Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Post Date:  07/12/2010
Date Climbed:   07/10/2010
Posted By:  rolly

 Mt Elbert - standard route  

Went up late friday and camped at half moon. Nice camping spot, had a fire pit and a grill. Got up and drove the last 1/4 mile to the trailhead. Temps were in low 40s when we started at around 7:15. A bunch of people beat us to the trailhead.

It's steady steep uphill from the trailhead to treeline. One or two small sections where it levels out for a hundred yards or so, but that's about it. When you hit treeline, you can see most of the remaining route. Still about 2500 feet left to go, give or take.

Almost out of the trees. Lots up steep uphill to get here

The wind was pretty strong off and on once we got out of the trees.

Nice views from above treeline!

After some elevation gain and a couple of switchbacks, the trail comes up a little bump and gets steeper and a little harder to follow. You can't see the summit from here. After climbing up a bit the trail curls around to the right and then the remaining route is visible, with the summit off to the right (after one more false summit).

Looking down at the steep section

We got to the summit at about 10:00 and hung out for about 20 minutes. The route up was completely snow free and the trail was very easy to follow.

Cold summit!

Lots of company up top

There were some clouds rolling in and the summit was windy and cold. We hustled down and made it back to the parking lot at about noon, just as we felt the first couple rain drops. We passed some people on the way down that I think were heading out for CDT or Colorado trail.

Coming down

The trail is in great shape and easy to follow. Massive looked like it still had some snow on the trail but Elbert was completely clear. You would be able to do this one in trail runners, but bring your fleece and shell, because it was chilly when the wind kicked up. Also be sure to leave with plenty of time to summit. I think the weather rolled in a little early that day, you could see the clouds coming when we were on the summit at 10:00. A lot of people were still slowly moving up when we were coming down and probably got hit with the rain. Didn't see or hear any thunder, but we were down in the trees by about 11:00, so I'm not sure about after that. It is 4.5 miles up, and I think about 4700 feet. So that's about 1000 feet up per mile, so it's very steep and tiring.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Loved that hike!
07/12/2010 22:39
Mt. Elbert was my first 14er about three years ago and I still love seeing people‘s reports on it. It may be one that I end up repeating someday. A lot of people feel like it is nothing spectacular but I have to disagree. I think it is a great hike....nice romp through the forest, great views, good camping spots, and the right to brag about taking out Colorado‘s highest point....what more could you ask for, huh? Nice report.


Great Trip Report..
07/15/2010 02:00
I hiked Elbert the day before, it‘s amazing that after all the energy spent to get to the top, you find a social event going on, people sitting an talking for hours. This is a great sport.

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