Off Topic: Mtn climbing/camping in CO, winter?

ANy of you guys do any kind of camping or climbing in the winter around Colorado? I'm looking for a good 14'er to get up (but want to avoid technical and/or ice climbing). Any suggestions would be cool, also does anyone know of boards or sites that might be a good place to find more info on the subject?


I've done a little of the 10th Mountain Hut system. Camped out one night,

and that was plenty for me. It was 7 degrees at 4PM. Sleeping in a tent,

in a 4' hole in the snow was NOT my ideal night. The 10th Mtn system is a

hoot though. Go to for details. I understand it's quite crowded


As for wintertime 'teeners, I'm no help, sorry.


I'm just guessing, but since most if not all trail heads and the roads to them will be close due to snow, you would most likely be in for on hell of a hike to make it to 14K.

The hut systems I've heard is cool as ice cubes. I've checked out a number of the huts on the moto scoot during the summers, but have yet to do a hut to hut in the winter. I think it would be sweet :).......


Dodger :D :D

Dodger, you're probably right-I didn't even think about the fact that you typically drive quite a ways up the 14er before you actually "hike" it. There may be some serious mileage involved... I'll do some checking on that.

Merf, thanks for the post on the huts, I'll check those out as well...


You might want to consider the danger of avalanches...which I think would be pretty high at that altitude.

Just so you know, Quandry Peak (just north of Breckenridge) is one of the easier ones. Regardless of where you go, call the Forest Service to find out if it's even open to hiking due to avalanche danger, etc.

And I'll second the hut system route. Great huts Ive heard (going the first time this winter)...and you're definitely out in the middle of nowhere. You need to get reservations VERY EARLY might even be too late for many of they book up fast.

Have fun!

Wow, 14'ers in the Winter!!

Isn't there a nice fire near a football game with a loyal dog resting at your feet and a loving woman resting on your shoulder(or making food between back rubs while bringing you beer)---is that out of character for me to say or a little over the top??? Actually, she's probably planning your next moto outing cause she rides too and that means you're the babes...gotta love 'em.

Actually Yz, your old buddy rideoh2 thinks it sounds good. Yea I agree with the guys about weather, no long hikes in(10mile max), and be prepared...for the worst, but hope for the best. Winter mountaineering is hard core and can be done with planning and the right weather window.

Also, there are a lot of amazing areas to do some trial treks near mountain pass summits that aren't so high. That way you get to practice and test out the body before any major adventure. Cause ya mess up at 2.5miles up and you don't come down :)

Still beach sand and sunshine sounds mighty good too.

I bet you're thinkin I'm gonna go too, huh?! Will you other guys talk some sense into Yz...come on...beach vs snowy death...I think its an easy choice :D

Ride on everybody!!

LarryCO, which hut(s) are you going to? I've done Margy's, Gate's, Estin,

and Schuss-Zeziger. By far, the best IMHO, is the Peter Estin Hut.

Margy's had the best skiing though. Thigh deep pow-pow is hard to beat.


Aaaahhh, I'm spinning with all this talk of snow, and mountains, and riding, and..............

I think the Professor is calling me :D :D!!!


Dodger :):D

Spinning is about the right adjective! I wanted to go to Aztec this weekend.

It's not been above freezing since Tuesday. It's WAY to early for winter.

I wasn't done riding!


Sounds like you're just gonna have to show up at Berthoud for the next hare scrambles, Merf.

Hey Endo-Zen... :)

I was gonna, but it's the same weekend as Boondockers isn't it?

I gotta do WTB, it's one of my favorite races. You going to WTB or the HS?


I'll probably do the hs Merf. No doubt it would be nice to get away from this weather for a while tho. I was hoping to ride this weekend as well, looks like even Pueblo would be out. You know how nasty that clay based stuff down there gets when it's wet. Spent a couple of days at Texas Creek when my buddy from WI came out, wonder how that is? Won't the track at Aztek be ok with the little bit of snow we've got, or do they shut it down when it's like this?

Aztec will be primo IF it quits snowing and warms up. I'm still planning

on going Sunday if it's not snowing. If it's above 30F, it's rideable.

If it's overcast and snowy, I'll be drinking beer and watching football. :)


Sounds like you got it nailed Merf. Still looking to get out there sometime to roost with ya. Looks like I might be getting the boy a new used bike here soon, so we can make it out there shortly thereafter. Guess he'd be too embarrased to show up with a TT225(why in my day...!)and I find it hard dealing with the guilt of going riding without him. Which way are you leaning on the new 450s, or are you hanging onto the 426 a little longer?

I'm keeping my 426. Contrary to the arguments seen here on TT, I think

the 4 speed is a bad idea for offroad. 1st would be a little bit to low in the

technical stuff. The 1.8 gallon tank isn't a bright spot either. I hate to say

it but if I just had to have a new bike, the 450EX/C would get a serious

look. I'd also like to try your 520 sometime. I've heard nothing but good

about them. I think I'll just stick with my fotwenny fo now tho.

I agree Merf, I'm not sure the 4 speed would have enough versatility. Anxiously awaiting weight figures on the WR, and more info on the possible CR450X. I would really like something a bit lighter than the 520, but giving up the power will be tough. You're certainly welcome to ride the 520 on a track, I think you should also ride it on a trail. I believe it's a better trail bike than MXer as it is now with the estart and associated protective gear weighing it down. Also the forks seem a little flexy on big impacts, but the exc/mxc with the 48s might be fine.

One of the guys on the YZ board just posted how the 1st

on the YZ450 was a little tall for trail work.

I rode Penny's 450 out at Last Chance. Very nice. A

YZ450 motor in that chassis would be killer. Thanks for

the offer on the 520, I'll take you up on it next time

I see you at the track/trail.

Unless they make the WR more like a 5 speed YZ, I don't

think I'll consider one of those either. 1st is too low

for MX work. I guess you could get used to it, but it

wouldn't be optimal, IMHO. I guess as the MX bikes get

more specialized, this was to be expected. :)


Our friends have reservations for the Harry Gates hut. Anything to say good or bad about that one? Where is it located in respect to a town, etc? My friends live in Glenwood I'm assuming it's somewhere either close to them or Vail...


As far as doing a 14er in winter, its a pretty serious thing. Avalanches, deep snow, 100 mph wind, frostbite, short days, and low visibility all make it a whole different thing than a summer climb. Three of us did the notch couloir on Longs Peak one April and it was a big deal. The couloir was full of ice and mostly the only pro we could put in was some very questionable ice screws. It was dark and a blizzard by the time we got to the top. We somehow got down the north face in the dark and wandered around in the boulder field until the sun came up. It was one of the longest nights of my life.

The Gates Hut is NE of Reudi Res. Go to and

click the locater link. When we went there, (15 years ago)

we came from the Estin hut. I don't remember a whole lot

about the hut. We were only there for one night and went

back to the Estin hut the next day.


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now