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 Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
 Post Date:  12/19/2011
 Date Climbed:   12/18/2011
 Posted By:  dillonsarnelli

 Sunset on Elbert - Northeast Ridge   

This was a big weekend in my world. On Saturday I hit Grays & Torreys and on Sunday I decided to tackle Mount Elbert. The weather was perfect. Another solo mission. Whoever said there is no snow in the mountains hasn't been to Elbert lately! I'm pretty tired.

This is the view of Elbert as you enter the Leadville area. Very Impressive.
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The Mighty Mount Elbert - Colorado's Highest Peak - Elevation 14,433



The parking area at the TH. I was ready to put shorts on.
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notice the t-shirt - it's December...in Colorado...in the Rocky Mountains...



I need a snowshoeing 101 class! They slow me down too much so I stashed them about 3 minutes from the TH after I started.
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And we're off... 12:30 PM start, can't do that in the summer!
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TH



The general theme here is SNOW
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off to a very late start..

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snow

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this is where the trail turns

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more snow

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looking back, almost above treeline



Elbert has a lot of false summits. This is a big one. They can be pretty demoralizing in the winter when your solo climbing and its getting dark!
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it looks like the summit in the distance... not really, this mountain really messed with my head



Thought this was a pretty cool picture
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looking back above treeline



Above treeline...
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it's not the top

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snow

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Seeing the ridge out in the distance was tough to swallow.
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the tip of the ridge to the summit in the distance



The ridge comes into sight and I can finally see the real summit.
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the ridge to the summit

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The end is near...
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the summit is in sight



Some of the views from the summit...
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Summit of Mount Elbert - Elevation 14,433 - December 18, 2011

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Summit of Mount Elbert - Elevation 14,433 - December 18, 2011

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Summit of Mount Elbert - Elevation 14,433 - December 18, 2011

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looking out at Mount Massive from the summit of Elbert

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Summit of Mount Elbert - Elevation 14,433 - December 18, 2011

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Summit of Mount Elbert - Elevation 14,433 - December 18, 2011



It was time to head back and I had one goal - get back to treeline before it was pitch black. I almost made it. Without a headlamp (and a spare battery) this would have been impossible. And by the way, walking alone in the dark in the wilderness of Colorado is a little scary.
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time to go home

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knew i was getting close

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this was brutal

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right where i left it

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things change pretty quickly out here


I took a detour in Frisco on the way back and ate more chicken fingers than I have ever eaten in my life. Looking forward to 2 more trips in the next 2 weekends WITH climbing buddies!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (7)
tockelstein2005


nice!     2011-12-19 11:37:33
Way to go man, I read your other report also...I attempted Gray's & Torrey's on the 11th. I turned around about a half mile from Gray's summit as I was not acclimated and did not eat well that morning. (I walked from the winter trailhead and camped at the summer trailhead Saturday).


jameseroni


Wow..     2011-12-19 12:17:47
You really got after it! I was pretty smoked after Grays and Torrey's. Had to go to work the next day! Anyway, nice photos and looks like you did the right thing by taking advantage of the weather on Sunday too.

James


SurfNTurf



Sunset     2011-12-19 14:29:22
Gorgeous photos. Glad you didn't have any trouble finding your way out in the dark. As for snowshoes...they're going to become a necessary evil here in a couple weeks. Trekking poles really do help! I don't like using them in summer except on scree, but I consider them indispensable during the snowy seasons.


Artvandalay


Awesome job!     2011-12-19 17:58:02
Experiencing a sunset from 14K feet should be on everyone's bucket list. I was on top of N. Eolus back in September as the sun went down and it is an incredible feeling. Nice write-up.


AlabamaTLC


Gutsy...     2011-12-19 19:58:16
Enjoyed the report and the pictures. Glad you made it up and down safely. I have never yet navigated in the dark out on the trail in the winter time.


dillonsarnelli


thanks     2011-12-19 21:06:48
Thanks for the comments crew! It was pretty cool being up there for the sunset, a little scary at night in the trees though! Hope to see/meet you all on a mountain soon. Happy Holidays!


tx_mountain_medic

do that stuff!     2011-12-21 16:04:50
Awesome bro. Glad to see that you had a good trip. Good snow pack for snowshoeing! Once you get the hang of it, you will be thankful you have them as tools in your tool box. Take care!



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