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253 Making a Decision 2010-07-12

Amy climbing on Loft Route

Sunday night we packed to climb Kieners Route on Longs Peak, Monday morning. My wife and I planned our strategies for the route and went to bed early. Before going to bed we finished our last minute packing.

Earlier that day I had got a wi-fi signal and checked out Mountain Project for the latest on our intended route. Their advice was for crampons and ice screws on the thousand foot long snow slope, Lamb's Slide. I went to sleep that night thinking about their suggestions. My wife did not have real crampons packed for this trip. Well, they are real, they just are not designed for steep or serious climbing.

Before our three o'clock wake up, I had already been awake thinking about our plans. All I could do was think about my wife sliding down the snowy slopes because of her only having hiking crampons.

When we woke, we discussed our plans. Amy was confident she would be all right but I had used those spikes all last year and knew their limitations. In the end we decided to postpone Longs Peak and instead go test the crampons on a snowfield.

The crampons were not sufficient for the steepness of the slope. It would have been very hard and possibly even unsafe. We called our friend, Mark, who let us borrow crampons and now we could attempt the route.

The moral of the story is that we wanted to do Kieners route. Both of us, but safety is always the most important factor. There are so many things that can go wrong in the mountains, climbers must stack all the odds in their favor.

In the end we still did not do Kieners, but it was not because of the wrong crampons. We did climb Longs and had a good hard day; but we were safe.

Happy safe climbing trails.


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