Peak(s):  Longs Peak  -  14,259 feet
Date Posted:  11/12/2015
Date Climbed:   11/08/2015
Author:  FireOnTheMountain
Additional Members:   Monster5
 An Arduous Shoulder Season Ascent of Kieners   

Its no surprise its a favorite to many. Why so many have countless ascents of it. Whether it be taking your time and enjoying the scenery, busting ass for that illusory personal record time or scaling its mighty monoliths of dry and/or iced up granite, Longs peak has beguiled the masses for years. With a stellar bluebird forecast calling for 0 winds, I knew I would be doing the alpine a serious disservice by hanging around Boulder (something I have recently become exceptionally good at). Ryan and I bounced around a few ideas and Kieners came out the victor. Now, it would be silly to say we were expecting cruiser conditions because after all its the shoulder season and Mr. Longs ended up not not disappointing in this regard. In fact, the mountain did what it undoubtedly does best, dupe its perspective climbers.


S**t Son, Doesn't Look that Snowy

On the trail a little before 5am, both Ryan and I set a healthy pace all the while feeling like garbage. I'm convinced that if Superman had to drive in the ungodly AM hours for his rescues, kyrptonite wouldn't have phased him a bit. Arriving at Chasm Lake and reenergized by our surroundings, we side skirted the bank through the boulders and made our way to the base of Lambslide. It just so happened that a buddy of mine had been there the day before to climb Alexanders so a trench half up the couloir was already laid out for us. Score.


Conditions of the couloir were essentially perfect for skiing. No slab to worry about and lots of blower...tough for that damn perspective climber.


Ryan Will Go to his Grave Saying the Rope Weighs Less than a Single Alpine Rack



The topout of the couloir to the start of Broadway presented difficulties that would scientifically be impossible to locate during the dry season. As we arrived the first major snow traverse I trudged out a few steps, paused, whistled a tune, contemplated the celestial orbits, took one more step, ok screw this....enough wasting time lets just bust the rope out so that at least I don't die because theres certainly no pro until the other side. This same snow traverse was steeper but with spring snow, an absolute blast and a comfortable solo during Ryan and I's ascent of the Notch the previous spring.


Anyone Else Feel for Pluto?


Looking Back at Ryan

Ryan led us across the rock bulge part but first set out to excavate a bunch of snow. I then led us across the outlet of the Notch to the base of crux headwall where Ryan took the sharp end. Wishing we had rock shoes (or at least were way better mixed climbers) we fought our way up the headwall and into the chimney.


Isn't there a Sinatra Song about this Part of Longs?


Looking Back at Me

After Ryan's very fine lead, I then took it from the chimney up another pitch. I would just like to reiterate, having done this route in the dry, obstacles that I wouldn't have even thought to blink at were now demanding my full attention and care. In a nutshell, the climbing felt pretty difficult, at least for this noob.


Peering Down the Headwall


Finally making our way to "easier" terrain, we settled back into heinous wallowing mode. Even Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor himself would have appreciated the grunting. Every large move up and forward was a struggle as we strived to make it to small rock bands which were difficult to start off but provided some much needed respite from the wallowing.

Without the adequate overall fitness of a team in such conditions and in such a setting, you better hope you are a warm sleeper (or at least French Canadian). Thats not me trying to be melodramatic, but me trying to be real. Such thoughts should only come natural to a human being pulling around their Darwinian weight on this Earth. We cruised the dry Diamond Steps without any difficulty and summited at 5:40pm to a setting sun and 12+ hours after setting off!


Approaching the Diamond Steps

The descent down the north face with the two raps went swimmingly (previous party's tracks helped without a doubt). We got back to car at 9:40pm wrapping up one of the most rewarding alpine days for me! In all reality, out of the very modest number of folk I regularly climb with there are only probably 3 I would have been comfortable to have been with on this day. And Ryan was definitely not one of them ;)


Tread Lightly My Friends

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Comments or Questions
11/12/2015 13:29
you just wink at me? That was totally weird, man. I forgot what I was going to comment.

Rack weight > rope weight.

fall season climbing
11/12/2015 14:35
Is for the birds and the moderately insane, this is home improvement season man, when you gonna learn.

11/12/2015 16:05
report is worthless without the best picture of Ryan...

11/12/2015 16:22
...if you are going to write a TR about you AND Ryan, I really want a better pic of him...a close–up. I can’t even tell its him

Great report, Abe. Yes, I’d rope up too, dude.

Questionable head gear
11/12/2015 17:20
You two are close so I think the appropriate song choice would be, "Strangers in the Night". Haaaaaaaaaaa! Although I would be singing, "Come Fly with Me".
Is that a beaver on Ryan’s head? Or is it a mouse?

11/12/2015 17:26
Hope you drank Ryan’s beer and then 8 more when you were done with this one Ali. This is awesome. Well done to both of you! I waived from the Stoneman. That didn’t go as swimmingly! Some bad ass pictures in here too boys. Nice work!

Ice axes
11/12/2015 18:07
seem to be useless in this stuff. Home improvement, football or rock climbing season somehow sounds pretty appealing currently. So was it Ryan’s birthday gift to you or what? and I can’t believe you missed a DAY of climbing in the Flatirons!

Three People You Would Climb With
11/13/2015 10:09
Dude, I would climb with anybody that thinks an alpine rack weighs more – anybody.

11/13/2015 11:45
Schralp - you can come paint my walls when you done with your house. I got some brownies

Furthermore - the (my) whole word has already seen the pic. Figured I’d give him a break

Chalk - Heard you got a little climbing injury...too much crack is unhealthy. hope you all healed up man!

Amy - He’s a damn movie star, who the hell knows what they wear these days

Dillon - Definitely saw that up to your chest in pow shot, lol brutal.

Nat - I used the pick on my hybrid a lot but ya in terms of self arrest, it was pretty worthless

Danny - You are also definitely not one of the 3 also

Dad Mike
This is
11/15/2015 20:26

11/19/2015 16:31
Where was my invite? Epic day on Long’s!

Steve Climber
This report...
12/03/2015 10:30
is 3 weeks old. How am I supposed to get any useful info...errr...sorry, BETA from it?!

   Not registered?

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

Please respect private property: supports the rights of private landowners to determine how and by whom their land will be used. In Colorado, it is your responsibility to determine if land is private and to obtain the appropriate permission before entering the property.

© 2022®, 14ers Inc.