredible 14er journey, you may want to check out our checklist crafted by experts from the Colorado 14ers Initiative. Snowmass Mountain is usually climbed in the early months of summer, when the face of the mountain is mostly covered in snow, making for somewhat easier travel up the snow in crampons; however, the rock beneath the snow is quite loose and is constantly shifting due to erosion. Indeed, Crestone Needle has claimed many lives and is a surely one of the most dangerous peaks in the Sangre de Cristo Range. While it may make sense to simply use the only existing data available regarding mountaineering accidents in Colorado to determine 14er difficulty, my experience has been that the difficulty of a peak is more than just cold, hard facts. Climbers have called Mount Wilson "easily one of the most challenging 14ers" in the state. Another Class 2 14er, Mount Elbert has a wide but steep trail that will take you all the way to the summit. Maroon Peak - Class 4 (Most Difficult). It allows you to see your track and location on a USGS map overlay even in airplane mode. Mount Wilson - Class 4 (Most Difficult). Here is a photo montage of my repeat climb of difficult 14er Capitol Peak in the Elk Range in CO. Let's see how Capitol Peak rates in the four domains: Mount Wilson is easily one of the most challenging 14ers in Colorado to climb - the standard route, while mostly straight-forward, has many difficult sections of very loose rock at the summit. 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