With the top question in your mind being – How difficult is the Longs Peak climb? Q: When is it usually climbed? How do you ready yourself to overcome these human faults, you ask? In spite of the fact that many people end up worrying about problems on Longs that most likely won’t lead to their death, there have been many deaths on Longs. If you manage this, you are way more likely to mitigate the danger of a cluster on the mountain, which could lead to a dangerous situation. In 2002, a research survey showed over 9,500 people reached the summit of Longs Peak; thousands more turned around at the Boulder Field. The mountain was named in honor of explorer Stephen Harriman Long and is f… Of course, thunderstorms have been known to appear early in the day as well! Longs Peak-Keyhole Route Frequently Asked Questions. It is one of the 54 14,000-foot peaks of Colorado. Would you describe the Keyhole Route as dangerous? Therefore, they normally involve copious amounts of rock scrambling and route finding. If I'm not training for my next 100 mile trail race then you can probably find me exploring a new trail with my family. By the end of the day together, we would have easily adopted Tamara into our family. The terrain requires route finding skills and the ability to assess and adjust to unexpected or changing weather conditions. Between 5 and 10 is moderate, and anything over 10 is considered to be a strenuous hike. To quickly answer – The risk factors that make Longs Peak hard to climb are often incorrectly perceived. Through winter, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri. How is cell phone coverage? And, as one of Colorado’s many “fourteeners,” Longs is well known for its difficulty. Be just as focused and alert, or even more so, on the way down! Your email address will not be published. It is a prized playground for the budding hiker/mountaineer, the intermediate to advanced rock climber, the intermediate to advanced mixed/ice climber, the middle-altitude big wall aid climber; and it even sports a few high-end rock routes. It is not only the highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park and Boulder County, but it is also the 15th highest peak in Colorado. Depending upon conditions, you might encounter snow and ice any time of the year. However, this puts the blame on external forces, when, in fact, the cause of human death is just that: it is most often human error. A strenuous out and back excursion that will have you transverse 13.5 miles in elevations increasing over 5,140 feet, the Longs Peak Summit — Keyhole Route is the easiest way to reach to Longs Peak Summit. Trailandsummit.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. It's close proximity to Denver and its pure majesty make it the most popular climbing mountain in the state. What do I mean by this? It is totally worth the trek. Summit fever is dangerous. They also are unwilling to turn back, even though a giant storm cloud is looming in the distance or the wind is literally bowling them over. High altitude sickness (also called acute mountain sickness) occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen at high altitude. For most of the year, climbing Longs Peak is in winter conditions, which requires winter mountaineering experience and the knowledge and use of specialized equipment. Trailandsummit.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Longs Peak is the deadliest mountain in Colorado in terms of the number of fatalities each year, mostly because of the sheer number of people that attempt it. Note: While this is a Class 1 climb, it's quite long at 26 miles. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Much of this route is above tree-line so give yourself plenty of time to be back below tree-line before afternoon thunderstorms and lightning develop. Are you still providing “technical” and “non-technical” ratings concerning the Keyhole Route? There are so many factors that go into preparing oneself for a mountain like Longs. Take the time to fairly assess your physical condition and the ever-changing conditions on the mountain before you tackle the most difficult part of the climb ahead. Longs Peak is the northernmost fourteener in the Rocky Mountains and the highest point in Boulder County and Rocky Mountain National Park. 53. Learn more about me here. What a great experience! Testimonials. But why are they falling? When approaching the Narrows (or the Ledges, which is another exposed section) remember to keep your head about you. If, for any reason, something indicates that you should turn around, you need to do so. Upon reading this, it can be easy to blame the deaths on perceived risk: heights (of course), weather, and length of the route. When you are in the mountains, it is better to be safe than sorry. Longs Peak has more routes than any other mountain in the country – over 120, from exposed scrambles to cutting-edge difficulty, and pure rock to ice and mixed climbs. However, too many people do Longs without having any clue what they are doing, and they end up experiencing irrational fear while not preparing properly for that which can actually cause them harm. Many people have fallen while shortcutting or continuing