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Colorado's Fourteeners, 3rd Ed.: From Hikes to Climbs Paperback – January 1, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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  • Colorado's Fourteeners, 3rd Ed.: From Hikes to Climbs
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  • Best Summit Hikes in Colorado: An Opinionated Guide to 50+ Ascents of Classic and Little-Known Peaks from 8,144 to 14,433 feet
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

In more than 50 years of mountaineering, Gerry Roach has climbed in dozens of states and countries, including 12 Alaskan expeditions, 10 Andean expeditions, and 7 Himalayan expeditions. After climbing Mt. Everest, he became the second person to climb the highest peak on each of the seven continents. Closer to home, Roach has climbed more than 1,200 named peaks in Colorado, including all the fourteeners, which he completed for the first time in 1975. Roach lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and climbing partner, Jennifer Roach.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing; 3 edition (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555917461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555917463
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book ranks as the single indispensable guide to hiking and/or climbing Colorado's highest mountains. Not only does Mr. Roach supply the reader with thorough and accurate route information, but he includes occasional wry observations on both mountains and mountaineers. We can only hope that the publisher will soon see the wisdom in printing another edition of this classic. Even for the person who makes but a single ascent per year this book ranks as a "must have."
The only criticism I have of the book is that the mileages listed (in the edition I have) tend to run shorter than the actual mileages of the routes. My brother and I jokingly refer to "Roach miles" and then make the necessary 10-15% addition to the miles listed for each route when planning our trips. My suspicion regarding the origin of this "discrepancy" is that the mileages given in the book may be based solely on horizontal distance and might not take the vertical dimension into account.
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I like the book because it covers all the major and minor routes up 14er's. Although I would not climb some of the more challenging routes, it is interesting to read about them. I was also impressed with the descriptions of difficulty in various seasons. It is very complete, although each route is described only briefly. The 14er's web site contains better information to keep you from getting lost on the climbs.
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I have several books on mountain climbing and some just for the 14ers in Colorado. This book is very useful because:
- its current
- concise and to the point
- tell you what you really need to know to make the climb
- helpful charts
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Format: Paperback
Hiked all of the 14'ers at least once (half of them at least twice) from 2001-2005 when I lived in CO using the 2nd edition of this book and accompanying maps. Absolutely a must - I wouldn't have (and, with my sense of direction - or lack of the same) couldn't have done it without the book. Excellent maps and trail descriptions. Especially valuable when I first got "hooked" on 14'ers by giving me a lot more confidence that I could actually complete an easy peak (started with Gray/Torreys), was essential for the more remote, challenging and relatively less traveled peaks. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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Format: Paperback
If you are into skiing Colorado fourteeners, you might want to check out the Dawson guides, but personally, this book by Gerry Roach is my favorite guide for climbing Colorado's 14,000 foot peaks. Gerry Roach's guidebook provides very good information about the relative difficulty of different hiking and climbing routes, good route maps, photographs of the peaks, and detailed route descriptions. His guidebook provides alternative routes for most of the peaks, and I like the way he lists his favorite routes as "classics." Gerry Roach's guidebook is also more economical than the Dawson guides.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the standard text for fourteener baggers. As far as I know, it's the only text of its kind currently in print. Routes are clearly mapped and described. There is an enormous amount of numerical data: distances, elevation gain, etc. Walking-climbing class is given for each route of course; it's a book for scramblers and climbers as well as walkers. The quality of the topographic map reproductions is extraordinary, as good as I've ever seen in a book of this type. Photo quality (color) is also good; mostly the photos are decorative, but some are illustrative/functional in showing routes and they are actually useful for that purpose.

Author Roach prefaces the descriptions with quite a lot of general advice, all of it well-conceived and well-written. Having this sort of thing is crucial, especially for the solo walkers like myself. Fourteeners generate their own weather, at least in the snow/ice-free months when non-alpinists can attempt them, and you have little margin for time. Get off that thing before noon! So you have to know the route; no blunder-up. Only a few have clear trails or marked routes (like Long's Peak); knowledge is survival.

There are several appendices sorting the data in various ways.

Any habitual Colorado hiker should have this; Colorado is the world's easiest and most varied access point to the world above timberline.
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Format: Paperback
Gerry totally nailed it with this one! I read several 14er books, even one from a hiking/mountain club, and they all pale in comparison. None of them are bad books. They all provide good information. Here is the key. Gerry gives info and details that matter. The maps are important. The history is nice. The GPS coordinates are appreciated. Where does Gerry separate from the crowd?

- Introduction: This is one of the few books where I would say, "Thou must read the Introduction." And not just read it, but embrace it. Gerry gives you some details that are practical, essential, heck, even could save your life. READ THE INTRODUCTION!
- Routes: Gerry gives better details on every route you can think of and others you may have never known about. In each book I have seen, no other gives you the number of routes and options like this book.
- Experience: When you read this, you feel like it was written by someone who has actually been there rather than collected a bunch of data and info from others. Read Gerry's bio on the back of the book if you are skeptical. He has earned the right to write this book.
- Extras: Details on the roads that get you to the trailheads like no other. He lets you know if special permission will be needed.

My one disappointment is there isn't a fourth edition. This edition was from 2011 and stuff changes every year. A route that was a Class 2 in 2010 could become a Class 3 in 2020. Areas that allow hikers in one year could have restrictions the next. The good thing is Gerry provides as many caveats as possible. Since he's been there and has the contacts, he would know. My suggestion is take his word, but verify weather, conditions, restrictions, etc. before you go. (By the way, Gerry tells you the same.)
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