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Mt. Elbert  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-09-20  Northeast Ridge  100% dry trail to the top. Kevin H   2014-09-20  0     Edit Delete 
2014-09-19  Northeast Ridge  Trail is perfect with no snow or ice all the way to the top. Fall color was amazing to see from up high! timcarroll920   2014-09-23 2     Edit Delete 
2014-09-08  Northeast Ridge  Hiked this big guy on 9/8/14. The swarms of mosquitoes from previous reports didn‘t materialize (not complaining here). The temps was a bit chilly but still warm enough to go with just an underlayer and a long sleeve shirt over. I pulled out my light down jacket once at the top for lunch. The snow from previous reports had mostly melted except for a few very very small patches on the top. The trail was 99% dry with a couple wet patches near the snow. The wind was low and the the clouds moved in later in the day. Great hike as the aspens are just about to change over to gold. It‘s not too late to get one more peak in this season :-) Boulder74   2014-09-09 2     Edit Delete 
2014-09-06  Northeast Ridge  Hiked up there today. Weather was perfect and the trail was in great condition. There was a little snow for the final 100ft, but it was easily avoidable and hardly noticed it. sheller   2014-09-06  0     Edit Delete 
2014-08-29  Southwest Ridge over Bull Hill  This is a visual report of the middle Sawatch from driving by and hiking 13ers today. Elbert, Massive and La Plata have snow above 14,000‘ on all aspects. Standard route on Huron looked dry. 14ers to south (Belf/Ox/Mo, Collegiates) looked dry from western aspects but I was rather far away so not 100% certain. All Sawatch 13ers are dry. Typical summer weather pattern today, clouds building around noon, rain starting at 4pm. TravelingMatt   2014-08-29  0     Edit Delete 
2014-08-28  East Ridge  Snow fell above 12k on Elbert. As of yesterday afternoon, there was a couple of inches all over the mountain, but Northern aspects received more (as I saw once I was on top). There starts to be patches of snow on the trail from 12k up, but nothing too much (maybe 3" in spots) and given the gentle nature of the route, traction not needed, especially if warming continues as expected. South Elbert entire east face was covered with same light snow. nyker   2014-08-29  0     Edit Delete 
2014-08-19  Southeast Ridge  Started from Mt. Elbert Lodge at 0530, reached treeline about 0830, top of ridge about 0930. The route up the side of the ridge is incredibly steep. There is water at multiple places up the side of the ridge, which came in handy on the way back down (purification required). The route on the top of the ridge is pretty difficult to see, so plan to take your time wayfinding. We skirted the edge of two storms as we made our way over South Elbert and up to the summit, arriving at 1230. Conditions were clear, with storms to the northwest. Several people were at the top, having hiked the northern routes, which they reported as much easier. The Black Cloud Trail is definitely the hard way up Mt. Elbert. The way back down is quite a bit faster, but is really, really challenging to keep your footing. On the way down the side of the ridge, we were on all fours, backing down in several spots to keep from sliding off the trail. Trekking poles are highly recommended, I wish I‘d had some. My partner did and used them to great advantage. We reached the Lodge by 1800. Overall, a great route, but really challenging for beginners like us. andersonjc   2014-08-22 8     Edit Delete 
2014-08-16  Northeast Ridge  Parking lot was full by 7:30am. It was 37 degrees in the morning and around 60 degrees higher up. Dry trail all the way up. No Mosquitos but they don‘t tend to bother me much. Mild breeze above tree line. Clouds but no rain. Trail was busy. More congestion near the top. Perfect day to do our first hike on a 14er. Memetke   2014-08-17  0     Edit Delete 
2014-07-20  Northeast Ridge  A perfect day on Colorado‘s highest peak. Temperatures held between 45 and 60 F at all elevations. No snow present on trail from base to summit, though some patches remain to the sides of the path. As others have noted, mosquitoes are in full force up to (and even just beyond) the tree line, so repellant or long sleeves/zip-off pants may be recommended. Minimal wind on the final 2,000 feet of the ascent. It‘s Elbert in July, so crowds were heavy. Lots of passing, some rockfall loosed by other hikers on steepest portions of the trail. Largest crowds were on summit between 11:30 and 12. Afternoon storms came in on cue at 2pm. LaramieCowboy   2014-07-21 4     Edit Delete 
