Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
Huron Peak  -  14,003 feet
La Plata Peak  -  14,336 feet
Date Posted:  05/24/2012
Date Climbed:   05/21/2012
Author:  Philo
 Sawatch slamma  

i just graduated high school and my brother was back for a week before leavingfor lousiana, so we were ready for some time in the mountains. the sawatch was an ideal place for some peakbagging, and the weather looked great, so we headed up on monday morning from colorado springs and got to the mt. elbert trlhead at 8:30 and started hiking. the trail was pretty much clear of snow all the way to the summit besides a few stretches of 10 meters or so. got to the summit at 10:45. Image
summit canister
la plata from elbert
got down to the trlhead at 1:00, then drove to mt. massive trlhead, got packed up, and hiked three miles to willow creek to camp for the night.Image
camp night 1
after an awful nights sleep, woke up at 4:30 and on the trail by 5 in the dark. treeline came soon, and sunrise at 5:30. great view of leadville and the back of the mosquito rangeImage above treeline, the trail seemed to take foreverrrrrrrrr and we got to the ridge at 6:45 and a great view of the surrounding mountains. the ridge to the summit took til 7:15 and it was a great view.Image
summit register
view west from the top
it was a lot faster down though because there were long glissades down the east slopes, and it only took until 11:00 to get all the way down to the trailhead. the weather was great, and we took off to winfield to climb huron that afternoon. it was a very late start but there were no clouds so we decided to go for it. the first two mile on the fourwheel drive road only took 40 minutes, but to treeline it took longer, getting there at 2:00. Next was the worst part, the snowfield in the basin. Image
snowfield on huron. Postholing!!
So late in the day, we postholed almost every other step up to knees, very soft snow. then, the switchbacks. it took a long time and was extremely windy to the summit, getting to the top at 3:30. Image
Summit cairn
view south from summit
this was the best view of the trip!heading down was exhausting and we got back to winfield at 6:00, very tired and we camped across clear creek from winfield. Food!!! Fell asleep at nine and woke up from a great sleep at 6:00, ate and headed up west winfield to la plata on wednesday.Also started off very gentle and soon climbed steeply into a beautiful basin at treeline.Image
then it was a muddy trek through the willows and then a steep climb up to the ridge. this was when it started to get windy, and going up the steep talus it got more and more windy. at the top of the FIRST false summit , it was very windy and at the top was extremely windy. got to the top at 10:45. Image
ribon in summit cairn
ellingwood ridge from the top
on the way down we were very happy to get out of the wind and get la plata done. only saw one guy with a dog on the way down, the whole hike. hope you got to the top!quickly got down to winfield at 1:30 and camped at the same campsite. took a lot of pics of winfield and the cemetery, very cool!!Image
winfield cabin
woke up at 6 and found an inch of snow on the ground and a blizzard coming from the west. quickly drove out and had pancakes in buena vista. yummm. thoroughly tired

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Cool Trip
05/25/2012 02:20
That's a lot of peaks in 3 days.


05/25/2012 03:55
Oh God, are people using sharpie on the summit rocks again?


05/26/2012 01:28
yeah on elbert and massive there was sharpie on the summit rocks

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