Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  06/06/2011
Date Climbed:   06/03/2011
Author:  joelmpaula
 Mt. Elbert Box Creek Cirque   

Trailhead: Lakeview campground, 4-wheel drive trailhead
Party: Joel Paula, Ben Jordan
Elevation Gain: 4,000ft
Route: East Ridge

We left Avon at 11:15 pm and arrived at the trailhead at 1am. The 4-wheel drive road was a beatdown. Lots of large rocks. Set up camp and went to bed. Woke up at 3 am and left camp at 3:30 am.
We walked 1 mile to Bartlet Gulch instead of up the East Ridge as we intended. We put on skins and headed back towards the East Ridge up the South slopes. The East Ridge didn't have continuous snow so we walked in our ski boots up the summer trail after about 1 mile. We hit snow at 12,400ft and skinned up the rest of the face to the summit. We got to the summit at 8:30am. We could see La Plata covered with snow. The north face on La Plata looks like it will be a good descent during the next 2 weeks.
The weather was warm so we wanted to get off the mountain before the snow became saturated with water. We had to billy goat across 2 areas of rocks about 100ft under the summit. The snow was still pretty hard and even because the snow had not received any solar radiation yet. We skiied a line to skiiers left and went into the Box Creek Cirque. I dropped in first down box creek while Ben waited at the top. I did 3 jump turns and waited for the sluff to come down. The snow in the Box Creek Cirque was pretty soft which made it a fun ski. Ben and I met up at the bottom of the Cirque and discussed the hike out to ski the South slopes. We skiied out the way we hiked in. It was pretty hot by then but other than that the hike out went smoothly. We got back to the car at 12:30pm. It was a long day but worth it for a summit descent on Mt. Elbert.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions

Good to see you out, Joel
06/07/2011 13:51
Nice work, my friend! That looks like a pretty cool route. What was the round trip mileage? Maybe you could put those skis away sometime and we can climb soon. It looks like I have a huge window between July 15-25. San Juans? Elks? K2? Everest? Sky's the limit.

Couple questions...
06/07/2011 20:05
How was the snow? My wife and I are thinking about hitting the east ridge this Saturday and we are wondering if we need to bring the snowshoes. Also, was the 4x4 road clear to the trailhead?

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