2014-07-11  Northeast Ridge  Wonderful morning on Mt. Elbert. with blue skies. (rain and mild thunderstorms rolled through in the pm) Trail was in full summer conditions. Below treeline, there was a bit of mud in sections from recent rains, but after treeline everything was nice and dry. Mosquitos were a problem on this trail until you reach about 13,000 ft. They were swarming us around treeline. No stopping on trail or hundreds will land on you. Summit was nice with minimal wind. Terraphilia   2014-07-12 1     Edit Delete 
2014-07-07  East Ridge  My first 14er. Let me know if there‘s any other info I should add. start: 0730, summit 1030, descent 11, return 1230 Ascended via the 4WD trailhead. We were in a jeep but there were some subarus at the trailhead as well. Nothing too difficult and the stream is only about 6" deep as others have said. There are a lot of bugs for the first two miles or so. Above the treeline the trail is braided but abundantly clear to the summit. At about 13000‘ there is a snowfield about 10 yards long. It was well postholed last week, and probably pretty small by now. JeremiahJohnson   2014-07-15 4     Edit Delete 
2014-07-05  Northeast Ridge  Camped at the Elbert creek campground overnight. Started the NE Ridge trail at 5:45 am. Virtually no snow anywhere on the trail, but a lot of bugs below treeline. Above treeline, winds were surprisingly calm (sustained winds, may be around 15 - 20 mph). The pitch above 13500‘ (approx.) is very steep and consists of sand and loose scree, until you get to about 14000‘. Many people opted to hop up the boulder field at this point instead of going up the scree. While there‘s still ~440‘ left to climb, it is mostly on good trail. arvind_ravi   2014-07-07  0     Edit Delete 
2014-07-05  Northeast Ridge  I climbed the Northeast ridge on Saturday 7/5... started a little later at 6:30 and got one of the last spots in the trail-head parking lot. The dirt road is in great condition, but still be careful with other cars around so as not to get your windshield cracked from flying rocks. There is a significant portion of the hike (a good 2+ miles) below treeline, where the bugs are very prevalent and bite a lot - I would recommend bug spray. Once you get out of treeline there are a few false summits, but just keep pushing through. There is about a 1/2-3/4mi section of pure loose rock that is steep and slippery. Be careful and take your time - especially going down. I was not expecting this steep, slippery loose rock on the class 1. However, apart from that section it‘s just a good, decent climb. Once you get past that part there‘s another section up to the summit. E_A_Marcus_949   2014-07-07  0     Edit Delete 
2014-06-28  Southeast Ridge  Did South Elbert and Elbert via the Southeast ridge on Saturday (6/28/14). Initially planned on camping and summiting on Sunday, but the weather was so nice that I decided for a late summit attempt (left my campsite near treeline at 1PM. Hap the ridge and both summits completely to myself. Trail all the way up to the ridge is completely free of snow, and there are many snow patches along the ridge which are all 100% avoidable. BagginPeaks   2014-06-29 4  3 2  Edit Delete 
2014-06-21  Box Creek Couloirs  Climbed Elbert this morning via the NE ridge to box creek. Only two of the couloirs (on the north end) are still in to the top. No boot pack to be found. I started up at 715 on hard nevč but by 745 was sinking down to my knees. I elected to traverse north across the snow and rejoin the NE ridge trail, which I climbed up to and met at around 13,600. It was a warm night camping last night and overcast when I woke up at 2, so I imagine that combined with the dust layers is what weakened the snow. Given current temps, I don‘t think these couloirs will be in for more than a few days. Tim A   2014-06-21 1     Edit Delete 
