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200 Peak to Peak Contest 2010-03-10

Longs Peak, a beauty

If the 54 14,000 foot mountains of Colorado were in a beauty contest, who would win?

In the summer of 2009, my wife and I climbed the 54 peaks. It was basically a non-stop effort from start to finish. Each day we either climbed or prepared to climb, until we were finished. During the many hours that we walked together, we were always searching for conversation topics. We often talked about the peaks. Which ones we liked and why. Which ones we disliked and why. The judging was a fun passer of time.

Looking back on the summer we decided it would be fun to have a beauty contest for the peaks! The categories are:

Formal - peaks with outstanding beauty

Swim Suit - peaks with best trails

Talent - peaks with the best scrambles

Overall - the best peaks.

So lets begin. We will rate the top 5 of each category. One will be the best of the category.


5 - San Luis Peak - a beauty in an isolated area

4 - La Plata Peak - just a pretty peak

3 - Mount Lindsey - from the drive to the top, beautiful

2 - Mount Holy Cross - breathtaking scenery

1 - Mount Handies - just an outstanding peak in a beautiful basin

Swim Suit

5 - Ellingwood Point - from the lake a great hike to the peak, with a magnificent ridge, does have a bit of scrambling on it

4 - North Maroon Peak - a good trail finds the way to the top with very little scrambling

3 - Missouri Mountain - a five star hike

2 - Mount Harvard - a great hike, with good trail all the way

1 - Pikes Peak (Barr Trail) - it just doesn’t get any better


5 - Mount Eolus - a fun scramble with lots of variations

4 - Capitol Peak - if the rest of the route was as good as the knife edge, it would be number one

3 - Pyramid Peak - a great route on surprisingly solid rock

2 - Longs Peak - an amazingly route up the mighty giant

1 - Crestone Needle - just a great scramble on solid rock


5 - Mount Holy Cross - beautiful mountain and a great hike

4 - Mount Handies - an outstanding hike to an unbelievable basin

3 - Crestone Peak - except for the bad road and 4-WDs and poor trail to Broken Hand Pass, it would be the best

2 - Pikes Peak (Barr Trail) - just a great trail and mountain, if the restaurant and gift shop were not on top, it would be number 1

And the winner is ....

1 - Longs Peak - a great experience, the National Park management is superb, the trail is great, lots of scrambling. There are many routes that go up the peak and only the Keyhole Route is crowded.


Of special note: as honorable mention, the Mount Massive Trail has been vastly improved.

The crowd favorite Miss Congeniality would have to go to Mount Culebra, there is nothing like climbing a peak with like minded climbers.

Our least favorite experiences (in no particular order) were the 4WD roads to Mount Antereo, Mount Princeton, Mount Sneffles, South Colony Lakes, and Lake Como.


Happy 200th trails.


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