March 9 2014
I did the climb of Mount Elbert with several 14ers.com members. The climb was supposed to be on Saturday, but bad weather caused the postponement of the trip.
After a late start the night before, I arrived very late at the trailhead and didn't sleep. It was -2F in the morning, but the weather was clear.
The group was pretty spread out and I left at 7 am. I took 10 hours 15 minutes round trip, but several other people were faster.
The climb was straightforward, but long and it was windier and colder than the weather forecast had predicted.
Unfortunately, I had forgotten my sunscreen, but I was able to borrow some early on. I still could have used more as I got burned in places. It was a very sunny day and the sun was intense!
November 28-29 2003
We (Jeff, George, and myself) set out to do a "faux winter" climb of Mt. Elbert on November 28. Jeff lives in Denver and George flew in from Chicago. The astronomical winter is December 22-March 21, but the climatological winter is November 22-Feb 21 (coldest 1/3 of the year), so it would be fair to say that it was a "winter conditions" climb.
We left the South Elbert Trailhead at 1:30 PM and made 11,200 feet 3 hours later. We set up camp at this spot.
The morning was very warm, a near tropical 14F (-10C). Not bad for this high. I had carried a 70lb pack expecting much harsher conditions.
Snowshoes helped in the ascent, but an ice axe and crampons were not required. We had carried them anyway.
Jeff was the quickest of the bunch and reached the summit, back to camp, and to the trailhead in well under 7 hours. I took about 7 hours. George had to turn back at 13,900 feet because he wasn't acclimatized, he being from Chicago. Had he had more time for acclimatization, he certainly would have made it. He'll try again soon. It was pretty cold and windy on top, but not too bad. We were the only ones to sign the summit register in a month. Certainly others must have reached the summit within a month, and hadn't signed the register?
There's a great view from the summit. This was my first (real) Colorado 14er, and it was a fun winter climb. Long, but fun.
Up the Black Cloud trail. My partner was slow and we got turned around by an afternoon thunderstorm.
East ridge on a beautiful winter day - warm, calm and sunny - for Sarah's winter 14er finisher. Congrats again Sarah!
Took the Black Cloud Trail up to Mount Elbert with Pocket Rocks
Brief windy weather window between storms and only one other climber on the mountain. Deep snow below treeline and lovely snowfields for glissading on the ridge. Unfortunately wore new boots!
Didn't even stop once on the ascent, drank two beers on summit. Awesome day.
Crowded, popular summit with incredible views over the Rockies.
Wore snowshoes to the summit and back. Perfect Black Friday conditions, sunny and warm, no wind!
Love Colorado mountains!
No crowds in winter.
Hiked through at times maybe a couple feet of snow and it was certainly quite cold but the views were amazing, definitely felt like i was on top of the world.
Summited with my two daughters (No. 11) and a long time friend and fellow ExxonMobil annuitant. We also had the company of a good 150 others and a dozen dogs on this great day for climbing. We started about 4:15 a.m., summited 9:15, back down 1:15, just ahead of a rain/hail storm. Hiked via the northeast ridge route, which is very steep (the girls feel it is tougher than Whitney) with four false summits. This is one I have targeted for many years so was very happy to bag it. The pizza in Leadville afterward was very good as well. Mt. Elbert was number 3 on a 5 state highpoint trip.
A very enjoyable hike on Colorado's highest and contiguous US highest N°2 on a very windy day (it was gusting up there at 45/50 mph), and there was some snow above 13500 ft or so, whihc make the summit quite intresting to reach on that day (several hikers didn't push all the way to main top).
But at least there was no issue of thunderstorms. The landscape was very beautiful (nice colours of early autumn, nice view as well). The NE route is easy and quite rapid to go donw as well, which is also enjoyable. Though reaching the top late (3pm), going down slowly it took me only 3h20 to reach trail head.
Climbed and skied the East Ridge route - a bit bony in places but a great ski route!
Mt. Elbert was my first 14er! I really had a good time and even though I was super tired at the top, it was so incredible seeing all the mountains and lakes around you. It was breathtaking! Would recommend! Start early though!
Route: NE Ridge
Start Time: 5:30 am
Summit Time: 10:21 am
Time on Summit: 1 hour
Return Time: 3:30 pm
Total Time: ~10 Hours
Climbed via the North Mount Elbert Trail on September 9th, 2002. My second state highpoint. Unfortunately, a light drizzle greeted me at timberline and accompanied me to the summit. Visibility on the summit was limited to approximately 50'. Quite the workout for a "flatlander" like myself.
Southeast ridge. The climb out of Black Cloud Gulch is a workout!
Great trip up. Not a bad little hike. Didn't even feel the elevation...yay for living at 5,000 feet elevation.
The trip down, however, was a beast. I jogged down to the trailhead like I normally do. That 4400 feet of elevation loss was a bit too much. Spent the next 3 days waddling like a duck as my quads would not relax. Not sure how to avoid that, except by possibly climbing more often (injured for a month before the climb) or by descending slower. Unfortunately, the view wasn't good since we had clouds hanging right around 14000 feet and as I drove out into the Arkansas River watershed, it started to pour. Rained all the way back to New Mexico...I was hoping for Mount Massive, but it just wasn't going to happen. Next time!
The trip was 5h 30m from car to summit to car.