Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  08/30/2010
Date Climbed:   08/29/2010
Author:  JenGa
 Elbert from the Black Cloud TH  

I climbed this route yesterday, after turning back last summer due to cold and snow on the summit ridge. Last summer, I felt depressed on the drive home after making the decision to turn back on the summit ridge; yesterday I was glad that I had. This hike was a lot of work for me, and it was my 5th 14'er in two weeks. I made it up to the summit ridge in 2.5 hours, and I was moving fast (for me) due to the high winds and clouds that kept blowing over (luckily the weather never materialized into anything except a bit of graupel). After I made it to South Elbert, it was a lot easier than it looked, and I made the summit in 4.5 hours. I was the only one on the trail head all day, and while I enjoy hiking alone, I don't really enjoy being THAT alone. There were a lot of really nice people on the summit, along with two great dogs, one of them a dachshund named Leo. It was a good hike, but my advice to anyone going up is to take your time and rest a lot on the steep slope going up to the summit ridge. The ridge can look daunting if you already worn out when you get there. The trail isn't always obvious, and in white-out or foggy conditions a GPS is invaluable. Don't forget to stop at South Elbert - there are some very cool items in the metal box, and BTW I left an energy bar just in case someone needs the extra energy like I did! Good luck - this is a beautiful and challenging hike. Also - it is definitely autumn above treeline.

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