Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  05/08/2012
Date Climbed:   05/05/2012
Author:  Mtn Izz
 Beautiful Spring Day Summit  

Left North Elbert TH: 7:50AM
Returned: 6:33PM

Decided to tackle another 14er with my wife who's only other 14er climbed is Mt. Sherman. Why not Mt. Elbert? We planned on taking the traditional route up North Elbert trailhead and left the TH at 7:50. It was a bit later than anticipated but I wasn't worried due to the great weather that was in the forecast. We made our way through the first two miles just fine and it was the last .3 or so miles (right before getting out of treeline) that we had to follow previous post holing tracks to make it out of the trees.

99% dry ground on the way up to treeline
Following previous footsteps through the final .3 miles to get to treeline

There wasn't enough snow to worry about strapping on the gaitors or even microspikes but we had carried them with us just in case. Image
A view looking back once out of the trees

Once out of the trees, follow the 'great trail as it switchbacks up a gentle slope below the Northeast Ridge'... soon enough you'll catch a glimpse of the cirque that you'll eventuallybe face to face with. ImageImage
My hiking partner in the distance

The toughest part of the climb is between 13,300-13,900 and if this is just a once in a lifetime hike for you, I would recommend reserving enough energy to tackle this part of the climb. There's no use in exerting all your energy through this section and not having enough stamina to make it up the final 400 ft. Image
section through the talus to the right of the cirque

Once you get to about 13,900 ft. there is yet another false summit that lies ahead and you're approx 400 vertical ft from the summit! From the Route description, it says that it is 'easy hiking,' however, after getting through the hardest part of the route, I think that this particular section is more mental toughness than physical as my body was feeling the burn! The following picture shows the slope of this 'easy hiking'ImageImage
That is not the actual peak in the background... just part of the summit ridge
The following photo looks back at the 'flat area' near 13,900Image
flat area just to the left in the distance

Once you reach the false summit at about 14,300 ft. you'll be face to face with the summit ridge and no longer have to question if the summit's within sight.Image
I was so proud of my best friend and hiking partner for this climb and we enjoyed the incredible views from the summit!ImageImageImage
This panoramic was taken from my phone!
Couldn't help but taking a final picture on our way homeImage

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Great work!
05/08/2012 13:44
Elbert is a beaut for sure. Great trail and views. And I couldn't agree more about your 13,300-900 comment being the most phys and mentally draining. As a flatlander, this was the do-or-die area for me. That and not being able to see the summit until the very end were pretty tough-but worth it in the end!


Great Report
05/08/2012 15:28
Thank you for sharing, seems like the snow is starting to take a back seat.

Mtn Izz

05/08/2012 16:29
The snow is taking a back seat and yet there's enough to enjoy some magnificent views.


Congrats on the summit
12/14/2012 15:49
My Fiance, dog, and I met you guys on the trail that day. It turned out to be a perfect day!

Mtn Izz

05/09/2012 17:43
It sure did! Could not have planned for a better day. Congrats on getting to the top and perhaps we'll cross paths in the future.

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