- Date Hiked: August 6, 2011
- Miles Hiked: 11.0
- Elevation Gain: 5,000'
- Hiking Partner(s): Jeff Shafer
- I was up at 1:10 am and Jeff and I were on the road 20 minutes
later. We were hiking at 3:20 am and started off weaving through
the multitude of people heading up the Longs Peak trail.
Conversation made the approach go quickly and we were at Chasm Lake
after two hours. We scrambled around the north side of the lake
and made our way to the base of Lamb's Slide. We geared up at this
point and prepared for the climb. Our objective was to climb
Stettner's Ledges to Broadway and then traverse over to Kiener's to
reach the summit. In order to save weight, we only brought one
pair of strap on crampons and no axes since the snow field to cross to
get to the base of Stettner's Ledges is relatively short. After
Jeff cruised up the snow, he belayed me up the snow in my trail runners.
This worked well as we watched no less than 10 climbers struggle greatly
to reach the base of the North Chimney in order to get on the Diamond.
- I led the first pitch up relatively easy ground with a fair amount
of scrambling before getting to the last section of the pitch where
there were a couple of 5.4 moves. As I led out on the second
pitch, I ended up down-climbing a bit and then making a cool layback
move on a thin flake before crossing from the left to the right side of
the main ledges. There may have been one or two 5.6 moves as I
worked my way up and right past another rappel station. I ran out
of rope just below the crux piton ladder pitch and built an anchor to
bring Jeff up on. Jeff started up the piton ladder pitch having
climbed a slight variation of the line several years ago. He
worked the pitch calmly and carefully letting out the occasional grunt
just to let the rock know who was in charge. Essentially, the
entire first half of this pitch is a sport climb with a piton to clip in
at well placed locations. Just when you feel like you need to get
some gear in, you can find a piton waiting for your biner and sling.
- Near the middle of the pitch it eases up slightly and Jeff even
skipped a couple of pitons before getting back to some more difficult
layback hand crack climbing. I actually thought this was the
hardest part of the pitch, but I suck and laybacks. There was some
sustained 5.7 climbing with more than a few 5.8 moves thrown in for good
measure on the entire pitch. I took off on pitch four and
immediately got slightly off route into some more difficult terrain.
I backed off and found the easier correct line. I thought most of
this climbing was 5.4 or easier with the second half of the pitch
containing more scrambling so I simply continued until I ran out of
rope. At this point, we ran into another party finishing a
different route on the Hornsby Direct. Jeff continued traversing
left on generally easier ground until he was about 50 feet below
Broadway and then simply found a fun crack to top out on. It was a
great way to finish the route with a couple of 5.8 moves.
- Similar to Sharkstooth where we were able to complete the climb in 4
instead of 5 pitches, we were able to finish Stettner's in 5 instead of
the standard 6 pitches. We both climbed until we ran out of rope
instead of stopping at easier large belay ledges. As a result my
description and ratings of the pitches may not match other information
about the route. We were generally on route, but climbed where we
felt comfortable. We decided to eat some lunch at the top of the
route and then traverse Broadway across the base of the Notch Couloir to
the base of Kiener's. After completing the Broadway step around
move without protection a few years ago, I vowed never to do it again so
I executed a belly crawl to get under the protruding rock as did Jeff.
- After building a quick anchor, I took off up the first technical
pitch of Kiener's which Jeff followed quickly. We moved my anchor
to the base of the second technical pitch which Jeff led and I followed.
We passed a party of four here who were completing Kiener's after coming
up Lamb's Slide. We coiled the rope and packed up the gear for the
fun scrambling on upper Kiener's. I was tired from the day and the
elevation was effecting me a little so I was struggling a bit.
- We finally topped out around 1:30 pm and spent 5 minutes on the
summit before heading down the North Face. There was a party
preparing to rappel with a single rope which is all we had. We
asked if they wanted to tie the ropes together and scramble down to the
next eye bolt so we could complete the descent together in one rappel.
They obliged and we were scrambling down to the Boulder Field in no
time. The hike out varied between fast walking and slow jogging.
We got from the summit to the trailhead in 2 hours and 45 minutes for a
13 hour day. This was my ninth summit of
Longs Peak by the eighth route. This was also coincidentally my
100th Colorado 14er.
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map of the area where this hike is located.