Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  06/29/2009
Date Climbed:   06/28/2009
Author:  KWhelan
 Mt. Elbert - East Approach - AreToo‘s First!  

On Route #2 to Mt. Elbert:

We (AreToo and I) decided to make a day trip of it; so bright and early at 4a left Littleton for Mt. Elbert. I was excited as I have not hiked a 14er in a couple of years and this would be AreToo's (4 month old Black & Tan Coonhound) first 14er. After losing an hour on a wrong turn, we made our way up 1 2/3 mile on the 4WD road above the lower trailhead. There was water about 10' across rushing over the road at that point, although not very deep, but since we were in my wife's Pilot, we decided to park there. We ate, and loaded up. A very kind lady, Ms. Trail (ain't that a great name for a 14er hiker!) gave us a lift in her 4WD suburban? to the upper trailhead. In hindsight I believe the Pilot would have made it. She was not going to leave for a bit, so we started out at 7:30a. Beautiful day!

The first part of the hike through about a mile of aspen is stunning. You can see occasionally the Twin Lakes or the valley to the northeast through the aspen; but that has to be one of the more magnificent aspen forests around. AreToo was encountering a plethora of new scents
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.
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is looking back at the Twin Lakes - good luck finding them in the photo.

At 12,200 there is a small rocky pinnacle which is apparently home to a number of marmots. They were chirping at the hound's proximity. We hiked on, and at about this point it was becoming clear to me just exactly how steep a 1000' per mile is. This route is that steep virtually the entire way, so be forewarned.

The entire route was clear and generally dry with a couple of exceptions.
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There are still a number of smaller, and one larger, snowfields adjacent to the route which produce runoff on the trail. Standard hiking boots kept my feet dry. We had to traverse the larger snowfield a distance of maybe 30 yards at about 13,000 feet. A couple of times I punched through up to my hip, but otherwise, no problems. One great thing about this route is that there is little sharp scree which permits dogs to use it without boots.

At 11:15a we reached the summit where about 15 or 20 fellow hikers from at least 3 different routes were enjoying the views and recharging before their descents. Thanks to the kind gentleman that took our picture!
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We recommend this route if for no other reason than to see that aspen forest. It is incredible!!



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

Are Too is gorgeous.....
09/03/2011 14:45
ad I'm sure he found plenty of interesting scents to follow. Here is a photo of my Plott (Zion) and my American English (Abbey) on La Plata from 2007.



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