Peak:  Mt. Elbert (14er)
 Route:  East Ridge
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  Barb4rian
 Date of Info:  05/21/2011
 Date Posted:  05/21/2011

Summited Elbert today and let me first say the wind was ferocious! There wasn't one direction, it randomly picked one and blew that way for 5 seconds then changed its mind.

Otherwise, the snow below treeline is beginning to melt, especially below 11k. There is a well defined trail from the TH all the way to the beginning of the east ridge, after this point the wind has erased most traces of any human activity. While there isn't a trail, the recent snow dropped about 8" above 12,000'; not the end of the world as far as post holing is concerned. By the end of the day most of the excess snow had been stripped away anyway, leaving maybe 4" of fresh powder. Anything above the Box Creek couloirs is pure snowfield with VERY patchy rock gardens.

If you want a snow climb/spring ski go for it soon, just plan it on a day when the wind isn't blowing 50+ mph...

P.S. Sorry there aren't any pictures. The wind and whiteout conditions made picture-taking a pointless activity past 12,500'.

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