Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  02/09/2008
Date Climbed:   02/09/2008
Author:  iowa_born
 South Elbert-attempt   

South Elbert Trailhead near Twin Lakes.

Moral of the story, climb it now and take advantage of all the trail breaking we did.

4x4 road seems to be drifting often enough that it is getting hard packed, floatation is not required but certainly makes life easier.

The trail we made leaving the upper trailhead is not exactly the summer route but it works up to a point. 1 to 1.5 Miles after the upper TH the trail traverses the Aspen groves on the steep slope. This slope is currently 6 to 8 feet of unconsolidated man swallowing pow pow. My AT set-up was quite adequate in sliding through the tightly packed weed trees but my buddies on their MSR snowshoes were being thoroughly worked. The below picture is the pseudo ridge line we followed as it had the more consolidated snow, notice how he is only sunk to his waste and not his neck.

This 400yd traverse of the pain in the asspens took about an hour, suggest finding an alternate route and not following our trail just because it is there. But then again we did just go through all the trouble of clearly the trail so it may work for you.

Above tree line you may want to keep the snowshoes on until reaching that minne saddle about 500 feet above the trees, there are some sneaky drifts waiting to drop you to your knees.
0850 Departure
1430 Turn around at 13200
1650 Return

No summit, but I can't complain about 40degrees and no wind on Elbert in January. Just can't figure out where that 8 feet of snow came from.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

That‘s Work!
02/11/2008 18:19
Congrats on conquering the hard Part! Sorry your tur-around time caught up with you, but the views and weather looked beautiful.

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