Peak(s):  Mt. Elbert  -  14,433 feet
Date Posted:  11/14/2010
Date Climbed:   11/13/2010
Author:  mikefromcraig
 Mt. Elbert from South TH   

Started from the south trailhead because the ranger said the others were too muddy to drive all the way to the trailhead. The trail was pretty packed in from use but I doubt that will be the case for much longer. This was a saturday and there was only me and 7 other people hiking all day.

Gaiters would be an absolute must. Crampons would be a big help. As for snow shoes they would definitely be beneficial at times and I guess overall they would be worth the hassle although out of the 8 of us that day only two guys had brought them and I never saw them put them on (or saw any show shoe tracks)

the wind was intense. You absolutely MUST have some type of face mask or you will not make it. I didn't have ski goggles but I whish I did. Everyone who made it to the summit said they only stayed for 5 seconds because the wind was unbearable. I was down in a sumo stance with my poles out supporting me and still almost got knocked over (at the summit). And at the summit the wind never breaks, it's constant.

The park ranger said that the south trailhead is the only one people are using at this time of year so you won't be able to find the trail on any of the other routes.

Like I said the trail is packed in but after treeline you can lose the trail and I'm sure this will only get worse as fewer and fewer people hike it. All of the groups said they lost the trail at times. Although it's not that big of a deal after treeline because it's a straight shot to the summit.

If this report was helpful please resolve to make trip reports of each mountain you do to help the community.

Comments or Questions
Exiled Michigander

Nice summit to have behind us!
11/15/2010 17:15
Mike, my climbing partner and I both agreed that we should have taken a picture of you descending when we met you below the summit. You had about an inch of snow and ice hanging off your eyebrows and looked like a true winter mountaineering badass. We were the party with the snowshoes, and although we did use them briefly (for about a half-mile below timberline through the firs), they were mostly useless weight. We stowed them at treeline and climbed the rest of the way without them. Winds were certainly fierce above 12,750, especially on top. Glad you made it up and down without incident.

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