| Mt.Elbert-Northeast Ridge
Set out from IL 08/10/2013 to climb this beast, was defeated by it on 08/13/2013......
Started out the trip with a hike from North Halfmoon
up to Champion Mill
as a warm up to get used to the elevation. Went pretty well, got used to catching my breath in the thin air. Out and back was +/- 6 miles. Not a bad day, or so I thought. Caught a little sleet, hid out in the Mill while it passed and ate some lunch. Then the next day, the fun started.....
Got to the North Elbert TH about 0545 and waited the 15 minutes for the sun to get a little higher. A bit chilly (for me, August is always hot?) but got warmed up very quickly. Took about 60 minutes to get to the Colorado Trail/Elbert Trail split. Never did see the "old miners shack". Made the turn and went up what I named "The Stairs", the first truly steep section in the forest. Made about an hour through the climb up through the second steep section I called "The Escalator", because I wasn't even thinking about walking anymore, just going up. Made it to the tree line in about 2 and 1/4 hours.
Was doing pretty well, taking breaks, drinking water at a reasonable level. Then came the really hard part. From about 12,750' to about 13,000' was just horrible. Moving 100' at a time, gaining little on the mountain, struck with a massive headache (I know, it's a couple miles away, so how did it get there!) The last 500' took me an hour to go up.
Finally made it to 13,200'
, threw up and decided the altitude was enough for me. I had the same problem driving up Evans the month before with the headaches. Next attempt is going to be a 6 or 7 day adventure to get better acclimated. I had to "race" back down to the treeline, which still took me about an hour. Sat down and had a little visitor hang out with me for about 10 minutes
, then beat feet to the trailhead to wait for my buddy who did summit.
Total time on the mountain was about 6 hours. I will be back to beat this thing, I promise. But anything above 12,000' someone really needs to spend.....more time than I did getting used to it.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):