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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|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.
|2015-07-17||Route: East Ridge
Info: Drove to the upper TH in a Jeep Grand Cherokee with no issues. Trail in good condition with one very small snow crossing up high that wasn‘t an issue.
|2015-07-11||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Summer conditions all the way up, and completely dry on the trail. A few snow patches are left off trail. Enjoy!
|2015-07-10||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: GEAR (to bring): GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat (didn‘t use, but could have), day pack with water sack, food, sunscreen, lip balm. Great all the way up! Windy and cold, but the trail is straight forward. Make sure you don‘t go on the continental divide. This is my 11th peak this summer and I plan to climb them all. Check out my blog at sunshineof1985.com for more details.
|2015-07-03||Route: East Ridge
Info: Was able to drive all the way to the upper trail head in a Toyota Tacoma. There was one place where a stream is flowing through the road but was able to drive through it. Trail was dry. About three places where we had to walk through snow, but was not a problem. We made the entire hike with just hiking boots. About 3/4 of the way up, most of the hikers lost the trail. To stay on trail, you have to cut across a snow field that is about 30-40 yards long that takes you around to the south.
|2015-07-03||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Route is almost completely snow free and largely free of water at this time. You can take trail shoes at this time- the only snow is on the summit ridge and is easily avoided by walking on the rocks. The route is in great shape- the steep and dusty section at the crux is dry.
|2015-06-30||Route: East Ridge
Info: Snow patches beginning at the top off the ridge, around 13,500. I thought more were avoided by staying on the north side, by Box Creek/Canyon side, not following the true east ridge trail. Some postholing on the way down at 10am.
|2015-06-20||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: https://everythingoutdoorscolorado.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/mt-elbert/ In summary, the trail was dry until about 13,000 ft. At this point, there was light snow that could be crossed on the path without any equipment. However, my friends and I brought microspikes and walked beside the path in the snow field where a few other tracks were seen. We ascended this field around 8:30a and descended around 11:45a with no post-holing. Any later than noon and you probably would have been post holing. But you definitely could stay on the trail and not post hole or need any gear. See blog page for pics of my hike.
|2015-06-20||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Conditions are excellent, no snow on the trail until well above tree line, at that point you just have to pass through patches of shallow snow that are very easy to traverse. No micro-spikes, gaiters, or other equipment needed. Snow was well packed enough that there was no post holing.
|2015-06-20||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Still some snow on upper slopes but it is melting fast. Recommend a pole but no flotation or spikes needed.
|2015-06-17||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Dirt road from Leadville in great condition. Fine for 2WD low clearance. Started the Northeast Ridge route at 4:45 am. Trail dry and clear until above tree line. Can navigate around snow until the last 1000 feet. Summit is snow covered and beautiful. There were a large number of people ascending both the northeast ridge and east ridge. Northeast trail is in excellent condition. Snow shoes, micro spikes, etc were not necessary. Majority of surrounding mountains still snow covered making for breathtaking views.
|2015-06-14||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: We camped at one of the free base camps down Halfmoon Road past the Mt. Massive/CT Trailhead the night before. We drove the five minutes back to the Mt. Elbert trailhead and started our hike at 6AM. Right at treeline is where there are a few 3-5ft. snow piles, but there are paths through them and you are just stepping over them essentially - nothing that couldn‘t be handled in boots. We didn‘t really get into snow until we crested the false summit around 13,500 (more or less). We brought microspikes with us which were helpful on the way down (we didn‘t use them to get up to the summit). You could get down without them if you took your time and paid particular attention to your footing. Snowshoes would not be helpful at all anymore - there isn‘t enough snow for them. Post holing wasn‘t too bad on the way down but we made it back to the car at noon. I would recommend hiking pants & gaitors (for the snow up top), rain jacket in case you can‘t get down before the thunderstorms roll in or it‘s super windy, microspikes, and some kind of thermal layer/light hat for the summit. It was still quite chilly up there. We had our dog with us too (Australian Shepherd). We brought her coat and booties, but she ended up not using either and did not have any issues with the altitude (she was running laps in the snow at 14,000ft). We also did not run into any larger animals like mountain goats, just a few marmots/mice. She did try to chase one mouse around treeline and a rock at one point. We had her off-leash almost the whole time (she is friendly with people and other dogs, and we have voice control over her 90% of the time). Unfortunately, some people on the summit had their dogs off-leash and one of them snapped at our dog and snapped at my fiancé. Anyone that reads this should keep an eye out for these unfortunate situations if they have their dog with them and people that have dogs that do not like people or other dogs should NOT have their dogs off-leash!