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14er Fun's Guide Book Review and Recommendations

There are several good 14er guidebooks available and each of them offers a unique set of features and content. On this page, we’ll outline their strengths and make recommendations based on what your objectives may be.

Gerry Roach’s Colorado’s Fourteeners From Hikes to Climbs offers detailed rock route descriptions complete with a class rating (Class 1, 2, 2+, 3, 4 and 5.0 thru 5.9) for each route. For each snow routes he applies a snow steepness rating (Easy Snow: 0-30 degrees, Moderate Snow: 30-45 degrees, Steep Snow: 45-60 degrees, Very Steep Snow/Ice 60-80 degrees, Vertical Snow/Ice: 80-90 degrees). It is this detail of rating both snow and rock routes and Gerry’s unique perspective that sets this book apart from the others. Gerry Roach also has published Colorado’s Fourteeners CD and Map Package which includes full color, removable topo maps and photo route overlays for all of the 14ers. If you’re into the high 13ers as well, Gerry and Jennifer Roach’s Colorado’s Thirteeners From Hikes to Climbs offers the same unique perspective and route ratings as the 14ers guide. For more info, click on the links below:

            Colorado's Fourteeners: From Hikes to Climbs
            Colorado's Fourteeners CD and Map Package
            Colorado's Thirteeners: From Hikes to Climbs

Lou Dawson’s books Dawson’s Guide To Colorado’s Fourteeners Volumes 1 The Northern Peaks and Dawson’s Guide To Colorado’s Fourteeners Volume 2 The Southern Peaks are excellent 14er route references as well. Lou was the first person to ski from the summit of all the 14ers and thus he documents a greater number of snow climbs and ski descents than any other 14er guide book. Lou adds safety notes specific to each route and with every snow route a “sunhit” time is listed that is vital to predicting the daily softening of the snow pack in order to stay out of avalanches. The other outstanding feature of these books is the aerial and high angle photos with dotted lines showing each route. We’ve found these photos to be invaluable route finding tools on several occasions. Volume 1 covers the Sawatch Range, the Tenmile-Mosquito Range, the Front Range (less Pikes Peak) and the Elk Range 14ers. Volume 2 covers Pikes Peak, the Sangre de Cristo Range and the San Juan Range 14ers. Into hut trips or ski mountaineering other than 14ers? Lou Dawson’s Colorado 10th Mountain Huts and Trails is an excellent reference. For more info, click on the links below:

            Dawson's Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners, Vol. 1: The Northern Peaks
            Dawson's Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners, Volume 2, the Southern Peaks
            Colorado Tenth Mountain Huts and Trails

Walter R. Borneman’s and Lyndon J. Lampert’s A Climbing Guide To Colorado’s Fourteeners: Twentieth Anniversary Edition is the newest edition of what was the first of the “modern” comprehensive 14er guidebooks. Complete with detailed route descriptions for all of the 14ers, the excellent writing style alone makes this an enjoyable read. What truly sets this book apart however, is the information on the history and geology of Colorado’s high peaks. Want to know who climbed Crestone Needle first? How about how Mt. Wilson and Wilson Peak got their names? Interested in the early Spanish exploration of Southern Colorado? What about which was the last 14er to finally see a winter ascent? What’s the difference between the rock on the Maroon Bells and the rock on Capitol and Snowmass? This book is a must for anyone interested in taking their 14er experience beyond merely “bagging peaks”. For more info, click on the link below:

            A Climbing Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners: Twentieth Anniversary Edition

Now in its 7th Edition, Moutaineering The Freedom of the Hills is the quintessential mountain climber’s bible. While not specific to Colorado’s 14ers, this book is a thorough reference to all aspects of alpinism. Hiking, backpacking, technical rock, snow and ice climbing, rapelling, glacier travel, weather forecasting, travel through avalanche terrain, survival, wildlife preservation and environmental concerns are just some of the many topics covered in great detail in this text. This book belongs in the library of anyone who is or will be spending time in the mountains. For more info, click on the link below:

            Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills

Be sure to check out our own 2 books which are great companions to the 14er experience:

            100 Hike Journal
            Fourteener Fun Book

14ers.com offers updated route descriptions with more accurate mileages and GPS coordinates, a huge photo library and an awesome forum with input from thousands of 14er enthusiasts.

Of course we think that the true 14erer’s complete library should include, at the very least:
 
            100 Hike Journal
            Fourteener Fun Book
            Colorado's Fourteeners: From Hikes to Climbs
            Dawson's Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners, Vol. 1: The Northern Peaks
            Dawson's Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners, Volume 2, the Southern Peaks
            A Climbing Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners: Twentieth Anniversary Edition
            Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills
            A bookmark to this site and a bookmark to 14ers.com.

We wish you Happy Reading and Happy Climbing!!!

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