Mt. Elbert  
Condition Updates  
Route: Box Creek Couloirs
Posted On: 2021-04-12, By: chris stellato
Info: Ascended via east ridge with plans to ski the Box Creek Couloirs. Stayed in hiking boots all the way to summit in the morning, no need for floatation. Snow on the ascent seemed stable, but after traversing over preparing to drop into the couloirs, discovered a 2-4" windslab packed into the couloirs. After evaluating the snow and easily pushing off the stiff top windslab layer, decided it was too dangerous avalanche conditions and retreated climbing back up out of couloirs and descended back down the east route. Down near treeline, snow went to absolute garbage slush by 1:00pm, collapsing so badly we could not stay afloat on snowboard or skis. Due to delays with backing off the original plan, we were descending later than planned and the postholing was brutal. Saw a group in snowshoes postholing up to their waist, and I was occasionally punching through on my splitboard/skins. Picture is looking down couloir entrance on skier's right. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-04-10, By: Will_E
Info: Summitted Elbert today. I parked about halfway between 2wd and 4wd TH, I found a nice campsite so didn't venture farther. Most anything with 4wd/AWD can get within a mile or so of the TH. The route is pretty well packed, I took snowshoes with, but never used them. A few post holes on the way down, but not worth snowshoeing up. Nice day up there, just a little windy at summit. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-03-28, By: screeman57
Info: Great trench to treeline and the ridge proper for booting, but it had softened considerably in the afternoon. Stashed snowshoes just above treeline and used them for most of the descent from there. Windy as all get out today - was knee deep in soft slab for much of the way above 13000ft. Coverage on the upper mountain seems pretty good and a Vail group skied from the summit. But I doubt that coverage will last the week. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-03-10, By: Hamiltonwh
Info: Bluebird conditions climbing up to tree line. Microspikes helped on the packed snow. Got up to like 12.5k feet and decided it was too dangerous to keep going due to high winds. Had to be 40+ mph and was only getting stronger as you go further up. Could barely walk forward. Mother nature did not want the summit to happen. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-03-07, By: ScottLovesRMNP
Info: Easy day on Elbert. Well-tracked path all the way to the summit, minus a few bare spots on the upper slopes. No snowshoes or spikes, but I did use poles for balance in the steep slush on the way down. Great views all around! 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-03-06, By: Pika_wanderer
Info: We brought snowshoes but never used them.. start early and save the weight. Microspikes were helpful on the descent. More spring or late spring like conditions versus winter. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-02-21, By: Eli Watson
Info: Summited Elbert via East Ridge from 2WD TH. Bluebird, albeit windy, day until about 2 PM. Cold, cloudy, and very windy on the summit. Flurries on my way down. 4WD road is well packed for skinning / hiking. There are a couple camping spots available up the road given proper vehicle and tire capabilities. Put on snowshoes at the sign that I believe is the 4WD TH, there is an excellent trench from there to treeline. Wore them until 12,800', but you can leave them at the usual stash spot at 12,500' without issue. Wore traction from there to summit. Splits: 10:53 AM - 2WD TH (0:00) 11:31 AM - 4WD TH (0:3 1:42 PM - Snowshoes stash (2:11) 3:16 PM - Summit (1:34) 4:16 PM - Snowshoes retrieval (1:00) 5:25 PM - 4WD TH (1:09) 6:05 PM - 2WD TH (0:40) 7:12 RT 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-02-13, By: Elysed
Info: Road to lower trailhead is paved and in good condition. Left lower trailhead ~0630, walked up 4wd road to upper trailhead (well packed snow, but likely not passable to any vehicles). Trail was still set for most of tree line approach, then no trail. I post holed up to my waist (even in snowshoes!) and on occasion did make contact with packed snow that was a trail. Very windy and new snow layer, was the only one on the mountain the entire day. Due to getting off trail and breaking trail in knee to waist deep snow, didn't get up to the summit until around 1:15pm. Lovely 25 mph gusts, white out conditions and -13*F made the summit a brief experience started descent to find my trail had been covered by wind/snow and I got the pleasure of breaking trail again! Tried to stay off my phone for gps as my battery was low, likely would've made trail finding a bit easier. Returned to lower trailhead at ~5:30pm. Long day and I took many breaks to route find/enjoy snacks so in better conditions it would've been about 2+hrs faster. Snow shoes are a must, never used crampons but spikes are worth bringing if your snow shoes don't have crampons integrated as there are ice patches. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-02-02, By: CaptCO
