Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  03/17/2014
Date Climbed:   03/14/2014
Author:  CraigFulton
 Elbert - East Ridge  

This was our first winter ascent on any mountain. I am a part of a small climbing team out of Florida and we got very lucky with the weather this day.

We got to the parking area on Road 24 Thursday at 6pm and camped out in the parking lot. Started our hike at 4:30am on Friday, 11 degrees and no wind. We decided to start off in crampons simply for traction because the snow wasn't bad enough for snowshoes. At 6:00am we made it to the official trailhead (we stopped a lot for gear adjustments ). The hike below treeline was straight forward with a 30 minute stop to watch the sunrise. By 8:15am we broke the treeline and the snow was nicely packed. Rarely would you drop in the snow past a couple of inches. Some others passed us with only boots on. We made summit at 12:15pm where the wind had picked up, I'd say 15-20mph and was freezing. Taking your glove off for a photo meant 15 minutes of warming your hand back up. It was as a beautiful site with no clouds for a hundred miles. We started our descent at 12:30pm and was back at the parking lot by 4:30pm (stopping a lot for photos...remember we're from Florida).

12 hour round trip that could've been under 10 if we didn't stop so much. We had hopes of doing Mt. Massive the next day but Halfmoon Rd. was closed on the forest boundary and would've been 20+ miles round trip. Went to Breck!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Good to see you up there!
03/17/2014 22:25
Jared (ahrendse) and I were the ones who passed you with only boots on! We went over and did Bull Hill and then back to South Elbert. Did you guys wonder where we went?

We didn't finish until 7:30pm. Glad you had a great day and congrats!


Well done!
03/17/2014 23:31
Congrats on your first winter ascent! It was my first winter 14er. We were wondering how your day was. Glad to here it was a good one!

I Man

03/17/2014 23:39
Winter summit of Elbert...from Florida! Cool!
I lived in Sarasota for 5 years before putting everything in my car and driving to Colorado. It was a good decision.

Well done. Hope you enjoyed yourselves.


Back in FL
03/18/2014 12:59
Hey guys! We did wonder where you went, but thought you may have traversed off the south ridge line. Couldn't imagine you went North!

I packed my things up twice and drove to Seattle, but Florida keeps sucking me back! hahaha

We had a great time and will be back in May for Massive or the loop on Lincoln, Bross, Democrat, and Cameron.

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