Mt. Elbert  
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2017-01-30  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2017-01-31, By: Maverick6981
Info: We used snowshoes from the trailhead to just above treeline and switched out to our spikes. Elbert hasn't gotten snow in a few days and everything was very much packed down. We used just our spikes all the way from the summit back to our car. Above treeline snow was very packed down. A few inches to the left or right of the trail and you will be post-holing. 
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2017-01-28  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2017-01-29, By: stoopdude
Info: Conditions are similar to previous conditions report, although the trench from the 4WD trailhead to treeline had been mostly obliterated by new snow. I started out following a single pair of snowshoe tracks at 630am, and caught a cool guy named Randy around treeline- he installed a new trench and about 8-12 skiers and snowshoers packed it down throughout the day. Trench in place to treeline and beyond. More snow on the ridge than I expected-you can wear your snowshoes or skis basically all the way to the top. As I was leaving South Mount Elbert trailhead at 3pm, three Lake County Sheriff's deputies who were rushing to the trailhead. Apparently they got report of skier(s) in an avalanche on Elbert, asked me if I saw it. I didn't, but i did see at least 5 skiers up there. I sat with the deputies for a few minutes looking for a slide path-never saw one. I am unsure how this situation ended but I've been worried about it ever since. Hope everyone is ok. 
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2017-01-22  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2017-01-23, By: SnowAlien
Info: Solid trench all the way from parking lot to about 13k, then peters out. Despite all the new snow the East ridge is still pretty bare, so I parked skis around 12.9k, before a large patch of rocks started and booted up to the summit, no traction or flotation needed. Upper bowl (500-700 ft) has good coverage and almost skiable, but I wasn't motivated to haul skis though 0.5 mile and hundreds of feet of vert to get there (and back). On the other hand, Box Creek chutes looked absolutely caked with middle chutes almost completely covered. Moderate winds and temps. Also looked like there was a rescue yesterday. Hypothermic and/or injured woman was taken out on toboggan around 9am. Saw her overnight gear and skis about 2 miles in. Also saw 2 rescue helicopters near the summit. Cannot drive above the parking lot, so it adds 4 miles RT and 900 ft to the outing. 
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2017-01-15  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2017-01-16, By: Hoot
Info: There's a great snow trench from the South Mount Elbert winter trailhead (pavement) all the way up to tree line stomped down by 30 or so hikers over MLK weekend. Lots of snow - about 3 feet in the camping area just below tree line. 18 climbers wore snowshoes on good snow all the way to the summit on 15 Jan. 
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2016-12-04  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2016-12-05, By: COurtneyAwesome
Info: Sunday, December 4th - East Ridge MicroSpikes- MUST!! Snowshoes- YES last 3,000ft!! (Learned my lesson) Road Conditions: Not too bad. Still could see gravel through the snow which helped with traction. Slightly snowpacked and icy in spots but had to park down towards the south trailhead due to the rental I was in (Chevy Trax). High clearances covered in ice. But I saw a Jeep Wrangler and a Truck up at south trailhead so better 4WD vehicles should be ok. Trail Snow Conditions: Basin was 1ft-2ft packed from snowshoes, Above treeline: Odd patches of 1in- 4ft due to snow drift. Very loose snow in areas on trail causing the wind to create drift lines making it hard to find the trail. Know the route and use your gps (Elbert has service till tree line)! There's a lot of camp turn offs/ other trails that can be quite confusing in the snow. Wind Conditions: Tis the season to be Windy!! Not a constant wind on Sunday more like 45mph gusts with sprays of snow. Im a smaller girl so I got toss around like a rag doll a little. But snowshoes should help that! Decent amount of snow on the trail causing it hard to make out the trail. I got lost and followed the Colorado Trail too far and didn't make it back in time to summit. Two men however DID summit and were headed down as I got about half way. Totally doable with snowshoes but SUPER COLD on top the guys said -30's with 45mph winds. Almost EVERYTHING froze! Make sure you have insulated water or you will be SOL! 
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2016-11-24  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2016-11-25, By: hollyhammons
Info: I would say about 2/3 of the trail had some sort of snow cover. Even though it is definitely doable without micro spikes, I found mine to be very useful. 
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2016-11-19  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-11-21, By: sjfredrickson
Info: So little snow below treeline it might as well have been dry. Above treeline the trail was either blown dry by wind or buried under a drift. Drifts ranged from 2 to 8 inches deep and were sometimes avoidable. We wore microspikes above treeline because of the ice hidden under the drifts, and the abundance of steep sections above 12,000 ft, but it could certainly be done without them. 