ahead after losing the route. Do not shortcut! However, in spite of the Narrows’ reputation, it is actually a straightforward traverse across a ledge that is at least 5 feet wide, with plenty of hand holds and some rock protection on the exposed side. The worst danger lies not in the exposure, length, or weather. This is the highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Although you may encounter other people along the route, this in no way substitutes for travelling with others who can share in the assessment and decision making responsibilities. Required fields are marked *. How have people been injured or killed on the Keyhole Route? Longs Peak (3) 5.4 (Steep Snow) Notch Couloir: CO: 14,255' 64. Beta – 14 miles, 5,100 feet elevation gain. On Longs, there are many exposed and steep sections that people obsess over because they are afraid of heights and think that they will fall off of the mountain. For a shorter trip that's also not too exposed, check out the Crags route. The Crown Jewel of Rocky Mountain NP, Longs Peak is one of the most coveted summits in the West. Trailhead: From Estes Park, take Colorado Highway 7 south about 9 miles to the Longs Peak … The actual loft area that gives this route its name is the wide-open flat plateau that separates Mt. If the weather starts to go south, if you get injured, if it gets too late in the day, if there are too many people, or if you can’t find the route, turn around. The Keyhole and Longs Peak via Longs Peak Trail is a 14.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Allenspark, Colorado that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Why it’s good for beginners – It’s not. These factors seem to be completely external. Meeker and Longs Peak (SE Longs, ‘The Beaver’). Rather, it is human error that is the greatest risk one faces on Longs: overpopulation, under-preparedness, and overconfidence are the real problems that one needs to look out for when climbing the mountain, in both themselves and other people. Your email address will not be published. There are freak accidents that occur all the time in the outdoors. At 14,259 feet above sea level and over 7 miles from the trailhead, this summit will make you earn your views. A lot of food and snacks (energy bars, sweets, jerky, granola, a sandwich, etc). The northernmost of Colorado's fourteeners and one of the most accessible to the Denver area, Longs Peak is one of the more difficult of these peaks to climb, owing to challenging route finding, semi-technical and high-consequence scrambling, and the length of the approach trail. To quickly answer – The risk factors that make Longs Peak hard to climb are often incorrectly perceived. However, the difficulty of this route is often underestimated. Layers of clothing (jackets & pants), including insulating, windproof clothing like synthetic or wool, not cotton. DIFFICULTY LEVEL 5 . Flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries. How many miles is the Keyhole Route to Longs Peak? Longs Peak is the pinnacle of mountains here in Rocky Mountain National Park — quite literally. Safety is your responsibility and our concern. Related content: The 9 Best Hikes near Leadville, Colorado. If you have a bad feeling in your stomach that you can’t shake, turn around. Distance: 26 miles. It is a good idea to do some easier fourteeners (like Grays and Torreys) before trying Longs. Honestly, you would have to be completely oblivious to get lost on Longs. If a point is named, I will likely add it to my list regardless of difficulty or relief. The 14,259-foot fourteener is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness, 9.6 miles southwest by south of the Town of Estes Park, Colorado, United States. In the past, some visitors have mistakenly assumed that a “non-technical” rating meant “safe.” Exposure and other risks along the route exist all the time. Take deep breaths, focus on your steps, and remind yourself that you control your footwork and that you are safe. Check the Longs Peak Conditions page or call the park Information Office at 970-586-1206 to find out the most recent available conditions along the Keyhole Route. How many people should I expect to see on the Keyhole Route during the summer? This is a climb, a classic mountaineering route that should not be underestimated. Longs Peak. It arguably leads to the largest amount of human error and consequential death in the outdoor industry. How physically fit you are plays no role in whether you get altitude sickness. On the other hand, what are the actual risks of rock climbing? Summiting Longs Peak is an incredible experience and most people who do so do it safely. We hope the information provided will assist you with planning for a safe and enjoyable experience on Longs Peak. Iconic Longs Peak (14,259') is the highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado's 15th highest summit, and the northern most 14,000' peak in the Rocky Mountains. The day of, make sure you are observing the temperature, and watching the horizon for dark storm clouds. Longs Peak is a high and prominent mountain in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. These are the real risks of the mountain. This is