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Longs Peak
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Note: this page does not document my actual ascent of Longs in 1996. I did not have a camera then. I am planning to climb the peak again though, hopefully in 2016, and I will update this page at that time. Thanks for your patience.

During a period of fairly predictable heavy afternoon rains in July of 2007, Suzy and I decided to get an early start, to catch a little good weather, before it turned ugly, and hike up to Twin Sisters. Even at 8:15am, when this picture of Longs Peak and the Diamond face was taken, the clouds were already building up, and by the time we got to timberline, about 30 minutes later, the view was gone. Also seen in this shot is Mount Meeker on the left and Mount Lady Washington on the right.

Longs peak from the Twin Sisters Trail, also showing Mount Meeker on the left and Mount Lady Washington on the right

Longs Peak Grand Slam

Saturday, April 8th 2006, hiking the Lawn Lake trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, Suzy spotted Longs Peak roughly 12 miles south of us. I pulled out the zoom lens and steadied the camera on a nearby log to get the shot below for later reference. That evening as I put the map away, having lost the argument over the exact orientation of the photo, I suddenly realized that the shot had captured all five peaks of the "Longs Peak Grand Slam", as described by Gerry Roach in his book "Colorado's Fourteeners: From Hikes to Climbs".

The Longs Peak Grand Slam ascends Mount Meeker first (back-left); summits Longs Peak second (center); then heads southwest over to Mount Pagoda (right); doubles back northeast along the Keyboard of the Winds, joining the Keyhole Route down through the Keyhole and turning north to Storm Peak (front & center-right); then for the fifth and final peak, the route heads southeast to Mount Lady Washington (front-left). At this point the 6 or so mile descent back out to the trailhead will either seem easy, or finish you off. While the total mileage is only "supposed" to be about a mile longer than the classic Longs Peak Keyhole Route, the Grand Slam adds another 2,300 feet to the vertical gain, for a total of 7,300 feet.
Note: the Diamond of Longs is also visible, though shaded, on the east (left) side of the peak.

Roach also suggests a combo called "The Radical Slam", which adds Battle Mountain, Estes Cone, and 50 pushups to the circuit; at this point though, I think Gerry knows where to slam it.

Longs peak from the Lawn Lake Trail, also showing Mount Meeker, Mount Pagoda, Storm Peak, and Mount Lady Washington

This shot of Longs Peak, taken January 26th - 2008 along the trail leading up to Flattop Mountain from Bear Lake, centers on the North Ridge leading down to Storm Peak, which appears to be the source of the plume, and Half Mountain. To the right, the Keyboard of the Winds forms the southwest ridge.

Longs Peak Topo Map

Area Guide Books

Colorado's Fourteeners: From Hikes to Climbs

Colorado's Fourteeners: Companion Map Package with Cdrom and Map

RMNP Links

National Park Service - Rocky Mountain National Park - Climbing and Mountaineering

Click for Estes Park, Colorado Forecast