Hiking, Climbing, and Mountaineering Safety
Prior to any hike or climb you should be prepared not only physically, but you should have the necessary experience, skills, and gear.
- Choose a hike appropriate for your fitness level
- If you have not hiked at altitude before, start with something easier than you might normally try
- How heavy is your backpack? Plan on moving a bit slower than normal if you are carrying a load
- Training for a hike? Cardio is excellent but climbing and hiking will also require lots of leg strength
Gear (Also see this website’s Gear page)
- Water (you’ll need lots of water in Summit County)
- Clothing (includes hat, gloves, and warm clothes – even in summer months
- Rain/wind shell
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Map and compass and/or GPS with extra batteries
- First aid supplies
Experience and Skills
- Navigation/route finding skills
- Understanding mountain weather
- Snow/avalanche conditions
- Technical skills
- Climbing/scrambling skills
Tuesday 01/16 0%
High 34° / Low 11°
A mainly sunny sky. High 34F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
Wednesday 01/17 0%
High 38° / Low 14°
Mainly sunny. High 38F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday 01/18 0%
High 40° / Low 21°
Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High around 40F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.
Friday 01/19 0%
High 45° / Low 20°
Partly cloudy skies. High near 45F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph.
Saturday 01/20 70%
High 37° / Low 13°
Partly cloudy in the morning followed by periods of snow showers later in the day. High 37F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 70%. Snowfall around one inch.
Sunrise and sunset times for the current month in Summit County
Spring Melt Timeline
Many people want to know when they will be able to enjoy a dry trail in Summit County. While that is a very difficult question to answer the chart below can help. Many other variables are involved such as sun aspect (south facing trails melt out sooner), whether a trail is shaded or not, and snowpack levels.
|11,500ft and above||Mid-July|
|between 11,500ft and 10,500ft||Beginning of July|
|between 10,500ft and 10,000ft||Mid-June|
|between 9,500ft and 10,000ft||End of May|
|9,500ft and below||Mid-May|
The NRCS provides snowpack info for the State of Colorado and each watershed. This map shows the current snowpack levels compared to normal conditions. Summit County is located in the Upper Colorado Headwaters region of the map.
Other Hiking/Mountaineering related websites:
14ers – An excellent resource for Colorado’s highest peaks. Contains route descriptions, trip reports, conditions reports and more.
Summitpost – User submitted info about mountains, routes, trip reports, as well as a plethora of photos.
ListsOfJohn – Extensive lists of all peaks in the US (including Summit County).
Peakbagger – Another site with many lists, but this site also includes world peaks.
Colorado Avalanche Information Center(CAIC) – Avalanche forecast for Colorado and Summit County
Natural Resources Conservation Service(NRCS) – Provides SNOTEL(Snowpack) data and snow depths
Leave No Trace(LNT) – Center for Outdoor Ethics
Hiking and climbing mountains can be a dangerous sport. Many people each year are killed or injured. The author of this website assumes no liability for any information presented. Prior to hiking or climbing it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary experience, skills, and gear.