Info: Spikes are all that's needed. Creek crossing has one pull out afterward, .4 from TH. Chains might make it the rest of the way but not worth it, we were in a rubicon with 37s. Beautiful day out, retrenched the return shortcut. Easyyyy baby 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-28, By: askwjs
Info: No need for flotation or traction. Boot packed to treeline then wind blown above. Postholed a few times but the snowshoes were a waste of weight. Tracks were getting covered up by winds above treeline. Snowed on the road between the winter and summer TH then stopped. Road is easier to walk than drive for sure but another hiker managed to drive to a pulloff about 1 mile from winter TH. Would not recommend trying to drive the road though. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-11, By: durkan
Info: Walked up from the lower 2WD Road trailhead for a good, long day out. Brought snowshoes, but never used them, so we stashed them at 12,600 ft. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2021-01-06, By: KingHenryJames3rd
Info: Parked at 2WD TH but on the way down the road coming back saw tire tracks a half mile from 4wd TH. Probably would have went a ways up the 4wd road and into a pull off to save some mileage but oh well. Used snowshoes about a mile and a half after the Elbert trail splits from CO trail. They definitely came in handy. There is definitely a well packed trench to treeline and then a few other packed trails leading to summit but are wind blown on and off. There was a few inches of fresh snow from last night. I stashed snow shoes once gaining the first ridge after coming out of treeline where it is obviously wind blown. Didn't need traction to summit. Plenty of rocks and grass exposed. As well as a few boot packed trails leading to summit. A little windy today but overall absolutely beautiful weather. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-12-31, By: Vhough
Info: Trail is still packed solidly until reaching the actual ridge, expect post holing on the ridge, and especially on the way down from the summit until you're well into tree line. Currently no traction or flotation is really needed. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-12-09, By: Thevirtualsherpa
Info: Solid booter from TH to summit. Minimal icy spots and 0.0 non packed down snow, could have worn trail runners. Traction not necessary but helpful for the way down. Beautiful day on Elbert. Posted TH conditions update as well. Skiing wise - leave your stuff a home. Nothing is even close to being in above treeline. Surface of all of the snow is going to be a problem once layers are added on top of it. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-12-07, By: CharGalli
Info: Rd to parking Lot/ TH is plowed and clear... Easy winter hike with no Avy danger via east Ridge ... There is a well packed trench going larger than a highway so no postholing on this one ... no snowshoes or spikes were used or needed ... Impossible to miss the route ... We had a bluebird day but it was cold and windy 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-12-07, By: stomblin7
Info: There is a solid boot path all the way to summit. Started at the lower trailhead. Clocked 1.76 mi to upper trailhead. The road to the upper trailhead is packed down with snow, but the creek was solid iced over and I wouldn't recommend trying to drive pass it. We were able to bypass creek on some packed snow hiking. Trail is easy to follow through the trees and no traction or snowshoes required. Above treeline boot path gets sloppy (deeper holes) in spots, but no issues. Headed down after 1pm and snow became slick in some spots. Spikes might help but are not necessary. Watch had 12.4 mi round trip and about 4900 ft gain. We had a gorgeous blue bird day and couldn't ask for better views. 
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Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-12-05, By: gregpeak
Info: There is a good boot pack all the way to tree line. After tree line it is variable from bare rock to 2 foot windrifts. No need for flotation. I climbed without any traction but it could be helpful. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-11-29, By: dixie2
Info: Obvious boot pack most of the way, once on the ridge several short sections of wind drifts that hide the path and may result in ~12" of post-holing. Firm snow, no ice. On the summit there was no sign of the path from other routes. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-11-25, By: durkan
Info: Snow depth maybe varied from a couple inches to 8-16" in some places. We did not summit, but a nice trench is in place to 12,000 ft. Beautiful day out. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-11-06, By: mtgoatmike
Info: Snow patches on roughly 80+% of the ridge leading to the summit. Some areas you are able to avoid, others you must walk on, micro spikes are recommended. 

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