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Mt. Elbert  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
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 nevè 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 
2014-06-01  Northeast Ridge  Started from the Halfmoon Creek TH at 2000 on Sat. Hiked for about an hour; moderate snow and ice on trail in sparse places. Camped out that night in an opening. Didn‘t get very cold and had moderate rain. Continued on trail the next morning at 0630. No snow to worry about up to the large clearing just below the treeline. At this point forward until the treeline there is miserable post-holing up to my waist. The season has clearly begun since there were upwards of 20 people on the trail that day. After the treeline, conditions were great all the way to the top. Outstanding first 14er!! Sean2017   2014-06-01  0     Edit Delete 
2014-05-29  East Ridge  Hiked to summit via the lower S. Elbert TH, walked 4WD Road up and CT/CDT down. No snow at all on the 4WD road or CT/CDT up to Mt. Elbert Trail junction. Be prepared for quite a bit of snow and lots of postholing unless you get done REALLY early. Probably unavoidable. Below treeline, there are just a few patches of snow and most of the trail is dry. I postholed lots on these few patches on the way down. Above treeline, there were quite a few tracks through a 60% snow-covered route to the summit. Snow conditions were great for my hike up and down on the upper mountain, but I was headed down about 11am. skibumblake   2014-05-29  0     Edit Delete 
2014-05-25  Northeast Ridge  Headed up from the standard trailhead off Halfmoon Rd at 6:15am today (5/25), trail running shoes and tights, no traction and no flotation. Snow is patchy and VERY wet below 11000ft due to off and on rain the past few days. There is a pretty stomped in trench at this point, but expect damp feet and some slippery terrain. From 11000ft up the trail slowly becomes more snow packed, but a decent trench is getting dug in. From 11400ft-12000ft nearly 80%+ snow cover some stable enough to walk on top of, but I was postholing every 5-7 steps. Once at treeline the snow coverage is very thin, but there were a couple inches of new snow this AM, should melt away soon. I turned around at 12800ft due to zero visibility clouds and new snow covering the trail. Traction not necessary, snowshoes would be helpful for the section from 11400-12000, but otherwise a burden. Skis would be useless, unless you want to lug them all the way up to ski the box couliers. I dug a nice trench below 114000ft and tracked out a good line from there to treeline, so follow my tracks and you\‘ll make it up. A few other parties were heading up later in the day, not sure if they made it, all were below 11000ft. Gaiters and/or tights a necessity for the snow and postholing. Photo #1: Snow starting to overtake the trail at 11400ft. Photo #2: My postholing track through the deep snow. Photo #3: View from treeline up, mostly snow free, especially after the new dusting melts. thebeave7   2014-05-25 3  2  Edit Delete 
2014-05-13  East Ridge  Pulled off part way up 4wd road. Ankle to knee deep snow from trailhead to summit. Trench is in. Was sloppy in the afternoon, so start early. This was right after the fresh snow though, so not sure how it is now. Snowshoes a necessity, did not use spikes. cmohseni   2014-05-16 4  2    Edit Delete 
2014-05-02  South, peak, Box Need a pc to play video. Good snow coverage in the box. Good bit of shouldering skis on the S. Trail arm in the lower saddle above tree line. Once 1/2 way up the box via the S arm skins all the way to the top! skibum87507   2014-05-07  0  1      
2014-04-12  East Ridge  Lots of snow from the 2WD TH to the summit. Was able to skin straight from the car at the 2WD TH. Snow on the lower half of the route starting near tree line is extremely wet. A good freeze overnight will make for a nice ascent, but get down before it heats up. I was able to snowboard from the summit to the car with just a few short walking sections I had to get through rock and then bare patches on the 4WD road. I definitely made use of both poles pushing through the flats down low. I did not get any photos of Box Creek, but the couloirs are completely in. More snow on the way tonight. Image #1: Summer TH Image #2: East Ridge Route from tree line Image #3: Looking bag on East Ridge route jmc5040   2014-04-12 3     Edit Delete 
2014-04-04  East Ridge  Stereo311 and I made it up Elbert today a bit exhausted from being so early in the season. We left the winter TH around 7:30am. We hiked the snow-packed trail in boots to the summer TH and bridge crossing in 1.5 hours. We needed snowshoes shortly after this point as there was no trench. Given the already abundant snow this year, I believe the area got around 3-6 inches the night before and this required snowshoes all the way to summit at 11:30am. Lounged on the summit as there was no wind and took in the views. When time to descend, the snow softened up a bit. Snowshoes helped and we were back at the car around 3:30pm. It sounds like another round of snow is expected so who knows how long the trench will be there. climbnowworklater   2014-04-04 3     Edit Delete 
2014-03-29  East Ridge  Snowshoes would be very useful above treeline. Wished I had brought some, because it‘s basically postholing all the way to the summit. Below treeline snowshoes weren‘t needed, there is a well established ski/snowshoe/boot trail after today. mlayman09   2014-03-29  0     Edit Delete 
2014-03-14  East Ridge  There is a nice trench in all the way from the 2wd parking lot to the summit. We did not need snowshoes or any traction, only bare boots. Things were a little slushy and warm in the afternoon but post holing was minimal. Was an easy winter summit grab in blue bird conditions. climbingbiz   2014-03-14 1  1    Edit Delete 

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