Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  07/15/2013
Date Climbed:   07/13/2013
Author:  emescobar
 Elbert- Northeast Ridge  

After a year of planning to climb Mt. Elbert, my friend Robin and I found a weekend where we were both free and two of our other friends were able to come along also. We left the Denver area on Friday at about 5:30pm after a fast Chipotle dinner (good fuel for the next morning). The Denver and Boulder area, where we live, was pouring all afternoon and the mountains looked a little ominous with their wall of black, so we were nervous that we wouldn't get good weather in the morning for the hike. Happily, the weather gods smiled down on us though. We got to the Elbert trailhead at about 10:30pm on Friday, set up our tent quickly and our alarm for 4am.

We woke up pretty promptly at 4am-ish, and after a good breakfast, we were on the trail at 5am. The weather was really really nice, and we stopped pretty shortly into our hike to shed layers (this is something that we did multiple times throughout the hike.. layers are so important!) It took us around an hour and a half to get out of tree line, and were rewarded, per usual with these hikes, with gorgeous views of the early morning. The hardest part of the climb, for us and I think for most people, was around 13,400. Somehow though, once you're at that point which is so far into the hike, it doesn't seem as hard on you as the beginning of the hike which gains elevation so quickly. Important to know, is that there are two or three false summits. Also, bring your mosquito spray! The mosquitos were biting us even through our clothes, especially when we paused for a quick snack break.

We reached the very top at 9:15am, and were disappointed to not find a registry to sign our names.. but, oh well. We took pictures, soaked in the beauty of Colorado, and feasted on chocolate, almond butter, granola and crackers.. eating is one of the best parts of reaching the top in my opinion. I will also mention that we were disappointed to find a large amount of trash that people had left at the top, so we packed it back down with us. People who love Colorado enough to climb its mountains should love those mountains enough not to litter them. Rant over. After about 20min., clouds started to move in more and we thought it best to head down. It took us about 2.5 hours to reach our car (if you don't count a little backtracking we had to do to find Robin's mittens). The clouds moved away as we went down, and it didn't look to get stormy up there until we were on our way to Frisco at around 2pm.

All in all, it was a great and rewarding trip, filled with really nice people all along the way. Happy hiking!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Trash on summit
07/15/2013 23:50
I climbed the same route with my family the day before. When we reached the summit, I was shocked to see ~100 people on the summit! I've seen some crowds on 14ers, but this was a first for me. Turns out there was a Dish Network corporate event climb that day. Not blaming them for the litter, but you know big crowds. I also think it was a first 14er for many of them. Just sayin.....


Same corporate event on Saturday as well
07/16/2013 00:05
I went up Saturday as well and there were around 80+ people from the same corporate event piled up at the trailhead at 5AM. The summit was packed but not as many as 100.. Was on the summit the same time with this motley crew

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