Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted: 
Date Climbed:   06/28/2005
Author:  mr green

 North Elbert TH 6-28-05  

My friend and I climbed Mt. Elbert via the North Mt. Elbert Trailhead in late June 2005. We climbed on a thursday. Wanting to beat the crowds and the weather, we left our hotel in Copper Mountain at 4:30 AM, reaching the trailhead right at 5. A couple other cars were in the lot, and a group of 4 or 5 got on the trail right before us. We quickly caught them. We climbed through the aspens and saw the sunrise over the Mosquito Range. The miles flew by in the dark. As soon as we broke the treeline at 6:30 or so, we were surprised to see a group of three people descending. They made the summit for sunrise (which im determined to do someday). The sun was up but the wind was powerful. I was actually blown over by a gust near the summit. We reached the first false summit, only to meet a man who told us there were two morw false summits. We reached the first summit, and saw what we believed to be the final false summit before the real summit. We stopped for a minute, caught our breath, enjoyed the view, drank some gatorade, and switched the pack, and continued over to the false summit. We got there three minutes later, only to realize this was the actual summit. The time was 8:15 and we had the summit to ourselves. It was the coldest Ive ever been in my life. We could only stay up there for 10 minutes or so, just long enough to eat a little bit. The trip down seemed like it would never end. Miles really do fly by in the dark. When I reached the car I took off my shoes, only to find i had a case of what i can only describe as turf toe. I dont want to be graphic, but big toenail on my right foot was in bad shape. Stopped in the Golden Burro in Leadville, already making plans for Massive on Saturday.

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