Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mountain Madness

Updated to this are in RED.

After doing much research via the internet and reading a few books and looking over many maps I have finally decided on my goals for the mountains.  There are short lists and there are long lists.  The rewarding ones will take years and years to accomplish, and time in the mountains is one thing I have.  Now living in Colorado the mountains present many challenges, but the one thing I do enjoy is the variety.  There are 14ers down to 5ers, just depends on what your cup of tea is.  Before I divulge what my lists are, let me state what it takes to be considered a summit.

There is a difference between climbing mountains and visiting summits.  As Gerry Roach states it, you must climb a mountain from the bottom to the top.  I have decided to go with the 3,000 vertical feet number for a mountain to be considered climbed.  If along this there is a connecting ridge to another summit that is considered visiting a summit.  So, in a nutshell each mountain on my lists will be individually climbed.  As I see for many of the 14ers I will have to adjust starting positions because some have as little as 2,000ft gain on them.  That would be easy, and I’m sure I will do some of those, but they won’t get a tick mark on the list that easily.

Lucky for me my first 14er (Grays Peak) had just 3,000ft gain.  It was closet, but just enough to get a tick on the list.  Now for a mountain to be considered a mountain it has to have at least 300ft of prominence from the lowest connecting point.  Prominence is simply defined as land rise from its surroundings.  This is where the term I used “ranked” comes in.  A peak is “ranked” if it has a prominence of 300ft or more from the surrounding area.  There are lists that have 14ers from 53-56 in Colorado.  Obeying my prominence guidelines I have set a firm set of 53 peaks that will make the list.  Now, that I have defined some of the requirements of what makes a mountain I will throw out a few lists.  I’m not going to name all of the mountains, but on the website: you can find any list of mountains you care to see.  There is no particular order of what I want to accomplish first or a timeline.  I plan to just enjoy my time in the mountains and take them one peak at a time.

After climbing a few 14ers I realize some of these goals are needing a little adjusting.  I will start by climbing all by standard routes and if that does not get me the 3k elevation gain that is acceptable.  After I complete the peaks I can go back and do individuals or go after a 3k gain then.  I also see I would need a unlimited supply of gasoline to get to each peak, so 2fers, 3fers, and 4fers will be a go.

List #1  Climb the Colorado 14ers.
To date I have 6 complete.
List #2  Climb Colorado’s 100 highest points
To date I have 6 complete.
List #3  Climb the Contiguous US 50 highest points.
To date I have 7 complete.
List #4  Climb the State High Points West of the Rockies.  No need to climb in the flats to the east.
To date I have 2 complete (Rainier and Borah) and 9 to go.
List #5  Climb a 14er for every month of the year
To date I have 1 complete(April, Grays)
List #6  Climb the major Cascade Volcanoes
To date I have 4 complete (Rainier, Adams, St. Helens, S.Sister) many to go.

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