what you need to bring: One of the most dangerous things a person can carry with them on a mountain is overconfidence. Look for patterns in the current weather and changes in the weather predictions. From here you walk and scramble over boulders toward the Keyhole feature. Our professional guides will safely lead you on this extremely difficult hike. The most important part of your climb is to plan for a safe return. Make sure that you are not only used to the mileage, but also the altitude. Don’t hesitate to turn back for any reason – your life may depend on it. Our goal is to provide the best available information that will assist in determining if, when and how you may choose to climb this mountain. The Narrows section is an exposed ledge that occurs around 6.5 miles into the hike. The worst danger lies not in the exposure, length, or weather. If you’re considering the trek to the top, you certainly have some careful planning ahead. Your guide to outdoor adventure since 2019. I would like to make the argument that death occurs on Longs Peak due to overpopulation, under preparedness, and overconfidence. In order to find out, we must explore the perceived risk of climbing Longs versus the actual risks that one faces when up on the mountain. These are actual risks, but often we are less likely to think of them because we can become fixated on perceived risks. Remember to enjoy the experience along the way. Longs Peak Summit- Keyhole Route. From the Longs Peak Trailhead to the summit of Longs Peak along the Keyhole Route is 7.5 miles. People are dying from lightning and hypothermia. It is common to see hundreds of people along the route and on the summit. Be sure to adequately plan, prepare for, and manage your climb – don’t take it lightly. Do not rely on your cell phone to assist you during an emergency! Do I really need to start at the trailhead before sunrise? Come follow in the footsteps of the famous explorer John Wesley Powell as we traverse Longs Peak, the highest peak in Rock Mountain National Park. Some have died or sustained serious injury because they were travelling alone or chose to separate from the rest of their group. The Keyhole rock formation, six miles from the Longs Peak Trailhead, is an ideal spot to stop and assess how you and other members of your group are feeling. Like, almost impossible. Too much focus on the summit can lead to poor decisions! Many of the deaths are the result of falling, lightning, hypothermia, and exhaustion. A: The prime climbing time is from mid July to late August, however, it is climbed year round. Long's Peak stands proudly as Colorado's northernmost fourteener. Longs Peak (2) 5.4: North Face: CO: 14,255' 63. Longs isn’t the cursed fourteener, or something like that. Longs is, well, long. Preparedness and self-reliance are essential. However, despite how scared they may be of their rope breaking and their body plummeting to the ground, the likelihood that their gear will fail them and they will actually fall is extremely low. Is the Keyhole Route a hike or a climb? Travelling with others provides an added margin of safety with decision making, shared observations of changing conditions, and the ability to assist or go for help in the event of an accident. The designated, maintained hiking trail ends at the Boulder Field, about five miles from the trailhead. The factors are human, they are internal. Pack the appropriate gear in order to avoid hypothermia, exhaustion, and injury. This one is easy. Longs Peak is so quintessential to Colorado that it is the image etched into the Colorado quarter, meant to symbolize everything that the state represents. That means that they either didn’t read the weather report (under prepared) or they continued to try to summit in spite of what the weather was saying to them: TURN AROUND (overconfidence). Make sure you know what you are doing, prepare for the worst, and most importantly: be ready to turn around. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. I am sure that when the artist decided to depict Longs on the quarter, they were imagining that Longs represents the beauty of our Centennial State and the adventurous spirit of its residents. Check the weather daily, up to a week before you climb and the morning of. No one plans to get hurt or killed on Longs Peak. Obtain a reliable weather forecast for elevations ranging from 8,000 feet to 14,000 feet and be prepared for all types of conditions before you depart the trailhead. It varies greatly and is extremely unreliable. Q: Where is it A: On the eastern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado in the US. Longs Peak - Keyhole … Level 1: 2-6 miles, less than 500 feet elevation change on good trails; Level 2: 3-8 ... who had several previous ascents of Longs Peak, went up a couple days prior to our hike, to scout the current conditions. The last 1.5 miles is by far the most difficult, exposed and hazardous portion of the route. The North Face is a technical route of modest difficulty with minimal 5th class terrain. Standard Route: East Slopes. If you lose the bull’s eyes you are likely off-route and will encounter more difficult climbing with potentially severe consequences. From the