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 Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
 Post Date:  07/07/2006
 Date Climbed:   07/03/2006
 Posted By:  tterebus

 Mt. Elbert - East Ridge   

Stayed at the Buena Vista KOA for the weekend. Got up at 5:30 on Monday the 3rd and headed the 30 miles to the trailhead. Upon arrival at the TH, we noticed a few SUVs already there. We then noticed that one had left its lights on (bummer). Checked to see if SUV was open but it was locked. So we left a note on the windshield and left some jumper cables under my truck and headed off at about 7:00. This was our first 14er so we were not really sure what to expect. Trail was extremely easy to follow the entire way up (more on this later). Anyway, we were a little nervous at the beginning at how steep the first mile was, but the grade became easier once we got closer to tree line. We saw quite a few hikers on the way and ended up reaching the summit at 10:20 (2 hours 20 minutes hiking, 1 hour resting). We spent about 30 minutes at the top eating, taking picures and video. Shoot me an email if you want a 360 degree video of the summit. Really pretty cool. Anyway, so we headed down. But as we descended, we walked about 10 minutes before we realized that we had actually followed the Northeast Ridge trail down. So we collected our bearings and scooted across the face to get back to the East Trail. (I know this is frowned upon and felt bad about doing it but don't think we could have hiked back up to the top again.) Once we got back on the correct trail, other than some toe and leg muscle pains we had a pretty uneventful descent. Got back to the TH at 12:45 to see the guy who had left his lights on getting a jump from one of his buddies with our jumper cables. He was a really nice guy and must have thanked me 20 times. I know I would not have wanted to have a dead battery there. So our first summit was a success. I am thinking about doing Huron or Pikes Peak sometime soon.


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