Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  07/02/2007
Date Climbed:   06/28/2007
Author:  seannunn
 Elbert--from North Mt. Elbert trailhead  

Climbed Mt. Elbert on 6/28/2007, from the North Mt. Elbert trailhead. A pretty uneventful climb but quite enjoyable. We left the trailhead at 6:40am and were on the summit at 9:40. The trail is very clear and hard to get lost on, but fairly steep (4400‘ climbing in 4.5 miles).

With my 2 buddies barely concealing their contempt (they could probably have made the summit 15 minutes sooner without me slowing them down), I told them I was heading over to tag the top of South Elbert and that I would be back in 45 minutes or so. I made the mistake of using the chart in the back of Roaches‘ book which lists "other 14000‘ peaks" to decide that it was only a mile over to South Elbert. I guess that must be as the crow flies. The trip goes along a large semicircle (to go straight across would require major downclimbing). It is close to 2 miles over and 2 miles back, with a 500 foot downclimb to the saddle. I had left my pack on the top of Elbert, thinking that 45 minutes without water was no big deal, but 1.5 hours certainly was, at least for a neophyte climber like me.

The downclimb was similar to the upclimb; pretty fun but largely uneventful. I now have 23 14‘er summits (19 official ones), but I am running out of easy ones. At some point before too long I am going to have to get out of the Front Range, step up my skills and climb some class 4‘s.

Was surprised to see how many people were still going up, well above treeline, late in the morning, with some darker clouds already starting to form. Guess they have never felt static electricity stand their hair on end like I did a few years ago near the summit of Columbia. Hopefully they will be lucky enough, like I was, to learn the easy way.

Sean Nunn
Raytown MO

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