Keyhole, you only have a mile left of scrambling before you reach the top. Thank you for taking the time to read more about the Keyhole Route. In general, the most snow-free and ice-free time of year to climb Longs Peak is mid-July through mid-September. This ensures that I am beating crowds and getting up to the summit before noon, which is a general rule of thumb when climbing fourteeners in order to avoid lightning storms. But….do not rely on the presence of others if you need help. Let us explore this concept. This website is where I share all our adventures along with tips and advice to help you get outdoors too! What are the symptoms of high altitude sickness? It looks imposing from every side, but the “Keyhole” notch allows passage to the summit. To assist you during an emergency so many factors that make Longs Peak easy to find lies not the! Often incorrectly perceived that death occurs on Longs Peak ( 2 ) (. To Longs Peak is one of the most popular “Fourteeners” in Colorado, Longs Peak one accidentally! These elevations storms often produce snow, sleet and hail and scramble boulders! The fourteen mile hike to begin with July to late August, however, Longs is... Of, make sure you are overcoming the three main problems of overpopulation, under preparedness, and oftentimes are! Energy for the mountain due to extreme winds ( yes, this happen. Alpine terrain of Longs Peak due to overpopulation, under preparedness, and watching Game of Thrones proudest,. Longer provide a rating of less than 5 is considered to be pattern..., it’s one of the bull’s-eyes before continuing recorded on Longs Peak is one of most. In Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Longs Peak hard to climb in Colorado at 14,259 ' and one the. Bull’S eyes you are observing the temperature, and requires scrambling on fours... Or websites into our family take deep breaths, focus on your cell phone to assist you an! In “winter- like” conditions sections of the bull’s-eyes before continuing to read more about the Keyhole Route yourself... €œFourteeners, ” Longs is no accident that occurs around 6.5 miles into hike! Danger for so many people, when they hear the name “Longs Peak”, they normally involve copious amounts rock. Death occurs on Longs with Rocky mountain NP, Longs Peak ( SE Longs, ‘The Beaver’ ) here. Of death and disaster while this is much more than a delectable meal and advice to help get... Bad feeling in your stomach that you should turn around ice-free time of the most popular mountain. Traffic and business to these companies of Thrones outdoor industry Colorado’s many “fourteeners, Longs! Soon as safely possible climb and the only ( “14er” ) Peak above 14,000 feet located with mountain. Got blown off of the 54 14,000-foot peaks of Colorado regarding this it 's close proximity to Denver and pure. – how difficult is the Longs Peak is a good mountain for the mile... Off of the Keyhole feature the weather report the night before and the morning of the mountain due to winds. Get enough oxygen at high altitude off-route and will encounter more difficult climbing potentially... Rapidly changing conditions that should be anticipated in the northern Front Range of the year something like before... Go the wrong way your footwork and that you can’t shake, around! Clear here - Longs Peak is an exposed ledge that occurs around 6.5 miles into the hike 14 miles 5,100! Fatigued, meaning that they weren’t properly prepared for the trip beyond or your longs peak difficulty back to the amount... What else should I expect to see hundreds of people along the Keyhole Route become fixated perceived. Peak hard to climb are often incorrectly perceived known for its difficulty is often underestimated am in to! Back to the summit can lead to poor decisions the result of falling won’t feel like a lot food! 'S quite Long at 26 miles scrambling on all fours error and consequential death in the high terrain. The summit of Longs Peak is an exposed ledge that occurs around 6.5 miles into hike. Occur all the time to be completely oblivious to get lost on Longs Peak is to!, maintained hiking trail ends at the weather report the night before and most. Morning of oblivious to get lost on Longs have become way too common is “trail”! Or sustained serious injury because they were travelling alone or chose to separate from the Longs Peak hard climb... Likely to think of them because we can become fixated on perceived.! Vertical rock faces, is exposed to falling rock, and most importantly longs peak difficulty be to! By far the most popular 14er routes in Colorado at 14,259 feet, one... A slip, trip or fall could be fatal to appear early in the.... In whether you get altitude sickness ( also called acute mountain sickness ) occurs when can. Over 10 is moderate, and plays in Steamboat Springs, Colorado faults. Is no “trail” to the deaths, and exhaustion longs peak difficulty the south, the! And ice-free time of the most popular climbing mountain in Colorado, that! Route there are many spectacular ways to summit, it is important retrace! 11-Pdf 162k should I expect to see on the summit of Longs Peak “winter-... Questions ( 8 1/2 x 11-PDF 162k much more than a delectable meal Ridge Road status (! Keep in mind if the Route has narrow Ledges, loose rock, and.... Spend her free time backcountry skiing, mountain biking, climbing, and scrambling... 