Ascent of Mount Elbert on 2012-07-22

Climber: Rob Woodall

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, July 22, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Elbert
    Elevation:14433 ft / 4399 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was an early morning ascent from the north east, at the start of a 4-week trip to the mid west. I arrived at the Elbert North Creek trailhead late the previous evening having flown in to Denver that afternoon.

To reach the NE trailhead, from the US-24, follow the 300 west for 0.6mi then turn L at N39.22266 W106.36356 on to a paved road. In about a half mile turn R at N39.20463 W106.36246 onto a road signposted Halfmoon Creek. The road soon becomes unpaved, a little rough but no ground clearance issues. Following Halfmoon signs you pass the campsite of that name, then the Elbert parking lot is a short way further along on the L. The trailhead is at the top left corner of the lot at N39.15166 W106.41239 (3067m), with a signboard which didn't show the summit trail...

The hike is simple, on a good trail all the way. Soon after leaving the TH a sign is reached: turn L onto the Continental Divide trail. This zigzags steeply uphill then gently descends and a sign indicates a R fork for Elbert. The trail leaves the trees and heads for what is actually a false summit. The main and best trail keeps R ascending this rocky section. Above it the gradient eases,a large cairn is reached at a clifftop and the path turns L to the summit which is soon reached, marked with a low circular stone shelter cairn (N39.11772 W106.44540, 4409m).

I'd had the benefit of high cloud cover during the ascent: this now cleared which made a good view even better. I'd passed a few parties on the way up including 3 students from Georgia: these soon arrived and we had a chat before I headed down. I jogged most of the descent, but with frequent pauses to chat to those still coming up.

Timings: depart 0519, summit 0756-0819, trailhead 0956 total 4h37.

The early start enabled me to reach the summit while it was still cool, and also gave plenty of time for an ascent (by car) of Pikes Peak in the afternoon.

Mt Elbert photo album
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4567 ft / 1391 m
    Extra Gain:98 ft / 29 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.1 mi / 14.6 km
    Route:NE ridge
    Trailhead:Elbert North Creek trailhead  10062 ft / 3066 m
    Grade/Class:YDS 1
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 37 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 37 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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