Left North Elbert TH: 7:50AM
Decided to tackle another 14er with my wife who's only other 14er climbed is Mt. Sherman. Why not Mt. Elbert? We planned on taking the traditional route up North Elbert trailhead and left the TH at 7:50. It was a bit later than anticipated but I wasn't worried due to the great weather that was in the forecast. We made our way through the first two miles just fine and it was the last .3 or so miles (right before getting out of treeline) that we had to follow previous post holing tracks to make it out of the trees.
99% dry ground on the way up to treeline
Following previous footsteps through the final .3 miles to get to treeline
There wasn't enough snow to worry about strapping on the gaitors or even microspikes but we had carried them with us just in case.
A view looking back once out of the trees
Once out of the trees, follow the 'great trail as it switchbacks up a gentle slope below the Northeast Ridge'... soon enough you'll catch a glimpse of the cirque that you'll eventuallybe face to face with.
My hiking partner in the distance
The toughest part of the climb is between 13,300-13,900 and if this is just a once in a lifetime hike for you, I would recommend reserving enough energy to tackle this part of the climb. There's no use in exerting all your energy through this section and not having enough stamina to make it up the final 400 ft.
section through the talus to the right of the cirque
Once you get to about 13,900 ft. there is yet another false summit that lies ahead and you're approx 400 vertical ft from the summit! From the Route description, it says that it is 'easy hiking,' however, after getting through the hardest part of the route, I think that this particular section is more mental toughness than physical as my body was feeling the burn! The following picture shows the slope of this 'easy hiking'
That is not the actual peak in the background... just part of the summit ridge The following photo looks back at the 'flat area' near 13,900
flat area just to the left in the distance
Once you reach the false summit at about 14,300 ft. you'll be face to face with the summit ridge and no longer have to question if the summit's within sight.
I was so proud of my best friend and hiking partner for this climb and we enjoyed the incredible views from the summit!
This panoramic was taken from my phone!Couldn't help but taking a final picture on our way home