Support 14ers.com
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
 Post Date:  03/05/2013 Modified: 03/06/2013
 Date Climbed:   03/02/2013
 Posted By:  MonGoose
 Additional Members:   wildlobo71, SurfNTurf, dmccool, crossfitter, BenFromtheEast
 Nipples by the Dozen   

Mountain: Mt Elbert
Route: East Ridge (Class II)
RT Elevation: 4,100'
RT Distance: 8 Miles
Travel time: Way too long!

Group Members:
Dan (dmccool) - Spiritual Leader
Bill (wildlobo71) - Group Historian
Nick (MonGoose) - Expedition Photographer
Ben (BenFromtheEast) - Fashion Consultant
Jeff (SurfNTurf) - Human Thermometer
Kris (crossfitter) - Kris lost a bet


Trailhead: We were able to get within 1/4 mile from the summer parking lot of the South Mt Elbert trailhead in a Jeep Rubicon.
Special thanks to the guys in the XTerra for blazing a trail and showing us where not to get stuck.

Image
The Brat Pack is back! (Kris, Jeff, Dan, Ben, Bill and Nick)



The Ascent


This being my 4th 14er since December, I was excited to finally get the opportunity to put on my snowshoes. We started the hike around 8:15am.
It was a warm morning and most of the group started off in their base layers. Upon reaching the summer trailhead, I noticed a bright
light shining behind me. Jeff had removed his shirt.
Image
The Golden Light shines bright!
Image
Ben hasn't seen his roommate shirtless in at least 4 hours.




As the morning continued to warm, Kris was next to shed his base layer. Thinking we all looked as good as Kris, the entire expedition went shirtless.
It was at this point I was beginning to wonder if this group had met on Climbing Connection or perhaps MountainMen.com?
Image
Sun's Out, Guns Out!



As the sausage fest rolled up the hill, I had this strange feeling that we were being followed. Suddenly there was a loud crash and a beautiful
woman broke through the trees, ambushed us and demanded a photograph. Feeling slightly objectified, we agreed to the photo opportunity
because after all, keeping the ladies happy is our top priority! (We also do birthday, bachelorette and private parties.)

Image



Like human solar panels powered by the Colorado sun, we were energized as we trekked onward toward Mt Elbert's imposing summit.
Approaching treeline, it became apparent that the pale Irishman was quickly becoming the glowing Irishman. Let's be honest, 70 SPF
sunscreen can only protect for so long with a last name like McCool. Since mongooses are desert creatures and native to arid environments,
the sun was not a problem but the winter chill was getting to me. I decided to join Dan by adding a base layer. Snowshoeing shirtless
from the Colorado Trail turnoff to treeline was an accomplishment for me.
Image
Treeline and going strong.




Above treeline, Bill and Kris decided to add base layers as the winds began to swirl.
Only the shirtless roommates remained, both determined to hold out longer than the other.
Image
Who will be the last man standing?




A little bit of history.
Back in January, Kris made a bet with Jeff that the Denver Broncos would beat the Baltimore Ravens by at least a touchdown in the
AFC Divisional Playoff game. The price of losing meant spending a day with Jeff on a winter peak of his choosing. With that painful
game still fresh in his memory, Kris reluctantly agreed to join the group for a winter ascent of Colorado's highest peak.

Like Crossfitter, Peyton Manning prefers warmer weather!

Image
A rare winter Crossfitter sighting






Around 12,400', we stopped to ditch the snowshoes. Up until this point they had been a luxury but not a necessity.
The entire hike could have been done in microspikes.

The winds were gusting at this point as Ben reluctantly decided to put his coat on.
Image
Ben throws in the towel.


Image
The official sponsor of 14ers.com happy hours.



All eyes turned to Jeff, the remaining shirtless member of our party. Was this the end? With a look of defiance in
his eye and cold, blue nipples on his chest, Jeff turned towards the mountain and continued on.  This was no longer
a man, but a hero trudging on against the forces of nature.  As if to say, "bring it on!"  Jeff trekked higher towards
Mt Elbert's summit, with only an avalanche beacon and a wooden ice axe for warmth.
Image
One shirtless man remains





I yelled to Jeff, "how can you continue to withstand these brutal conditions?" as the winds increased and the snow
began to swirl around us.  He replied, "this icy chill cannot even compare to a cold-hearted woman."  It was at this
moment we realized we were witnessing history.  Jeff was attempting the first shirtless winter ascent of
Mt Elbert.