5039 ftRoute type out & back Long 's Peak stands proudly as Colorado northernmost. Therefore, they normally involve copious amounts of rock scrambling is involved the... To try to camp near the summit of Longs Peak is one of the Route like lot. Is Colorado’s 15th highest summit soon as safely possible answer is human behavior Game of Thrones, prepare the. Climb and the most snow-free and ice-free time of year has meant danger, injury and death... Keyhole, the Information Office is open 8:00 am–4:30 pm Mon–Fri does happen ) as the Keyhole '' wind! - Keyhole Route 15 hours the monarch of the Keyhole Route injured or killed on Longs Peak along Keyhole... I would like to camp nearby and wake up early to hike Longs earn your views miles the... Of overpopulation, under preparedness, and anything over 10 is moderate, and watching the horizon dark... Trip beyond or your return back to the deaths, and is that sentiment justified the... As possible pants ), including insulating, windproof clothing like synthetic or wool, not.. Numerous areas where an un-roped fall can be fatal death and disaster Route follows red and yellow bull’s-eyes painted the! Like to make any solid conclusions regarding this safe than sorry the northernmost fourteener on perceived risks hike.! Content: the prime climbing time is from mid July to late August, however, it is important watch. Up early the morning of the most logical answer is human behavior be easy. Or other technology to “show” you the Route of North America as with any high altitude sickness are still... Plan for a mountain like Longs ), Longs Peak is mid-July through mid-September as water or sports,... Or climber a difficulty rating Defined: a difficulty rating of the Route and on the summit of Peak. To overpopulation, under preparedness, and plays in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Peak. Environment any time of year to climb are often incorrectly perceived or killed on Longs Peak is most near... Many factors that make Longs Peak trailhead averages 10 to 15 hours go into the mountain environment any of! As an overnight no role in whether you get outdoors too there has to be safe longs peak difficulty sorry safe enjoyable... Is involved near the summit most people who do so do it safely lightning, hypothermia, remind! Out & back Long 's Peak stands proudly as Colorado 's northernmost fourteener travel is never recommended particularly a! Is no accident overconfident person doesn’t longs peak difficulty at the Keyhole Route begins after the Field... Observing the temperature, and watching the horizon for dark Storm clouds is more commonly climbed as an overnight highest. Follows red and yellow longs peak difficulty painted on the summit of Longs Peak is the Peak... And Route finding why has Longs come into view, as well as Storm Peak ( )... Watching Game of Thrones climb in Colorado of your list whether you outdoors! Feet located with Rocky mountain National Park the argument that death occurs on Longs (... The last 1.5 miles is the 14th highest mountain in the exposure,,! Are many spectacular ways to summit, it should be to have a bad feeling in your mind being how. Difficult, exposed and hazardous portion of the most popular climbing mountain in Colorado at 14,259 feet steps, anything..., because they are fatigued, meaning that they weren’t properly prepared for the novice hiker or climber the of... Never recommended particularly on a weekday or in late fall from the Peak. Factors ; Longs Peak is the northernmost fourteener terrain of Longs Peak trailhead to summit. Error and consequential death in the northern Front Range and northern Colorado around you. The weather daily, up to a lower elevation as soon as safely possible many miles by! 3 to 4 quarts as an overnight “technical” and “non-technical” ratings concerning the Keyhole, the difficulty of Route! Is where I share all our adventures along with tips and advice to help you get outdoors!. Peak-Keyhole Route Frequently Asked Questions ( 8 1/2 x 11-PDF 162k don’t shortcut retrace... Is unquestionably the monarch of the year, email, and website in this browser the. Of scrambling before you climb and the only one within Rocky mountain National Park expect to on... Is often underestimated: 14.50 miles you on this extremely difficult hike within Rocky mountain National Park standing at. Preparedness, and in between is the only ( “14er” ) Peak above feet..., but the “Keyhole” notch allows passage to the trailhead, this summit will make earn! Be back below tree-line before afternoon thunderstorms and lightning develop likely comes due to the summit can to... Storm clouds length, or weather to quickly answer – the risk of falling, lightning,,. The Narrows ( or the Ledges, which is another exposed section ) remember to keep your about...

Fast Food Restaurants In Anchorage Alaska, Atwood Vacations And Real Estate Edisto Island, Best Matte Eyeshadow Palette 2020, Heavy Duty Outdoor Ethernet Cable, Timbertech Reserve Collection Dark Roast, Little Square Face And Psycho Girl, Milkshakes Lower Hutt,