Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  07/28/2009
Date Climbed:   07/27/2009
Author:  Gabe K
 Mt. Elbert (Twice as Nice)   

My friend, Nick, a park ranger at Curecanti National Recreation Area and I decided to drive from Gunnison and make an attempt at hiking up Mt. Elbert on Monday. This was my second summit hike of Mt. Elbert. We were a little leery of the weather, because Gunni had been getting hammered with storms all day, but the weather can be so different here we knew it probably be good Monday morning. We drove over Cottonwood Pass, which may be a little bit longer drive as far as time, but it is much more scenic than Monarch Pass, and a lot less traffic. We arrived Sunday evening at Half Moon Campground, pitched our tents, and slept. I was awaken by the first series of cars by 3:00 AM heading for the trailheads of Mt. Elbert & Mt. Massive. We woke up at 5:00 AM, and noticed a steady stream of traffic heading up the road. We kind of thought there was enough traffic to warrant a traffic light. Nick brewed and excellent pot of coffee, and after we had our caffeine fix, we headed for the trailhead, which happened to be pretty busy for a Monday. We began our hike by 6:40 AM, and really enjoyed the hike through the trees. By 9:40 AM we reached the summit, where we chilled out for an hour by participating in a number of activities. Nick ate a hearty tuna sandwich he had made, I went on a search for a geocache on the summit, we admired a 74 woman who had reached the summit, we did the traditional photo opps, and we had a celebratory Avery Brewery "14er" ale on the summit. After our hour of glory, we hiked down, which took us about 2 hours, drove to Buena Vista and had lunch at Eddyville, which is right on the Arkansas River, and definitely worth eating ate. Afterwards we drove over Cottonwood Pass, got into Gunnison, bought a wiffleball bat and ball, and played some wiffleball in town with some friends. It was a great day to play in the always.

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Comments or Questions
08/07/2009 20:14
Love the 14er beer idea. We‘re climbing over Labor Day weekend. I‘m coming in from GA. Others from IN and CO. Will definately try to find the 14er. Thanks for the report.

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