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680 Mount Meeker 2012-07-20

Meeker and Longs

Meeker on the left, Longs on the right

Sitting just a short distance southeast of the mighty Longs Peak is Mount Meeker. At 13,991 feet, Meeker does not receive the lauded 14,000 foot status, yet when viewed from certain angles - especially from the south, Meeker is huge. The east and south ridges are long and graceful.

Our original plan was to climb Meeker and then hopefully link Longs Peak and then reverse the route. At 4 (a.m.) we left Longs Peak Campground and walked to the Longs Peak Trailhead - Ranger Station, a short distance away. At the kiosk the Rangers had posted a weather report, oddly enough it said that there was a fifty percent chance of thunderstorms starting at 9am. This early storm forecast was absolutely contrary from the one we had seen the day before.

alpenglow from the meadow

Chasm Meadows

Starting up the trail, it was not very crowded. By 5 we were crossing Boulder Brook near treeline. Soon we were in the morning alpenglow with everything a shaded pink of the the sunrise.

We continued to the Jim Groves Junction, Chasm Junction, and then took a break at Chasm Meadows - two hours from the trailhead. At Chasm Meadows is a privy and a great creek. We filtered water and took a small break.

From the Meadows we could see the Loft Route on Meeker. It was practically snow-less. A group was ahead of us on the route and we could see them picking a path through the slope of boulders. Soon, we were headed up through the trail-less terrain.

scrambling up cliffs to the loft


We did not follow the other climbers ahead of us, we just picked the path over the terrain we wanted to climb. One of the advantages of climbing cross-country (trail-less) is we are able to pick our own route. Of course we were still traveling with respect to the Leave No Trace Principles - and either walking on hardened surfaces of stepping on stones.

Near the top of the slope, the route climbs a few hundred feet of slabs. We made the climbing fun - finding as much third class (scrambling) terrain, as possible. Near the top of the slope a cliff blocks easy progress. The Loft Route traverses left across a large ledge and then traverses back to the right to avoid the cliff.

Above the ledges are more boulders which were, perhaps, not as nice as the ones mentioned below. We gained the saddle (the Loft) by 8. Without a break we headed toward the summit of Meeker. A good trail up a scree (small loose rocks) slope made for an easy passage to a small shoulder. Leaving the shoulder we scampered to the summit ridge a few hundred feet higher.

summit of Meeker

Summit Block on Meeker

The actual summit required a few more exposed third class moves. We commented that it was a good thing that the popular Longs Peak did not have such a small summit.

Descending to the Loft we could see the clouds building to the west. The forecast posted on the kiosk was right - the storms were going to be early. We decided not to chance trying to climb Longs Peak, also.

clouds from the loft

Clouds building at the Loft

As we reversed our path and descended from the Loft by the time we reached Chasm Meadows, the skies had cleared and it was a bright and beautiful day.


We still had a good climb of Mount Meeker and got the trail data for cloudhiking. It was a good day.

Happy Meeker trails


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