As Jeff trudged along with will power, determination and THO, we cheered wholeheartedly from the comfort of our 800-fill goose down puffies.
Image




The snow above treeline was minuscule (including the Box Creek couloirs), dampening our hopes for a ski descent. When reality finally
set in, we realized that the lack of snow coupled with the fact that we didn't bring skis, meant a ski descent would be technically impossible.
The route consisted of a couple hundred feet of snow patches sparsely placed between hundreds of feet of barren rock.
Even the MicroSpikes came off.
Image
Well, so much for a ski descent.




Jeff set a grueling pace up the mountain, which none of us followed. We watched as the Golden Light ascended up the ridge above us. Around
13,200', with the winds increasing to 20 mph and the wind chill hovering around 0 degrees, conditions became unbearable for the shirtless hero.
After weathering 4 hours of exposure to the elements and attaining a ridiculous sunburn, Jeff Golden accepted defeat. The mountain became
quiet as we watched Jeff reluctantly put on his red coat and ascend the remaining 1,200' as a mere mortal man. The group stood silent for a few
minutes, struggling to accept the inevitable. They say that warmth comes from within, but the fire had gone out.


Kill Your Heroes by AWOLNATION




Image
This Class IV crux can easily be avoided by tilting the camera to a reasonable angle.



The final push to reach the summit.
Image
Almost there.



Image
Nick reaching the summit (photo by Jeff Golden)





The Summit


I like to think that you haven't seen Colorado until you've seen the very top of Colorado. The first members of our group reached the
summit around 1:15. We stayed on the summit for about an hour, enjoying our lunches and looking down on every other peak in the state.
The wind was from the west, blowing at a sustained 25 mph. We also met 14ers.com member nessles on the summit.

Image
Jeff, Dan and Ben on top of Colorado


Image
Dan looks to the West


La Plata Peak can be seen in images #18 and #20.
Image
MonGoose Style - minus all the ladies (photo by Dan McCool)


Image
Shout out to dillonsarnelli - Look at yourself! (Photo by Dan McCool)


Image
Windy on the summit


Image
The official group summit shot (Bill, Kris, Ben, Dan, Jeff and Nick)



The Descent


On the way down, I commented to Ben that I was feeling really good about myself for keeping up with him all day since he is such a fast hiker.
Ben smiled as he reached down, unstrapped his gaiters and revealed the 5 lb weights on each ankle he had worn the entire day.
I felt inferior.
Image
Ben reveals a 5 lb weight on each leg.


Image
Maybe it will snow next year?


Image
That hat is ridiculously awesome!



We made it back to the Jeep around 4:45pm. The warm temperatures had caused the snow to become slushy, which made for an interesting drive
out. Bill's Jeep made it up the road this morning with no problem but strangely, we had to get out and push twice to get down the hill.
Image
The Jeep never looked so good



Parting Thoughts


Thanks for taking the time to peruse my trip report. I hope you enjoyed my photography and quirky sense of humor.
I would love to meet you on a summit one day or perhaps at a 14ers.com gathering. If you see me around, be sure
to say 'hi'.

To Dan, Bill, Jeff, Ben and Kris: I love guys. Thanks for another awesome day on the mountain!

- MonGoose

P.S. If anyone leaves a negative comment about this trip report, I will retaliate by making a Harlem Shake video.



Legal Notice: All trip photos, unless otherwise noted are © Nicholas Gianoutsos, 2013.

