Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  09/05/2010
Date Climbed:   09/04/2010
Author:  DoubelDD
 Mt Elbert - Southest Ridge  

Mt Elbert Southeast Ridge from Twin Lakes Cabin

We headed up Mt Elbert using the Southeast Route. We had access to a cabin close to the trailhead so we hiked from the cabin, and got to the Trailhead at 8:00 AM. There were 2 cars in the trailhead. The trailhead is hard to see the sign is very small so if you go this route watch the mileage when you turn on Independence passes so you don't miss the trailhead.

The hike is steep right from the start, route description says you pass the first stream crossing at 1 mile, it seemed like more than 1 mile to me both on the way up and down, but I didn't have GPS and cannot verify the mileage to the first crossing
first crossing

I was already breathing hard and sweating at this point, the temperature was about 40 when we started but it warmed up quick and this route is steep so we were quickly taking off layers by this point. I was hoping my legs would wake up soon, so far I was feeling sluggish. We spent the night in Twin Lakes and the altitude was affecting me more than usual today.
past 1.5 mi

Mining shack 2 miles in, hot and down one Shirt and shorts
old mining shack

Now the fun starts, the hike up to the ridge that takes you to South Elbert was very steep and the hardest part of the climb, to this point we have not seen anybody on the trail, half way up the slope we saw 2 guys. I don't have any photos of this part; I think I was too busy trying to breath. The slope takes you to a saddle on the ridge that takes you to S Elbert and Elbert. This photo shows elbert from the saddle below S Elbert. Wind starting to blow a little, layers are going back on
elbert from saddle below S elbert

Cache on S Elbert, I took a GU, thanks to whoever left it, it tasted great, and left a hand warmer.
Cache on S elbert

Here is Elbert from S Elbert, all I could say here is that it looked really far away, but this part of the climb was coming much easier than the steep slope up, it took 1 hr 10 min to get from S Elbert to Elbert. There were portions of high winds up here, but nothing too bad. I had a coat on and hat due to the winds.
Elbert from S Elbert

We made it to the summit about noon, there was a lot of folks on the summit that came up the standard Route. About 20 peope in all. Is was not crowded on the trail, we saw 2 groups coming up, and we saw 2 more groups on the way down
Elbert Summit

Here is a View of S Elbert from Elbert
view of S Elbert from Elbert

The hike down was nice. The Views on this Route are some of the best I've seen, and you get great views from the time you reach the saddle below S Elbert. This is a great Route all in all. It took us 8 Hours we hiked 12 miles, we had some extra hiking from the cabin to the trail head. About 5 hours were above tree line. I was tired when we got done; the steep part of the climb on the way down really made the knees bark. Felt fine the next day and did some biking on the Colorado Trail out of Twin lakes. A great scenic hike and a good challenge

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions

On my to-do list
11/06/2010 14:28
I enjoyed your report. I want to eventually hike Elbert, Southeast Ridge. I especially liked your comments above the 3rd photo describing the conditions, ”already breathing hard . . . temp 40 . . . but it warmed up quick . . . route is steep . . . altitude affecting me more than usual.” Things we might easily forget later. It seemed like I was right there, reliving some of my own hiking experiences. Sounds like you had a good day.

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