Summitting Longs Peaks

Longs Peak

Elevation: 14,259 feet 

Elevation gain from trailhead: Approximately 5,100 feet

Roundtrip Distance: 14.5 Miles

Summiting Long’s Peak is a thrilling whirl of physical and mental obstacles no matter how many times you have made the summit. Low winds and an unbroken, unforgettable bluebird sky made the adventure one to always remember.

For three hours up until sunrise, we moved under a star-spangled sky and were guided over a wide, well-maintained trail through the forest, which eventually gave way to an excitingly broad boulder field. The city of Boulder was radiant from all those miles away, while the mountains ahead were giant shadows with no discernable edges; allure, intimidation, and inspiration.

Bobbing slowly up and down over a steep deposit of boulders, out of breath with the rising sun to my back, I finally popped my head up to look through “The Keyhole”… and an immediate slap of low winds to the face and the crisp array that was Thatchtop, Mc Henry’s Peak, and the rest of Glacier Gorge left my us inspired for the continued ascent.

“The Ledges” This area is marked with several “bullseyes” that, while undeniably helpful, leave the best route in-between each one up to some tricky interpretation. A misstep in some areas of the ledges could result in a long fall over step rock.

“The Trough” is a very large couloir that presents you with boulders and loose scree to traverse.  Be mindful of your footing as you can kick rocks down on other climbers. 

“The Narrows”, present you with phenomenal views of Wild Basin.  Patiently traverse this new area of ledges and keep pushing on to the final stretch. 

 “The Homestretch” is the most vertical section of the ascent.  Wide and long rock cracks make this an incredibly fun finish to the summit. 

The summit gave us sweeping views of the eastern Colorado plains and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Happy Trails!

Jamie M. and Adam A.


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