Longs Peak Summit Log (#21435)
- Signed By: Barrett Wood
- Date Submitted: September 11, 2008
- Date(s) climbed: 8/13/08
- Number of People Encountered: 50+ people
- Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Our hike was fairly standard for the peak. Beautiful clear skies in the morning and some threatening clouds later in the day, but no rain. We were late getting to the parking lot (4:20) and it was full, but we hiked along and made it above treeline in time to see the sun rise between the Twin Sisters.
I switched from my microfleece to my softshell at the trail junction below Lady Washington. We made it through the Boulderfield without incident but the group spaced out a bit.
Through the Keyhole, we scrambled/hiked along the back side of Longs, following the bulls eyes painted on the rocks. A few of the spots were rather exposed and some of our group almost turned around. Fortunately, other people were patient and encouraging and our entire group made it to the Trough.
The Trough is the only section of the mountain that made me want a helmet. The people above us were constantly (and unintentionally) knocking loose small rocks. There was still some ice on the rocks but nothing that blocked our progress. At the top, some people had trouble with the block that sat blocking the Trough.
At the Narrows, one of our party decided that she was high enough and didn't care about the summit. She had almost not made it out of the Trough because she is afraid of exposed high places. However, she made it to 14000 feet and kept going long enough for the rest of us to summit and not worry about her. She found a wide ledge to sit and wait in the sun while the rest of us scrambled to the summit.
The Homestretch was crowded and often times the best cracks were already occupied so we and others spread out along the rock to find other ways up. The scrambling is not technically difficult, but it is very exposed and it reminds you that if you fall badly, you could kill yourself. The summit itself is incredible. It is flat but with views of much of RMNP and well beyond Boulder.
The return was easier but slower. The trough was tough because we tried not to knock loose rocks onto people ahead of us and downclimbing the block just below the Narrows caused some traffic to pile up. Other than that, the hike back to the car was uneventful.
The last two people in our group of six arrived back at the car at 6:30, 14.5 hours after we had woken up in Estes Park that morning.