As many of you might know, one of Colorado's many desirable attributes is the quantity of 14,000 foot peaks that scatter the terrain and attract thousands of hikers ever summer. One such peak in the front range that is extremely popular and equally as dangerous is Longs Peak. Standing 14,255 feet above sea level, Longs Peak is one of the most demanding and scetchy of all the 14ers. Not named for the duration of the hike, coincidentally, Longs Peak is one of the longest day hikes in Colorado.
Considering it took us just over 14 hours to complete, there is a lot to share. Don't worry, I will keep it short.
We woke up at 1:00 am, made breakfast, hit up Wal Mart, drove from Fort Collins to the trailhead (just over an hour), on the trail by 4, above the treeline by 6 am and on the summit by 11:30 a.m. via the beautiful and less traveled "Loft" Route. You see most people don't know about the Loft Route because it is covered with snow for about 11 months. On a general day on the "popular" route (the Keyhole Route) you will see hundreds of people......we saw 4 and it was awesome!
We sat on the summit for an hour because the weather was so nice. You see, normally you have to get off the summit before noon in a race against brutal thunderstorms and epic winds. But our day was perfect........that is except the lung clogging smoke carried over from the stupid California fires. So, the weather was nice, but our views were totally covered by smog.
I must add, while on the summit, we completed what we believe to be a world record for the highest altitude frisbee toss......we are still waiting on confirmation from the Guinness Book.
I'm going to wrap this up because the rest of the hike is something we would kind of like to forget. We thought it would be a great idea to make our hike a loop and descend the Keyhole Route and see more of the mountain. BIG MISTAKE! That stupid route was significantly longer (added hours to the hike), super congested and far more dangerous/sketchy. We finished around 6:30 pm and whipped as hell......just ask Captain Grumpy (Knotts).
If you ever want to climb Longs Peak, go in August or early September and ONLY do the Loft Route. The view from Chasm Lake is incredible (see photo). Better yet, all the views from the Loft Route are incredible.....Keyhole Route....not so much.
One thing I forgot to mention....there was a guy playing bagpipes on the summit and it was awesome!