By Matt Payne, Examiner.com
Being quite obsessed with climbing 13ers, I often find myself searching the internet for route descriptions, driving directions, and photos of mountains that are not commonly climbed. This search often leaves me wanting for more. In this search, I discovered the book “Colorado’s Thirteeners – From Hikes to Climbs” by Gerry and Jennifer Roach. This book is fantastic to say the least. The photos are descriptive and relevant, and the variety of routes that are presented is just too good to be true.
The book is broken up into sections comprised of mountains that are near each other. It provides color maps and photos of the areas and describes several routes for each mountain. The routes are color-coded based on difficulty. This book specifically focuses on the 13ers between 13,800 and 13,999 Feet in elevation, but don’t let that stop you from picking up a copy. One of the best features of this book is the use of a new system for rating the difficulty of a given route, called ‘R Points.’ R Points, or RPs for short, is a way to measure the difficulty of a hike, not only by the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS), but also the difficulty in arriving to that mountain (distance, elevation gain, etc). It is a wonderful way to rank a hike’s difficulty. On first glance, the system seems quite reasonable, ranking the difficulty of similar hikes I’ve completed in what seems to be a very accurate manner.
If climbing the highest 100 mountains in Colorado is one of your goals, as it is mine, then this book is an absolute must. The only complaint I have about the book is that it is too short! I wish it went into even more detail on each route or expanded to the highest 300 in Colorado. Having completed many of the routes highlighted in the book, I can attest to the quality of the route descriptions.