LONGS PEAK – EVERY CLIMBERS QUEST
The highest mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park stands at 14,259 feet. Offering routes for the novice hiker to the most talented climbers, it has something for everyone.
Please contact us for advice and current route conditions.
This is the easiest route to the summit. It is about 8 miles and you’ll gain 4,800 feet of elevation. The final 1.5 miles of the route are considered Class 3, indicating that handholds and footholds on the rocks are needed to “scramble” at times, but never to the extent that the use of ropes and technical climbing gear are necessary – assuming the trail is dry and free of ice and snow. Under good conditions, usually early to mid-July, a relatively fit and adventurous party will be able to ascend without the company of a guide. However, early in the summer season the Keyhole route is considered a technical climb often requiring a rope for security and sometimes the use of an ice axe and crampons. Consider hiring a guide during this time. Even in good conditions some parties will do best and have a greater chance of reaching the summit with the assistance of a guide. Your guide will help pace you, offer hiking tips and techniques, and in general, gently “guide” you and your group to the top. KMAC guides are trained in interpretation and along the way to the top, they’ll share their knowledge of not only this historic mountain but RMNP as well.
The “One Day” Ascent – We’ll get an “alpine start” and begin hiking with a headlamp. After several hours we enter the historic Boulder Field region of the mountain, a huge flat basin surrounded by smaller peaks and snow fields. We’ll go through the “keyhole” and traverse around to the backside before entering the final “home stretch” to the top. After a much deserved lunch on the summit we’ll retrace our route taking in the views and basking in our accomplishment. Anyone who has ever climbed Longs Peak never forgets the experience. It’s the perfect adventure for individuals, small groups, and families.
The “Two Day” Ascent – We camp one night in the Boulder Field allowing for extra time on both days.
While we encourage as much advanced notice as possible, this and other climbs can often be booked the day before departure. The two day ascent requires us to make camping reservations before hand. The boulder field campsites fill up quickly. If you know your dates, give us as much advance notice as possible so we an secure your reservation.View Pricing Information
For those seeking a more private ascent away from the standard routes, we will suggest the Keplinger Couloir route. This is the way that John Welsley Powell took in making the first known ascent of Longs Peak in 1868. The setting, camping and the route offers more solitude. A good choice for groups and those wanting more of a wilderness setting.
NORTH FACE – The historic Cable route
Being one of our favorites, we’ll often suggest this route as it’s the most direct way to reach the top. It’s steeper than the keyhole having a few sections of low 5th class climbing – meaning the hand and foot holds while generally obvious and plenty, the use of a rope is necessary for security. Being of a slightly more technical nature, the North Face does not see the high numbers of people that travel the Keyhole. Early season presents the North Face as a snow and ice climb – perfect for those wanting an introduction to mixed climbing and the opportunity to reach the summit. Late June sees the North face beginning to dry out getting in shape for a wonderful way to reach the top. We’ll provide the gear and expertise. You supply the passion!View Pricing Information
Also known as the Mountaineer’s Route or “Grand Course” of the mountain. This popular climb was pioneered by Swiss guide Walter Kiener in the winter of 1925. It is a classic, moderate alpine climb.
Conditions can vary depending on the season. June through September are typically the best months for an ascent of Kiener’s. However, winter and spring ascents are not uncommon. Early summer provides firm snow giving way to sections of ice later in the season.
After following the trail to Chasm Lake, we’ll wind through the boulders on the north side of the lake and head towards the famous Lamb’s Slide snow section named after Elkanah Lamb. Lamb was one of the first professional mountain guides of Longs Peak and infamously slid and survived an unplanned decent of it, hence the name. We’ll rope up here, put on our crampons and ready our ice axes. Lambs slide gains about 1000 feet to the start of the Broadway traverses, and is approximately 50 degrees in slope.
Broadway is essentially a narrow ledge system with unparalleled exposure some 800’ down to Mills glacier below. One can walk and climb these ledges with the security of a rope. In good conditions it is easy scrambling with awesome positioning on the mountain. You’ll pass the super exposed “step around”, climb through the chimneys, and gain access to the upper reaches of the East Face. Easier scrambling leads to the top. You’ll descend via the North Face which involves easy walking, down climbing, and a couple of short rappels. We’ll hike out through the boulder field descending through the treeline back to the trail head having literally completed a traverse of the mountain!
In summer, the route is commonly done in a long day, though a high level of fitness is needed. An overnight camp at the base of the East Face is another option. In winter heavy snows may turn step kicking into trail breaking. Note* – Lamb’s slide affords some excellent skiing when the conditions are good and avalanche danger is low.View Pricing Information
For experienced climbers only. The Diamond will put any climber’s skills to the test. It’s the highest vertical wall in the lower 48. It’s in the alpine. The exposure and setting is like nowhere else on earth. The wall is super steep comprising 6 or more pitches off of Broadway. For those wanting the ultimate alpine rock climbing challenge, you need look no further.
Please contact us to schedule an interview with a guide before scheduling your Diamond climb.
NEW YEARS EVE LONGS PEAK CLIMB
Join us for a unique 4 day expedition to ring in the New Year. We’ll set up our high camp at the base of the north face, and on New Year’s Eve we’ll make our summit attempt. This certainly will be a memorable and adventurous way to start the New Year.View Pricing Information