Ascent of Mount Elbert on 2016-11-13

Climber: Bradley R

Others in Party:Josh Rozina
Date:Sunday, November 13, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Elbert
    Elevation:14433 ft / 4399 m

Ascent Trip Report

The Plan: I took an extended weekend vacation to Denver to go hiking. I planned to stay with my college Roommate and his wife. Josh and I planned to wake up at 4 AM and drive to the "Mt. Elbert Trailhead Parking, North Mount Elbert Trail, Leadville, CO". We would then hike the Mt. Elbert East Ridge Trail.

Parking: I placed "Mt. Elbert Trailhead Parking, North Mount Elbert Trail, Leadville, CO" into Google maps and it took me to the trailhead. It's probably necessary to have 4WD to reach this trail head. There's another trailhead available in the area that 2WD could reach, but the hike would be longer.

Weather and route conditions: The weather was unseasonably warm for mid-November. The route to the summit of Elbert had very little ice and required no traction devices.

The drive: From Josh's house it was a 2.5 hour drive. Everything was normal well kept roads until the last two miles. We turned off on a poorly maintained dirt road, Forest Rd. 125B, here I put my rental Jeep Patriot 4X4 into 4WD. We crossed many large water breaks that would be difficult for a 2WD to make it over. On a couple I scraped the undercarriage of the Jeep.

The hike: Josh and I began hiking at 7:15 AM after a 2.5 hour drive to the trailhead. We quickly started gaining elevation. We reached the tree line at roughly 1.5 miles and 11,800' in elevation. Here the wind began and some light snow began to fall (or maybe blown from above). The elevation gain remains relatively constant throughout the hike. After going past the tree line the trail surface began going from sandy to rocky. The wind also picked up, and was heavy enough, with the cool temperature, to cause my hands to be uncomfortably cold. Josh switched glove with me as he was not having as much trouble. This did help me and made it clear to me I need to upgrade my gloves. By 3.25 miles we were hiking purely on rock. Altitude began to effect me around the 13,800 mark, or at least this is the first point I noticed it, but it was minor. We reached the summit after 4.1 miles of hiking. The views were wonderful. While the sky was mostly cloudy for the most part the clouds were sitting above the peaks, not on the peaks allowing for wonderful views with the sun breaking through in places. We returned to the Jeep via the same route. 8.2 miles total

-We met maybe 4 other groups of hikers on the trail, and after having the summit to ourselves for a few minutes we had two other groups show up there.

-This trip was really the first time Josh and I had talked in about 6 years after being roommates in college for 2 years. He and his wife were very gracious to let me stay at their home while I was visiting Colorado

-The weather was very unusual (relatively warm, still below freezing, and minimal ice and snow) for this time of year in Colorado, this made the hikes much more simple... despite being much warmer than normal the cold air and wind at the summit was enough to cause my phone to go from ~40% battery life to dead in a matter of 20 seconds... I was able to get my phone restarted with the external battery I carry.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3899 ft / 1188 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3899 ft / 1187 m
    Round-Trip Distance:8.2 mi / 13.2 km
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Windy, Partly Cloudy
It was cold and somewhere between partly and mostly cloudy. A little snow was falling, or possibly
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3899 ft / 1188 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3886 ft / 1185 m; Extra: 13 ft / 3m
    Loss on way in:13 ft / 3 m
    Distance:4.1 mi / 6.6 km
    Route:Mt. Elbert East Ridge
    Start Trailhead:Mt. Elbert Trailhead Parking, North Mount Elbert T  10547 ft / 3214 m
    Time:4 Hours 40 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3886 ft / 1184 m
    Distance:4.1 mi / 6.6 km
    Route:Mt. Elbert East Ridge
    End Trailhead:Mt. Elbert Trailhead Parking, North Mount Elbert T  10547 ft / 3214 m
    Time:1 Hours 58 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Bradley R
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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