| Elbert - Mt. Elbert Trail - Engaged on summit
Another Elbert TR, which everyone has seen before, but I got engaged on this trip, so I wanted to make a TR for it.
My girlfriend, Audrey, and I left KC after we got out of work on Thursday. We drove out and headed straight up to the trailhead by twin lakes. Her car (a Focus) didn‘t make it very far up the 4x4 trail, so we pulled off at a camping area and started from there at about 5:45am. At this point we still hadn‘t slept at all... it made for a long day. We started up the road and the sun started to shed some light on the trail.
It was starting to lighten up even more as we got to the 4x4 trailhead. This pic was taken on the wood bridge that crosses the streams.
Here is Audrey in the woods on the way up. The trail on this lower section definitely gains some altitude. It is pretty steep in spots and I couldn‘t help but think it would be a BLAST to mountain bike down.
After we had made it through the steep wooded portion and gained the ridge, there were just a few more trees to make it through. This Tufted Titmouse was very inquisitive and was checking us out for a minute or two. Methinks he‘s used to hand outs... this pic was taken w/o zoom, we could have reached out and touched him.
After a bit more slogging here‘s me around 12k.
I dunno if it was the piss poor diet, or the complete lack of sleep, but I was not feeling my normal pep in my step that I have on these hikes. I could‘ve had a bit of nerves knowing what was coming... I was dragging big time. But, we kept on and finally made it to the summit around 11:30am. There were some clouds starting to build, but we never heard any thunder so things looked to be a go.
Me on the summit:
Audrey on the summit:
Us on the summit:
After this, my mind was racing trying to figure out when/where/how I was going to do this. I didn‘t want to do it on the crowded summit, so we went a tiny bit back to the East and found a wind break. She was sitting down, looking for a snack and I pulled out the ring box, I went down on one knee and only got about 1/2 way through her name before she was saying yes... Right after she said yes:
Proof that we were there... the ring on the summit marker!
Right before I proposed it started snowing a bit. More like small graupel, but it added a nice touch. We took a few more pics and decided to get going down since the clouds, while completely silent, were pretty dark. This is looking across the South Halfmoon creek drainage.
We got about 800ft below the summit and heard some thunder, so we picked up the pace considerably. As tired as we were on the way up, we had plenty of energy now. I highly suggest engagements as one of the best energy boosters I‘ve ever had! Here is back down on the shoulder looking up at the summit.
My in my trusted old school Kichatna circa ‘97. I‘m gunna miss it when it‘s time to update.
After we made it back down we headed back to Breck for the afternoon/night. We stayed at the Abbett Placer in on French St. I highly suggest it! Great hosts and a nice and quiet place for us to enjoy our travel comas. We ended up heading over to Breckenridge Brewery for dinner and then called it a night. I passed out watching Spinal Tap... it was about the perfect day!
Things learned on this trip...
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR ROUTE. Standard route on here =/= standard route in Dawson‘s guide. I intended to do the Northeast Ridge, but ended up doing the Mt. Elbert Trail instead. I had been to the MET trailhead on drives in the area and just assumed it was what I was looking for. Both appear to be similar routes, but the extra ~4 miles wasn‘t fun.
I couldn‘t find any gas in Twin Lakes. It‘s a pretty decent gap from Leadville to Buena Vista, so make sure you have enough to get back to civilization.
Breckenridge Brewery‘s Agave Wheat is not an enjoyable beer.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully it was a bit more entertaining than a standard Elbert TR.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):