Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Summiting Longs Peak via the Keyhole Route

Below is a pretty good video of what it's like to climb Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. The video takes viewers through the Boulder Field, the Keyhole, the Ledges, the Trough, the Narrows and the Homestretch. Although many hikers and backpackers reach the summit each year, this really isn't a hike:



As you can see, to reach the summit of Longs Peak is more than just a tough day hike. It's considered to be a Class 3 climb, and requires some basic mountaineering skills, especially if the weather goes south on you while on or near the summit. If you think this is something you would like to do someday, I highly recommend learning more about this climb on the 14ers.com website.

If you're like me and think that the summit is beyond your comfort level, you can still hike up to the Keyhole. Although it's an extremely tough hike, there's relatively little exposure to steep drop-offs. In fact, for experienced hikers, it's one of the most popular hikes in the park. The views along much of the hike, especially from the Keyhole itself are quite spectacular. For more information on this hike, please click here.

If you do plan to visit Rocky Mountain National Park this year, please note that our website offers a wide variety of accommodation listings for both Estes Park and Grand Lake.



Jeff
Hiking in the Smokies

2 comments:

John Quillen said...

I made it to the keyhole in 2008 but that was as far as I got. It was sort of a whim, last minute decision and I got a late start so the summit was out of the question with all the lightning for which that peak is notoriously dangerous. Great walk though to that point!

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Yes, I've made it to the Keyhole twice myself. Probably the toughest hikes I've ever done. The first time I intended to summit, but my two hiking partners bailed out, and I was starting to feel the altitude. Good thing, because several years later I saw some detailed photos of what the route looks like above the Keyhole - a little beyond my league / comfort level.