Ascent of Mount Elbert on 2017-03-25

Climber: Dan Hildebrand

Date:Saturday, March 25, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Elbert
    Elevation:14433 ft / 4399 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was my girlfriend's and my 3rd 14er with the 14er Fanclub Meetup group. We stayed in Leadville the night before to make the early alarm clock and dark drive a little easier :)

Our trip leader was being really optimistic about driving up the 4x4 road to the upper trail head to take the South Mt. Elbert Trail. I have an AWD car (Mitsubishi Outlander) which led the pack admirably for one tenth of a mile before being scuttled on the side of the road. We stashed our gear in someone's massive pickup truck and made it another .1 before starting our hike. In conclusion, just park at the lower parking lot and save yourself the hassle. There was too much snow on the road and tires just sank and melted the Spring slush into ice. Also, the section of road that everyone mentions will likely stop most vehicles? It was a 20 foot wide pond full of snow melt...

The hike was pretty straightforward, 12ish miles (including the trail head access road) and almost 5000 feet of elevation gain. The trail was well packed on the way up, but it was hard not to post hole in the sun warmed snow on the way down. Most of the ridge line had a nice crust of snow to dig into without having to plow through anything; definitely a good hike for mircospikes.
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