Must do for anyone fit and adventurous. Totally safe if you pay attention, hike when nontechnical and did I say pay attention. Aout a 15 mile hike and huge elevation gain so must be fit. At 14,500 feet you need a few days to acclimate before hiking. Wear gloves even on a nice day it gets cold up high and you wil be gripping rocks or clinign to rocks if your a flatlander like me. But that is part of the fun. Some areas will give you pause but what a tremendous accomplishment overcomeing fear andmaking the summit. Oh yeah and thats only half way.
Start by 2:30 am so you have pelnty of tiem to get up and down before afternoon storms. Layers are a must. Either research on the net or read climb longs peaak to get an idea what you getting into. IT is just alonghike to the keyhole and that veiw is great. Beyond the keyhole it gets intimidating lots of open space and exposure but a fairly wide and well marked trail MOSTLY. And the narrow parts are brief but thrilling. I wear runnign shorts, running tights and rain pants, Short sleeve runnign top, Long sleever running top, fleece, and a rain jacket, leather gloves, head band and neck gaiter. On a nice dya you might be in shorts and a long sleeve top after sunrise but on other days you might be in cold chilly wind above tree line and need every layer. Montain weather is unpredicatable. Light breathable and wicking layers are best. Shoes. I have seen folks in sneakers but there can be shall ow water wet trail appraohcing boulder field so somehting a bit more substantial is recommended. Also having a hikning sole with fim lugs is a bit more stable on the rockes. I wear columbia trail shoes as hikning boots usually give me blisters. I pack a pair fo socks to change into later in the day, use sun screen, pack a blister kit, and take lots of water. I use a large camelback, the rim runner hods all my gear inside or in teh elastic cords, adequate water and it is along day so trail mix, power bar sandwich and orange. is good. Don;t forget to sign the regiister at the top.
Been up twice on four attempts and hope to go again. Average trip is about 12 hours and you will be tired when done so get a nice place with a hot tub and have a bottle of wine or a six pack at the cabin to celebrate. Or go to Kind Coffee for a Latte. Usually nontechnical August and early September. At times late July. Start early of go on weekdays to limit the crowds. Not congested but cetainly a steady stream of hikers/climberrs on teh weekends.
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