Two years ago Chris Gerber, Alan Smith and myself set out to
establish a time for the Longs Peak Radical Slam. The route is outlined in
Gerry Roache’s 14ers guide book. The route starts up
the Loft route to Mt Meeker, then climbs Longs
Peak, Pagoda, StormPeak,
Mt Lady Washington, Battle Mt and Estes Cone.
I started up the trail at , feeling a bit sluggish, but moving at a decent hiking pace. I
in the dark, and saw my first glimpses of as I trudged up to the Loft. Still
feeling a little sluggish I summited Mt Meeker at . It was a cool morning with low clouds
hanging over the valley below. I then quickly made my way across the Loft and
down to Clark’s Arrow. I ascended Keplingers
in good conditions, reaching the summit of Longs Peak at
. The skies were clear and the
summit of Longs was busy, as always.
From Longs I dropped down below the Narrows
making the traverse over toward Pagoda. I accidentally dropped down a chute too
far away from the Keyboard of the Winds. This dropped me 100ft too low, forcing
me to take an ascending traverse back to the correct chute through the cliff
bands. I was finally on my way up Pagoda, hitting peak #3 at . Now for the novel
part of the route.
After descending Pagoda back to the Keyboard of the winds I
dropped through a notch between the last Key and the cliff band. I descended
down this class 2 scree gulley and hung an immediate
right and traversed the talus back toward the Keyhole. As I approached the
Trough, passage through its lower portion was blocked by rock hard snow. Forced
to grudgingly reascend 200ft to bypass the snow I was
back on track, headed toward the Keyhole. I busted through the windy Keyhole,
running into Nick Clark and Ryan Burch on their way to the summit of Longs.
We exchanged some small talk, they headed up as I continued
on my way to StormPeak,
reaching summit #4 at . Still
feeling strong I bolted for Mt Lady Washington (), passing hoards of people hanging out in the Boulderfield. Next it was back to the trail and BattleMt.
Battle Mt is a funny little pile of rocks located near GranitePass, hardly a mountain, but named
none the less. I scrambled up its rocky top () and sat down for a quick bite to eat, sizing up the long
traverse over to Estes Cone. From Battle Mt there is a mile or so of runnable tundra before one descends down the ridge toward
the Estes Cone saddle. The ridge descend is a mess of nasty brush and dense
forest. I stayed near the ridge for the first section, then
when I hit treeline I traversed around the right side
of the ridge, reaching the trail in a timely manner. I then power hiked my way
to the summit of Estes Cone, plopping down on top at . Then after a quick jog back down the trail I
reached the Longs Peak trailhead ready to hammer through
my 50 pushups. At I was
finally finished, 7 mountains in ,
not a bad day and a new FKT. The time is fairly soft and could definitely go
down to the 8 hour range. So, now that I’ve set a bar, I invite everyone to
take a crack at it.