Total elevation Gain: ~4700 feet
Starting Point Mt. Elbert Trailhead
Time: 6.5 hours
(click to enlarge)
While Mount Elbert is considered one of the easier 14ers to climb in Colorado it also takes the prize of the tallest. It is also the tallest peak in the Rocky Mountains and 2nd tallest peak in the lower 48 states. I had a perfect weather window and the day off from work to go climb this awesome peak.
I expected a lot of traffic on the trail but was not disappointed when I found very little. With record snowpack still on many of the mountains this may be a deterrent for the normal traffic that would be expected on Mount Elbert in June. The trail was clear except for the last 1/2 mile before treeline where mounds of snow turned into walls of snow.
|Very distinct trail where it is clear of snow. Perhaps only surpassed by the Barr Trail on Pikes Peak.|
|Emerging from the trees.|
|The snowpack that still covers the trail right before treeline.|
|Taken from the same spot this shows the route ahead. The summit is blocked from view here.|
|The first of the false summits to come. Path actually curves around to the right at the top.|
|Mount Massive to the north taken at around 13000 feet.|
|A lot of these guys bustling around the mountain. They're pretty brazen at times.|
|The final push to the end.|
|Elk Mountain Range behind me.|
|La Plata Peak dead center. I climbed that one the previous week.|
|Sawatch Range to the south.|
|Mount Massive to the North (pictured earlier at lower elevation)|
|Twin Lakes just south.|
|La Plata Peak again right below my right ear.|
|No way he's moving.|
|The path disappears under the snow right when you enter the cover of the trees.|
This would be a new elevation record for me which I don't plan on braking for a while. A Mt. Kilimanjaro trip may be in the works for September 2012. Until then , 14,433 feet will stand as my p.r. Every hike this last month has excited me for the summer hiking to come.
One last parting picture.
-Keep batteries in my car or backpack
-Buy a Jeep Rubicon
-Be better at life