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2016-11-06  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2016-11-07, By: Brian Thomas
Info: Summer conditions below treeline, snow up to 4 inches on trail to summit made microspikes helpful. 
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2016-11-04  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-11-05, By: mrcub14
Info: Light snow on the trail above treeline. I had microspikes, but they were not needed, poles were sufficient. Microspikes would have been helpful in a few spots descending from 14,000 through 13000. Great sunny day, calm winds on the summit. 
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2016-10-29  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-10-30, By: awtakontrl
Info: We hiked Mt. Elbert yesterday. We didn't encounter any snow/ice on the trail until after tree line. Even then, it was minimal but enough to get you slipping and sliding if you weren't careful. The summit didn't have snow and the wind was COLD! 
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2016-10-23  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2016-10-23, By: alpinenut
Info: Beautiful day today. A little snow on the trail above 13k. No need for spikes. Maybe if it's cold, but you'd probably be taking them on and off. Wind was much more calm than forecasted. Not too crowded for Elbert. 
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2016-10-09  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-10-09, By: avos05
Info: Left from the trailhead, took us 2hr 50min to summit. 1hr 45min to get down. Great day, trail conditions were good. Snow in spots, but it's packed down. 
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2016-10-08  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-10-10, By: pointfinder
Info: 10-degrees at trailhead, 8AM start time. Quickly warmed to 40s. Calm winds, sunny, even at summit. 5 hours up for us, 3 hours down. Snow on trail almost everywhere above treeline. Microspikes would have been helpful. 
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2016-10-08  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2016-10-08, By: Danger_D
Info: There was a decent amount of snow on the trail, but it was soft snow and traction was good. I got by just fine with hiking boots and some trekking pole (I didn't use the yaktraks I brought). The 4WD road was clear to the upper trailhead. Some now in the trees down low, but it cleared up around treeline. Sporadic snow on trail between 12,500' and 13,500', pretty consistent snow higher than that. Surprisingly little wind at the top. Warm weather the next couple of days should melt some of the snow 
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2016-09-15  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-09-15, By: beachrya
Info: Light snow above treeline. No traction required. 
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2016-09-10  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-09-11, By: vmunson
Info: Beautiful day with no clouds in the sky. This is a longer hike but very easy and a simple trail to follow. There's about three false summits. Took us 8 hours total to go up and down, including multiple breaks for snacks and a long break at the top. There is no snow whatsoever on the trails. The parking lot is very easy to get to, any car could make it up this flat dirt road with just a few small bumps. I recommend this one for first timers and beginners 
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2016-09-03  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-09-03, By: nMonster
Info: Clear of snow and beatiful early morning conditions today. 
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2016-08-31  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-09-06, By: franksoree
Info: Started the trail at 6AM and we there were four cars before us at the parking of the TH. First 30-45 minutes used a light on the trail, which was easy to find. Also the rest of the trail clearly visible where the main path goes. Got warmer, and took of the jacket at about 7.30AM. Above treeline sometimes some strong wind (colder, put on jacket again) or less wind (feels warm right away) and only few little spots with snow, but not significant. Didn't use poles/spikes. Reached summit at about 9.45AM, enjoyed the view of an almost spotless clear blue sky with only 4 other hikers there. After a bagel and some water started the descend, warmed up below treeline and got back at TH at about 1PM in a t-shirt. 
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2016-08-28  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-08-28, By: Daackpack
Info: Trail was in excellent shape with some snow above 13,700'. Unfortunately, peak was completely cloud covered when I arrived but views on way up, and back down, were spectacular. My first 14'er and looking forward to at least one more before Winter. 
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2016-08-13  Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-08-17, By: kingshimmers
Info: Class 1 route mid-summer - it's exactly what you would expect. But seriously... trail is in good condition, mostly packed dirt, more rocks toward the top. Not much scree. The trail was super easy to follow, and the junctions with the Colorado Trail are clearly marked. There are a few places where people have taken shortcuts off the main trail and created "social trails" - not cool people. Please do your best to stay on the actual trail. It prevents erosion and keeps the trail from turning into a 6 foot wide highway. No snow anywhere on the route, and only a few places where there was a little bit water on the trail (again, don't walk off trail to avoid the puddles - bring proper gear to walk through them). Overall a beautiful day! 
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