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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-02-13||Route: East Ridge
Info: Just a note. There were about 40 hikers heading up today, Saturday (and, not to forget, six dogs). So, quite busy, and bareboot stampede has butchered the snowshoe track/trench from just above timberline to Colorado Trail turn-off. So, expect a bumpy walk, unlike past couple of weeks.
|2016-02-12||Route: Southeast Ridge
Info: The trail was snow covered from the parking lot until we got to about 13,000 where it was mixed snow and rocky terrain. Fortunately, the snow was pretty compacted and crampons were sufficient to ensure a stable hike. There is a long stretch just a short way past the trailhead where the compacted snow is only about 8-12 inches wide and on either side is deep snow that is easy to posthole in... and you will posthole. There were six people on the mountain the whole day (my party of three and another party of three) so it was a great time to hike this otherwise busy trail. Near the summit where there is less snow, the trail is more or less obliterated in spots so you have to pick your way through the rocky tundra carefully to avoid slipping on rocks or damaging the area further. The weather was beautiful the whole day, despite the high winds we experienced above timberline. For the most part, temperatures hovered in the 40‘s and the sun was out the whole day. Be warned, even though the snow isn‘t too tough to cross, there is enough of it that it will slow you down, so be prepared to take longer than you intended to reach the summit. Once you do, its totally worth it though, as the Sawatch range is beautiful covered in snow.
|2016-02-11||Route: Southeast Ridge
Info: Went into this hike blind, the last post being from January. I wasn‘t sure what to expect after the last snow storm. There were plenty of fresh tracks to follow on the trail keeping most snow packed. Parked at 2wd TH. 4WD trail was deep with snow 11 in to 31 inch drifts. Some skin tracks and one line of packed snow until the 4WD trailhead. Snow shoe tracks are key to follow. The trail should be followed intently, any travel side-to-side will cause you to posthole. Stay on the trail. Great weather, had the entire mountain to ourselves. Three set for summit, one turned around. High winds but great temps.
|2016-01-24||Route: East Ridge
Info: Packed the snowshoes but didn‘t ever think about using them. Micro spikes from the car to summit. Just after upper trailhead signs there is an unmarked split in the trail, doesn‘t matter which way you go, they both meet up to the left. Trail easy to find. Post holes for days if you venture too close to the edge of the trail, but if you stay center you‘re golden. I don‘t feel like the main page description prepares for the false summits....
|2016-01-18||Route: East Ridge
Info: The Jan 17 is spot on. MicroSpikes. Trail is boot packed, but has 2-3 inches of fairly fresh snow. As you go farther up into the trees, the trail is narrow and a step to far right or left will drop you to your knees. At treeline, 300 yards before and 300 yards after, wind has blown snow covering the trails, this is the only area snowshoes are needed, but probably not worth the effort to bring them. If you can find the trail, it‘s still hard packed under the snow. If not, you‘ll post hole, to your waist in places. On the ridge, the trail is hard packed, lots of old snow shoe tracks are still visible. As you move up the ridge, lots of wind blown rocks and bare trail.
|2016-01-17||Route: East Ridge
Info: Elbert‘s East Ridge route from the South Mount Elbert winter trailhead is well tracked. Snowshoes, while useful up and down the whole route, are only really needed for the slope right at tree line where there has been a lot of recent drifting. Above tree line, much of the route is windswept and not very good for skiing.
|2016-01-10||Route: East Ridge
Info: super highway to the top. microspikes were great
|2016-01-04||Route: East Ridge
Info: There is currently a bootpack superhighway going up Elbert‘s winter route. Perfect weather and condish today. Beware of false trenches below treeline. The most-travelled path is correct.
|2015-12-14||Route: East Ridge
Info: There is a lot of snow below treeline, and not much above it. I used snowshoes between the 2WD trailhead and about 11,750‘, switching to crampons above that.
|2015-12-06||Route: East Ridge
Info: As easy as it gets in December! Sun was out and we got a late start (7:30) from the 2WD TH and STILL didn‘t posthole until 14,000 feet and even then only 5 or so times. Trail through treeline was very well packed in. Never even thought for a second about putting on snowshoes but microspikes are recommended. Checking the forecast it looks like the next couple days could be even better.
