Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
More for elite hikers and climbers
on September 25, 2003
First, a note of caution. If you're a casual hiker, this book will not be beneficial. This is geared more for the elite hiker or climber. However, if you're in this league, the book is informative, instructive and accurate, Gerry Roach writes well and gives the hiker all the essential information needed to make the trek. I live outside of Colorado and only visit for a few weeks each year, specifically to climb 13-ers and 14-ers. Being unfamiliar with the Colorado roads and most of their trailheads, I necessarily rely on this guide to get me to the trailhead with no hassle and accurate driving directions. Roach has never disappointed me. He gives exhaustive directions and includes a map for each trek. If you need a four-wheel drive vehicle to get to your destination, he will let you know. If you have a drive on a dirt road for 6 miles to reach the trailhead, that information will be included.
He also describes the trail conditions, whether it's rocky, has scree, is exposed and has a ranking system for how difficult the hike is. If there is scrambling involved or permanent snow fields, he lets you know. If it's a class 3 hike but listed in other guides as class 4, Roach makes the correction and explains why he feels this way.
There are separate chapters on the unique and often volatile weather in the Colorado peaks. This is imperative for out-of-state hikers who aren't familiar with the frequent, violent afternoon thunderstorms in the Rockies. When I did Pike's Peak for the first time, I photocopied Roach's chapter on this mountain and took it with me in my pack, and was glad I did. When the thunderstorms began, I descended ASAP, following his advice. This is an outstanding hiking guide. I wouldn't hike in the 13-ers in Colorado without it and neither should you. Enjoy!