11 January, 2009


Longs Peak's East Face


Colorado's Rocky Mountain spine boasts 54 peaks which rise above 14 thousand feet in altitude.

The most well known is Pikes Peak, just west of Colorado Springs. It is one of two "14'ers" that have seasonal roadways to their summit and are open to the public.

However, when it comes to striking beauty and photo recognition, Longs Peak is in the top two or three. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longs_Peak)

Longs Peak and Mt. Meeker from the "Swiss Chalet", Highway 7

The Longs "massif" is made up of two major peaks. The unusual box top, diamond faced Longs Peak (14,259 ft.) and the traditional shape of Mt Meeker (13,865 ft.)

Meeker is actually more prominent, given its broad south-eastern facing face:

Mt. Meeker from Highway 7 at the Allenspark turnoff

"Chapel on the Rock", Camp St. Malo, highway 7 at the base of Mt.Meeker

Every year, regardless of season, technical climbers attempt to climb the "diamond face" on Longs Peak. Just getting to the base of the east face requires a two to three hour hike.Longs Peak, East "Diamond Face" in winter

Its not for the inexperienced climber. Each year, there is at least one death on Longs. Once a climber rises above tree line, about 12,000 ft altitude, there is nothing to protect him/her from the raging winds. Snow squalls or tumbling cloud banks can obsure the routes at any season. It is proposition that reqires detailed planning.

As the old Colorado Mountain Club member said:

"Above 12,000 feet, there are only two seasons - Winter and August."


  1. Beautiful shots of the mountains.
    I am not a climber, but I love to meander through the hills in my area.

  2. Gorgeous scenery. It's easy to see why you stay in CO - even with the winters so brutal.