Ascent of Mount Elbert on 2010-08-14

Climber: Lee Newton

Date:Saturday, August 14, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Elbert
    Elevation:14433 ft / 4399 m

Ascent Trip Report

Having slept in a little, and having been delayed by a large bike race in Leadville, I eventually set off late from the Mount Elbert trailhead around 7am. Luckily the forecast was for all day sun and not the normal afternoon thunderstorm pattern.

Starting through the trees I was amazed by how many squirrels there were cavorting in plain view. I could immediately feel the altitude despite my attempts at acclimatising on the Pikes Peak cog railway the day before. At the tree line I stopped to put on sunglasses / hat etc and could see a few dozen people on the trail ahead. As I set off my mind wandered and my body found it's rhythm. All of a sudden I was over 4000m at the shoulder constituting the first of several false summits as viewed from below. The continuation to the top remained easy onthe well worn trail, although I had to slow my pace again because of the altitude. Soon I was at the top with magnificent views stretching from Pikes Peak in the southeast to the peaks around Aspen to the West.

Many ill-equipped and under-prepared people were coming up the lower part of the trail as I descended, I can understand why the rangers treat everyone as if they are stupid, since a certain minority clearly are.. The return by the same route was otherwise uneventful, except I emerged from the forest at the Mount Massive trailhead instead, apparently having missed the junction and continued too far on the Colorado trail. A half mile back along a hot and dusty road was my reward.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4579 ft / 1394 m
    Elevation Loss:4579 ft / 1394 m
    Distance:10 mi / 16.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Hot and sunny below, about 6C on top.
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:4481 ft / 1365 m
    Extra Loss:98 ft / 29 m
    Distance:4.5 mi / 7.2 km
    Route:North Mount Elbert Trail
    Trailhead:Mount Elbert Trailhead  10050 ft / 3063 m
    Time Up:3 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:4481 ft / 1365 m
    Extra Gain:98 ft / 29 m
    Distance:5.5 mi / 8.9 km
    Route:North Mount Elbert Trail
    Trailhead:Mount Elbert Trailhead  10050 ft / 3063 m
    Time Down:2 Hours 

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