|2015-11-12||Route: East Ridge
Info: An inch or less of snow coverage from the beginning of the 4WD road. Snow gets deeper at about 11,400. Would only want snowshoes between 11,400 and 12,300. Probably not worth bringing snowshoes, since its pretty wind scoured above 12,300. Definitely need microspikes though. A 4WD, good clearance vehicle could make it to the upper TH. Broke trail most of the way, and fairly easy to follow now. Follows the summer trail almost all of the way.
|2015-11-09||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Trail was in good condition all the way from the parking lot. Clearly defined and easy to follow all the way to the summit. Below tree line the trail is packed powder on all north facing aspects and 50/50 melting snow and clear trail on southern exposures which weren‘t too many. Above tree line the trail was still simple to follow although there are one or two trails that always seemed to meet back up. Snow was still relatively firm at 11 am. I carried snow shoes up but never used them. Post holing was pretty much kept to a minimum but would definitely suggest using gaiters. I would not say traction devices are required for the feet as there were 2 up there without any but I used my micro spikes and felt justified especially on some of the icy steps coming off the mountain, kept things faster. Depending on where the storm Wednesday hits, this report may already be obsolete.
|2015-11-07||Route: East Ridge
Info: Saturday‘s climb of the East Ridge contained prime Fall conditions. Snowshoes were brought, but quickly stashed. The route until treeline was melting quickly on our descent and could very well be muddy and snow-free by now. Above treeline to the summit, snow existed anywhere from slightly bare to waste deep in spots. Much of the actual trail is deep under snow above 12,400‘.
|2015-10-24||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Recent snows have turned last week‘s fall conditions into winter conditions. Few of the 20 climbers today were able to summit, most turned back between 13,700 and 14,000. Snows above the treeline were 1-3 feet deep. The trail was covered, so climbers made their own paths, many with frequent postholing. Recommend winter gear, with face mask, gloves and liner, insulated hiking boots, gators, and poles with snow baskets. Deepest snows at the top.
|2015-09-26||Route: Passing through the area
Info: Fall colors from the South Elbert Trailhead are peak and some what coming to an end. Independence Pass is holding fall colors better than Elbert. La Plata has good colors at lower elevations. Most of Independence Pass is holding good fall colors. Maroon Bells (Maroon Peak/N. Maroon Peak) and Pyramid are the best fall colors Leadville to Aspen right now.
|2015-09-19||Route: Southeast Ridge
Info: Fall colors are near peak on Elbert! The southeast ridge is in great condition, very easy to follow trail. Descended via Bull Hill which was a lot of fun and made a great loop back to the Black Cloud Trailhead. The crowds are diminishing as well, which I appreciated very much. Great Fall day in the mountains.
|2015-09-12||Route: East Ridge
Info: The 4x4 road was very passable in my 93 Explorer. Great hike but it was slow going for me as I had a girl from Seattle in my party. Took about 10 hours round trip which (for my level of hiking) was probably about 3 or 4 hours too long (started at about 0700, summit at 1300, back to the car at about 1530). Other than that, it was a great hike on a very easy trail. The top gets a little steep but we took it slow and had no problem! We stepped off of the summit and scattered the ashes of my buddies dad while I played taps on my trumpet (he was Navy) and I greatly appreciate the respect that was shown for an unannounced ceremony like that. Huge S/O to anyone who was up there on the 12th!
|2015-09-06||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Although this route is overall in excellent condition, it is worth noting that some of the steeper pitches are developing parallel social trails that are killing the tundra. Part of this is because the main trail in places has gone to patches of loose cobbles that are difficult to walk up, part just the shear heavy use of this trail. Might be the sort of situation where a small intervention soon would avoid a much bigger reworking of the trail later.
|2015-08-25||Route: East Ridge
Info: Made it to 4WD trailhead in a stock 2015 Tundra TRD. Lightly scraped the bottom a couple of times.
|2015-08-16||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Arrived at the Northeast Ridge trailhead at 6:30am from Denver, NOAA weather stated 20-50% change of storms by 2:00pm. Began ascent by 6:45am and reached summit by 10:30am with perfect conditions. Began descent around 11:15-30am with dark clouds in the distance but storms never developed over the summit from 6:45am - 2:30pm. Always be aware of weather, 4G service is available throughout the entire hike. If you don‘t have it already download the NOAA app for your smartphone.