2014-06-19  Northeast Ridge  A repeat of what ekviatnie said on 6/07, except the final snowfields are smaller now. No winter equipment needed. The bridge over the creek at the beginning of the trail is washed out, but crossing is still fairly straightforward. With the exception of the summit, the trail is well marked and in good shape. The only problem I heard was another group of hikers turned right onto the Colorado Trail instead of left towards Elbert at the very beginning. Read the signage and know your route, I guess... Weather was in the low 40s but gusty at times, not a cloud in the sky, and still an awesome hike. Saw a lot of people underestimating the 4700‘ vertical climb, watch out for the giant false summit when you clear the trees. It‘s a Thursday in mid June and there were about 60 people attempting a summit that I saw. Here we go. Jonpulliaminc   2014-06-19 8     Edit Delete 
2014-06-14  Southeast Ridge  Started at the Black Cloud trailhead at 6am - no snow until past treelike, and then only two or three patches. I saw a few postholes from previous hikers, but was able to stay on top of the snow easily for the few feet until the other side. Once at the ridge, the route to Cosgriff and South Elbert was mostly clear of snow (pic 1). There was enough snow on the trail between South Elbert and Mt. Elbert to make me glad I had microspikes in my pack, although a few other people did it without (pic 2). The snow was very solid before noon and I did very little postholing. On the way back I tried the ridge over to Bull Hill, but the snow was very soft and unstable, and between the freshening winds on the NW side of the ridge and the poor snow on the SE side, I decided to abort the trip to Bull Hill. I dropped into the drainage between Bull Hill and South Elbert and picked up the trail there. Roach‘s fourteeners book lists two variants of the SE ridge - one to Bull Hill via the Fidelity mine (10R3 V2) and one up the drainage I mentioned above (10R3 V1). I was able to find the trail to the Fidelity mine, but it disappears after a few yards. I tried to pick it up for a little while, but was unable to, and apparently others have also tried, as there is a big X made from tree limbs at the start. The trail down the drainage I was unable to find when starting from the top, although the snowfields still remaining made some detours from the predicted route unavoidable. I would conclude that the first route to the mine is gone, and the second might be the same. I would caution anyone trying to add these to your loop route. Gregg-G   2014-06-15 2     Edit Delete 
2014-06-13  East Ridge  For anyone wanting updated Elbert conditions, here you go. Some snow in the upper part of the trees but clear on the trail. At 12,400ft the snow starts to cover some of the trail but you can move around it. I stayed on the snow since it was solid. Once above 13,000ft there was more snow than rock. I stayed on the snow to the summit from this point again because it was solid and super easy to move on. You can stay to the right in the picture below and avoid some snow close to the top. I didn‘t use traction or an axe. To top of the experience I got to the trail head and realized I had left my hiking shoes at home. I did the hike in my Tour master Solution 2.0 motorcycle boots. They are waterproof and insulated. I wont do this again but they felt great! The summit was snow covered. myfeetrock   2014-06-14 7     Edit Delete 
2014-06-08  Southeast Ridge  Plenty of snow fields to make your way through above 13k feet. Trail is pretty much smooth sailing up to there, however. On and off white-out conditions throughout the day. A storm finally rolled in to stay around 12:30. Coming down from the top visibility was about 10ft due to white-out. Would have been terrifying if the route down this mountain wasn‘t so straight-forward. 4WD trailhead is easily accessible with moderate clearance (your WRX won‘t make it). I was able to leave my truck in 2wd the whole time. pdenman33   2014-06-09 3     Edit Delete 
2014-06-07  Northeast Ridge  No snow below about 11,000 feet. Between 11,000 feet and tree-line, there are multiple stacks of snow that have seen significant foot-traffic and can easily be crossed. Above tree-line, there is minimal snow on the trail until the final 200 vertical feet. I ran the trail in shorts and running shoes. No traction or flotation devices needed. ekviatnie   2014-06-08  0     Edit Delete 

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