Gear for my first 14er?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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jrbren_vt
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Re: Gear for my first 14er?

Post by jrbren_vt »

HikerGuy wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 4:19 pm The only item I did not see mentioned is a pair of lightweight gloves. They are nice to have for chilly early morning starts and/or windy conditions above treeline.
Good point, I always have a hat, gloves and balaclava in the pack, even though I rarely use them in summer. They weigh nothing and I would not want to be caught in a storm and not have them.
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headsizeburrito
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Re: Gear for my first 14er?

Post by headsizeburrito »

JChitwood wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 3:44 pm You’ll be fine. Mt Washington has some of the worst weather in the world Colorado is a day at the beach by comparison. Rain gear and a warmer mid layer top is all I pack in August.
I'll second this, the main thing you need to factor in that will be a bit different is altitude and sun intensity. Stay hydrated, watch for altitude sickness symptoms, keep an eye on weather for afternoon storms, and either be very diligent about sunscreen or cover up.
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ncxhjhgvbi
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Re: Gear for my first 14er?

Post by ncxhjhgvbi »

headsizeburrito wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 4:30 pm the main thing you need to factor in that will be a bit different is altitude and sun intensity.
Great point - I had a friend visit from Boston who had just done the Presidential Traverse the weekend before. Even with three days of acclimation in Denver and a few hikes in Boulder, he was quite surprised how difficult Bierstadt was above 13,000'. Everyone is different when it comes to altitude, so I highly recommend a warmup hike at least to see how you feel!
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Been_Jammin
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Re: Gear for my first 14er?

Post by Been_Jammin »

jrbren_vt wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 4:27 pm
HikerGuy wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 4:19 pm The only item I did not see mentioned is a pair of lightweight gloves. They are nice to have for chilly early morning starts and/or windy conditions above treeline.
Good point, I always have a hat, gloves and balaclava in the pack, even though I rarely use them in summer. They weigh nothing and I would not want to be caught in a storm and not have them.
Gloves and beanie are cut from my kit between 7/1 - 8/31. Pockets and hoods are good enough. But I run hot.
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Re: Gear for my first 14er?

Post by dr_j »

I'll admit it, I'm quirky. It tends to be four seasons in a day during the summer season with the afternoon storms, so dress accordingly.

These days, I wear a base layer, t-shirt, long hiking pants, pack a Patagucci R1 fleece, and an Arcteryx rain layer. Wide brimmed hat, beanie. I'm thinking of getting one of those thin sun hoodies at some point.

Stuff I've never worn on a 14er: shorts, gloves, sunglasses, socks. Yeah really.
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nyker
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Re: Gear for my first 14er?

Post by nyker »

jrbren_vt wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 3:45 pm Prepare as if you were going hike Adams and Madison and you should be fine. For me that means an insulating layer top (prima-loft for me, fleece would work), rain/wind tops and bottoms, I usually wear shorts. I usually wear a thin short sleeve shirt when climbing and have a long sleeve shirt in my pack if its windy or chilly. Often its not. Many hikes all that stuff stays in my pack. Typical weather is clear mornings, really ideal for hiking, then afternoon thunderstorms, starting as early as late morning. Check the forecasts the day before. Going by what I read, expect crowds on 14ers within 2 hours of Denver, and associated parking cluster-cusses. Especially the Breckenridge and I-70 14ers. There is a crowd report somewhere on this site. If you hike 4000ers in the Whites you know the drill. For this reason I primarily seek out 12ers & 13ers. Think Sandwich Dome in NH (a very nice hike under 4000' that says a fraction of the crowds it would see if it were a few feet higher).
+1

As a fellow East coaster most of your normal gear you do local higher NE peaks with will suffice in Colorado. Given the higher altitude I'd say there's a slightly higher chance of snow in August or September on Rocky Mountain peaks so plan accordingly. August snow though won't last very long. The altitude will be the main differentiating factor so I would either bring more water or plan to treat along the way for those routes that have water sources nearby. Also make sure you plan in some acclimitization time. August is still monsoon season so as mentioned take care to try to be off summits by late morning or early afternoon at the latest.
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Been_Jammin
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Re: Gear for my first 14er?

Post by Been_Jammin »

Make sure to put your crocks in sport mode.
JeremyAlmarode
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Re: Gear for my first 14er?

Post by JeremyAlmarode »

nyker wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 5:35 am
jrbren_vt wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 3:45 pm Prepare as if you were going hike Adams and Madison and you should be fine. For me that means an insulating layer top (prima-loft for me, fleece would work), rain/wind tops and bottoms, I usually wear shorts. I usually wear a thin short sleeve shirt when climbing and have a long sleeve shirt in my pack if its windy or chilly. Often its not. Many hikes all that stuff stays in my pack. Typical weather is clear mornings, really ideal for hiking, then afternoon thunderstorms, starting as early as late morning. Check the forecasts the day before. Going by what I read, expect crowds on 14ers within 2 hours of Denver, and associated parking cluster-cusses. Especially the Breckenridge and I-70 14ers. There is a crowd report somewhere on this site. If you hike 4000ers in the Whites you know the drill. For this reason I primarily seek out 12ers & 13ers. Think Sandwich Dome in NH (a very nice hike under 4000' that says a fraction of the crowds it would see if it were a few feet higher).
+1

As a fellow East coaster most of your normal gear you do local higher NE peaks with will suffice in Colorado. Given the higher altitude I'd say there's a slightly higher chance of snow in August or September on Rocky Mountain peaks so plan accordingly. August snow though won't last very long. The altitude will be the main differentiating factor so I would either bring more water or plan to treat along the way for those routes that have water sources nearby. Also make sure you plan in some acclimitization time. August is still monsoon season so as mentioned take care to try to be off summits by late morning or early afternoon at the latest.
Ok.. I appreciate it and thank you very much!
peter303
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Re: Gear for my first 14er?

Post by peter303 »

30 degree wind chills possible on August summits.
Also 80 degrees at trail head exits in sunny afternoon.
Prepare for both.

We start seeing the first winter snow dustings the the end of August.
If the early morning trailhead temperature is near freezing, there could be hidden black ice on the rocks near streams.
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rijaca
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Re: Gear for my first 14er?

Post by rijaca »

peter303 wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:37 am 30 degree wind chills possible on August summits.
Also 80 degrees at trail head exits in sunny afternoon.
Prepare for both.

We start seeing the first winter snow dustings the the end of August.
If the early morning trailhead temperature is near freezing, there could be hidden black ice on the rocks near streams.
You forgot the possibility of pestilence and volcanic activity.
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madmattd
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Re: Gear for my first 14er?

Post by madmattd »

I lived in NE and hiked in the Whites a ton (was gridding before moving to CO ~6 years ago). There's fewer water sources along the trail if you want/need to refill along the way, but there are often still a few spots on most routes so I haven't found it to be an issue. As a few others with similar perspective have said, by and large the weather isn't too different in summer. Late Sept. you are more likely to run into snow in CO than NH, but usually anything significant is known in the forecasts, and it's rare to hit notable snow in Aug (similar to Mt Washington/etc). The only things I really carry this time of year that I didn't always bring in the Whites are a warm hat, light gloves, and sunscreen. Don't forget the sunscreen! You're above treeline for hours on 13ers/14ers, and the sun is much more intense at altitude too. I almost never used sunscreen in New England, but I have to pretty much every summit day out here! I often start the morning with a long-sleeve shirt, shedding it a few hours later, especially if starting before/near sunrise like it generally advised in summer here. A regular ballcap/bucket hat/etc is also advised for the sun reason.
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