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Elbert or Massive

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:22 pm

Elbert or Massive

Postby jpete311 » Sun May 06, 2007 4:49 pm

Hello,
Newby here thinking about heading out west trying to bag either Elbert or Massive the weekend of May 18-20 with some friends who have some more experience than me. Couple of quick questions:
1. What kind of conditions can we expect as we head towards the summit?
2. I know these are both "non-technical" climbs but what kind of specialzded equiptment will we most likely need, i.e. snowshoes?
Thanks in advance!
joe

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Location: Wichita, KS

Postby Tomcat » Wed May 09, 2007 12:40 pm

Haven't been up there to look this spring, but you're sure to have plenty of snow on the ground up there still. It could be anything from super bright and sunny to blizzard contidions. I think I'd pick Elbert over massive, but then I don't have the fondest memories of massive.

Kiefer

Re: Elbert or Massive

Postby Kiefer » Wed May 09, 2007 1:00 pm

jpete311 wrote:Hello,
Newby here thinking about heading out west trying to bag either Elbert or Massive the weekend of May 18-20 with some friends who have some more experience than me. Couple of quick questions:
1. What kind of conditions can we expect as we head towards the summit?
2. I know these are both "non-technical" climbs but what kind of specialzded equiptment will we most likely need, i.e. snowshoes?
Thanks in advance!
joe


1.) Come mid-may, snowfall will start to wind down for the season. However, being this is Colorado, exceptions are typically borderline normal. Leave your crampons and picks at home. Snowshoes would even be kinda 'iffy', but I'd bring them just in case. The trail, for both Massive and Elbert should be packed down and fairly easy to follow. Bring your cold weather clothing also. Wind at 13,000+ft. despite the temperature has a whole new meaning. Parts of the trail above treeline will more than likely be sporadically bare and exposed. You'll still run into plenty of snow though.

2.) Bring your snowshoes. The snow will soften up considerably in the afternoon which leads to every person's favourite actitity, postholing! So, snowshoes would still be a good idea. Poles would be a good idea too.
For Elbert, use the S. Elbert TH accessed from near Twin Lakes. Elbert will also be easier to access at this time.
For Massive, you'll have to utilize Cottonwood Creek TH. As of now, I don't know the snow conditions on the forest service road nor how far 'it is open'. Massive will be the longer approach of the two.

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Postby Alamosa » Mon May 14, 2007 10:41 pm

It's pretty early for Massive. It can be done but ...

Take that old zig-zag mine road that goes up from the highway on the South side of Elbert. It's on the map. It's a good route.

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Postby davidameyer » Tue May 15, 2007 10:53 am

Here's a link to a webcam that shows both Elbert and Massive. There still is a lot of snow up there. Hope this helps...
http://www.lakecountyschools.net/mercha ... 285&step=2

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