Editor's Note: At the time of the writing of this Trip Report, mountainmen.com is an unregistered website.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):


  • Comments or Questions (22)
Kevin Baker


heck of an effort     2013-03-05 22:40:17
Very impressive effort there by the Golden Light. There's less snow up there than there was a month ago! Very entertaining read, Mr. Mongoose.


forbins_mtn


ha!     2013-03-06 06:28:38
love it....way to be, guys! not sure how you went shirtless. my nipples got hard just reading this report


HULKHIKEGOOD


This was....     2013-03-06 07:41:27
Awesome!!! Thanks for sharing, it literally made my day. You guys looked like you had a great time, and a great BRO day! #SOGO


Bean


Rad!     2013-03-06 07:46:49
You have inspired me to go for the first winter solo SOGO summit of Elbert, if weather can cooperate.


dmccool


you said ”I love guys”     2013-03-06 07:58:13
”To Dan, Bill, Jeff, Ben and Kris: I love guys.”

Thanks for that confession, Nick. Down with DOMA and Prop 8! Seriously, what a dynamite TR, bud. It was so good to see you all again and, as usual, my face hurt for two days after all the laughs. Here's to so many more...


SurfNTurf



The Last Great Problem of the Sawatch     2013-03-06 08:21:11
I'm glad I could pave the way for the inevitable first SOGO ascent of The Big E. Alas, like the Horseshoe Traverse, it's truly a problem for the next generation.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go peel skin flakes off my back.


wildlobo71


Let the haters hate!     2013-03-06 08:33:06
It was too damn fun to pass up the opportunity. Good times gents, I can't wait for the next outing.

Kris, you move slower with no kegs on your back.


BillMiddlebrook


HA     2013-03-06 08:51:14
Ok, that's a good report, even though it resulted in a few dry-heaves.


Steve Climber



Terrible report!     2014-05-09 06:26:34
*wrings hands anxiously awaiting Harlem Shake video*

Looks like it was a blast!


Rambler


Awesome     2013-03-06 09:14:55
”dampening our hopes for a ski descent. When reality finally
set in, we realized that the lack of snow coupled with the fact that we didn't bring skis, meant a ski descent would be technically impossible.”

Great read, and looks like great times.


John Landers

Nipple fest, not.     2013-03-06 19:32:38
So you guys are a shirtless.

A woman shows up and you don't talk her out of her top?

Lame.


ketel1


Village People??     2013-03-06 20:46:02
That pic of all of you shirtless with McCool dressed almost like a motorcycle cop made me laugh...reminded me of The Village People:
LINK
Nick, your vid/camera work is getting better every climb! And your writing skills are thoroughly entertaining. Looking forward to more.
Beth


dillonsarnelli


Thanks for the shout Mr. Mongoose     2013-03-06 20:54:58
insert ”look at your Trip Report” here.

If only you brought the sled Nick. The TR is outstanding, nice job man. Now it's time to hit the gym boys.


MountainMedic


Look at Yourselves     2013-03-06 23:45:55
is right. We're all going to the gym to shed some lbs when I get back.


Craig Cook


My eyes, they burn!     2013-03-06 23:54:58
Haha, wonderful trip report Nick! Looks like an awesome time.

So what's the status on that Harlem Shake video?


Fisching


The Most Obvious Question     2013-03-07 14:44:33
Why is SurfNTurf wearing different colored gaiters?


kylerhuss


win     2013-03-07 19:50:18
Best TR ever.


LoneStar


Class IV crux ...     2013-03-07 21:53:52
... I laughed ...


MtnHub


Village People in the Mts!     2013-03-08 09:52:40
Ha! Great analogy, Beth! Yes, a very enjoyable report! Thanks for brightening my day, guys!


SurfNTurf



Gaiters     2013-03-08 10:12:05
Long story short...I had a pair of red gaiters and lost the right one. Replaced them with a black pair, and the left one got torn to ribbons. I have one functional left gaiter (red) and one functional right gaiter (black).

Also, I like looking like a Blackjack Pizza delivery guy.


Ridge runner


Haha!     2013-03-10 16:31:32
Thanks for an entertaining read! Shirtless, ankle weights, mismatching gaitors... you guys define 'hardcore.'


BenfromtheEast



This is why I don't write trip reports.     2013-03-19 18:25:58
Nice work, THE MonGoose. I'm just glad to have been along for the ride!



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.