| Mt. Elbert Remix- Black Cloud TH
After our disappointing day on Wednesday, Chris and I decided we wanted to go back on Saturday and give Elbert another attempt. After I got off work on Friday night we drove down to the Black Cloud TH, we had wanted to do a non-standard route. Started hiking around 1:15, a 180 from Wed. night, not a cloud in the sky and promising weather was expected.
Got to the 1st creek crossing and we were using the "butt sliding" technique across the logs since they were iced over and pretty slippery, it seemed to work rather well other than the fact that when Chris crossed the stream he realized that his GPS unit was gone. After searching the bed and the trail for 20 minutes or so we decided that we would continue on. After crossing the 2nd creek, we had some issues... Since it was just the 2 of us we were a little sketched out about running into some animals out on the trail. Chris was following me and told me not to freak out, so I looked back and in his headlamp light, there were a couple of eyes looking at us a couple of hundred ft. away. Then we both started glancing around and noticed a couple more sets of eyes. Chris had thought they were either deer, mt. lions, or I had almost known for sure that they were probably TIGERS and we were in some deep trouble. Anyway we continued on at a slower pace until we got above tree line and felt safe enough to just cruise on.
So this trail is pretty much straight up, as we got to the ridge line the light from the sun was starting to show through on the horizon. We knew that we had no chance at the summit before sunrise so we slowed down and enjoyed the view all around us.
La Plata in the early morning light
Got to the summit about 6:15, hung out on top for a solid 30 minutes taking pictures and what not. There was not a cloud in the sky, but it was pretty windy, I guess that's what happens at 14,000 and some odd feet.
Overall it was a great day and it was good to get to the top. On the way down we chatted w/ some other groups making their way up the mt. We got to the crossing and made another attempt at searching for Chris's GPS, no luck. Got back to the car around 10:30, so a decent day on the mountain and now its nap time.
This route was pretty much all clear, a couple of small snowfields to cross, but nothing to worry about, I suggest this route, a pretty good workout with great views of Twin Peaks and La Plata.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):