It was 12 hours of pain, agony and a bunch of great views, but it was all worth it.
If you climb this mountain please sign my summit stick.
My first 14er, done with my dad, when my family went up to Leadville one summer when I was a kid. The mountain that started my mountaineering obsession, I guess you could say. Not exactly sure which route we took. I remember that we parked at the same place the next day when we went up Mt. Massive. I remember there was great weather, it was a great day, and I'm really glad I was able to do it with my Dad.
Climbed solo with my dog Roscoe. Left the Lake View Campground after spending the night at 7:15 am. Returned by 2 pm. Relatively uncrowded route. Nice trail, easy to find.
The hike overall was pretty easy. There is something about the peaks that are over 14,400 feet. It seems to take longer to reach the summit.
At the summit Norm counted 43 people it, and I would say there were about 150 people on the summit that day since there were numerous people accenting and descending the mountain. The views from the top were great and there was an awesome view of the valley up to Mt Massive. The hike up to the summit was very uneventful there wasn’t a whole lot of interesting foliage.
It is also a very popular destination so you wouldn’t be alone. There are two popular routes to the summit the Northeast Ridge and the East Ridge. We took the East ridge a longer route and less traveled than the Northeast Ridge.
My first fouteener. Good hike. Left car at about 6:00 AM and summited just before 10:00. Was back at the car by 12:30. Great views from on top.
Beautiful day to reach Colorado's Highest. Good entry level climb
The hike to the top of Colorado's highest point is beautiful below treeline. Cloudy conditions on top prevent me from saying what it's like up there. A very friendly mountain
Many false summits
My third 14er. A nice hike a little windy at times. Lots of people on the summit.
The first mountain I ever climbed! And the tallest in the state! It was a long day, but we made some new friends and managed to get to the top. Had a Corona on the summit. Not as tasty as I thought it would be, but still fun nonetheless! Saw lots of chipmunks and a marmot, too!
My dad and I (I'm only 14, but I am a pocket rocket) were able to climb the three highest colorado peaks in 3 days, plus Rainier and Whitney again, giving us the 5 highest summits in the lower 48. This was my fave in CO.
Great day. Lots of people on the mountain.
Awesome view all the way up above the tree line. Still some snow in the mountains. Hot at the bottom and we actually got a few flakes of snow/sleet at the top!
A beautiful day on the mountain -- plenty of sunshine and no storm. This hike is fairly easy, and I expected a little more fight out of the tallest point in Colorado. Nevertheless, it was a great summer hike. One question though: Why is the tallest point marked with nothing but a makeshift wooden cross? Did I miss something?
I started at 7:30 from the Colorado / Main Range Trailhead and reached summit around 11:10. Felt really good going up, which was a little unexpected because I had just done Sneffels the day before. Smooth and clear the whole way, the only regret I had was getting sunburned on top of my head.
Fourth 14er, second solo.
My first 14er. Wow, what a hike and what a view from the top. La Plata was very inviting over to the SW as it still had a considerable amount of snow on it. The trail was in great shape and it would be impossible to lose it. However, I did not think that it would get so steep so quickly. I found the initial hike through the Aspen's to be the worst part of the hike. Many people had told me to just stay at it and you will get there. This is so, so, true.
First Mountain ever climbed.
This time I climbed Elbert with my two sons and one of my grandsons. Both sons had to wait about 2 hours on the summit for dear old dad to make it. The grandson gave up about 500 feet from the summit. He should have stayed with me and climbed at a much slower pace.
The birth of the “Noodle Knees Express”
A pleasant day of hiking up the mountain yielded great new friendships. After a leisurely lunch on the summit, thunderclouds in the distance persuaded us to begin our descent back to the trailhead.
And then it began.
First, the clouds rolled in. The air was charged with electricity. I felt a buzzing and snapping in my ear, which turned out to be my (now electrically charged) earring.
I can still hear the words as if it were only yesterday….
Betsy: “Robin, your hair is standing on end.”
Robin: “So is yours.”
Both [turning to me]: “Mike, so is YOURS!” (My shoulder length hair was standing straight out!)
Aaron: “LET’S BOOGIE!”
And we ran. When we could run no more, we stopped. CRACK! The lighting burst straight past us into the valley below. We ran some more.
I have never been so frightened and humbled in my life. Far above timberline, there was nowhere to hide, nothing to hide under. WE were the tallest point on the surface of the mountain.
We stopped. The rocks around us were now buzzing and humming with electricity. BANG! The air exploded around us. We ran until our knees cried out in agony; our hearts felt like they would burst as we panted and gasped for breath. Wave after wave of lightning erupted on all sides, above and below us.
You have never truly lived until you have had the life scared OUT of you. There is no experience that even comes close.
We ran for the tree-line, lightning flashing all around us. When we thought it was impossible to continue, a crash of lightning would start us running again.
The storm passed as quickly as it had begun. It turned and moved toward the south, in search of other hapless victims. By the time we reached the trailhead, the weather had turned downright pleasant again, as if nothing had happened. We stopped and soaked our aching feet in the river. As we drove away from the mountain, we could see another storm approaching behind us. Later we learned that one mountain away, a woman had been struck by lightning while climbing Mt. Massive with her husband. We were grateful to have made it out in all in one piece.
That day, we coined the name “the Noodle Knees Express” and it stuck.
It is said that people who survive trauma together form strong bonds. This was doubly true of the friends formed that day. We would climb together for years to come, and shared many wonderful and extraordinary experiences.
I climbed Elbert the second time in September. It's still a long climb, no matter what month its climbed.