Ascent of Longs Peak on 2015-08-29

Climber: Luke Mullen

Others in Party:Susan
Chris Zubris
Date:Saturday, August 29, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Longs Peak
    Elevation:14255 ft / 4344 m

Ascent Trip Report

Although I've been up Longs numerous times, this was an opportunity to go up with a group of newbies - including the wife - which made it worthwhile. That, and I love Longs and will always be the first to agree to a climb. After filling in the group on the basics of what to expect, we were off from the Ranger station at a typical 3 AM start time, right in the middle of the massive hoard making their way up the Longs Peak Highway. The hike up to the Boulderfield was more time consuming than usual, due to some slower members of the group, but we made it through the first leg and to the Keyhole by 7 AM. We managed to lose some of the crowd at the Keyhole (some always have had enough by this point), but getting across the Ledges to the Trough was predictably crowded. The Trough was of course logjammed in spots, which made for very slow going, but Lauren and Mahadev looked like they needed all the rest they could get anyway. Most people were contentious of not sending too many rocks loose, so we really only had a couple of sizable stones come down, and aside from the inane "advice" and comments from some guy from Dallas, the Trough was straightforward. Despite me and Aaron assuring everyone the name was scarier than reality, the newbies in our group were most intimidated by the Narrows (I was convinced if anyone turned back it would be from the heights experienced once we crested the top of the Trough); there were gasps, and more than a few "this is insane," but we all kept plugging along. The pace was slow due to the crowds, but no one really minded, and we were up the Homestretch and at the top by 10 AM. After an hour of resting, eating, and taking pictures, it was back down. The going was slow, but everyone got down the Homestretch, Narrows, and Trough OK, but just before the Keyhole Mahadev took an end-over-end tumble before holding fast to a rock (he wasn't injured). We met up with Chris at the Keyhole (fresh in from CA, he never quite acclimated, so we left him behind below timerline) around 1:30 and started the long trudge to the parking lot.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4855 ft / 1479 m
    Round-Trip Distance:14.5 mi / 23.3 km
    Route:Keyhole Route
    Trailhead:Longs Peak Trailhead  9400 ft / 2865 m
    Grade/Class:Class 3
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
haze from regional fires
Ascent Statistics
    Time:7 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time:6 Hours 15 Minutes

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