Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  07/26/2010
Date Climbed:   07/26/2010
Author:  johnno
 East Ridge, STEEP!  

This is a report from Sunday July 25th. Camped at the upper trail head the evening before - the directions on the Route sheet were very good and found the trail head easily. The camping spot in beautiful up in the Aspen grove, so as long as you can drive through the creek and the rocks just before it, youll make it to the trailhead with no problem.

We started about 7am - was cool in the trees but warmed up quickly for two reasons - one is the sun came out, but mostly because the trail is REALLY STEEP in the treed area. In fact that was a theme of this climb - the lack of switchbacks and the real steepness of most of the trail really caught me by surprise. The trail isnt difficult to navigate - its just straight uphill! Be aware of this - it particularly hurt coming down when the legs and knees were tired and trying to maintain traction downhill is difficult in places, particularly in the tree line at the very end of the hike. If it werent for hiking poles I would have slid down many times.

Made the summit about 11:30a after many and frequent stops for my first time 14er companion. So about 4.5hrs up for us, and about 2.5-3hrs down. Note that my Garmin GPS was WAY off in terms of elevation - it reported 13900ft at the top, so about 500ft off. I was using this to compute how close we were, so it was a real surprise when we hit the summit before we got to 14,000ft!

Overall a great experience - my only caution would be to those who expect a gradual/switchbacked climb to get used to steep straight segments of dirt track on this route.


 Comments or Questions

08/19/2010 15:46
I wish I would have seen your report before we hiked. We went up the day before you and I was also shocked by how steep and long Elbert was. When I read Class 1, it was not what I was expecting. I just submitted a trip report too stating this...Elbert - Class 1???

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