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Ascent of Mount Elbert on 2012-10-10

Climber: Dennis Poulin

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Elbert
    Location:USA-Washington
    Elevation:4327 ft / 1318 m

Ascent Trip Report

I stopped in Randle at the Ranger Station, bought a map of the "Mineral Maze" and asked about the best way to get to the Rockies. I was fortunate to get good directions from a ranger on duty. I drove Hwy 7 to FR 74 about a mile north of the cutoff to Mineral. I stayed on the primary road and ignored all branches for about 12.5 miles and then turned sharply left at an old borrow pit. This road took me up to the ridgeline and then in about 1.5 miles from the borrow pit I turned right on a lesser road that was a little brushy. Actually the road turned a little brushy for the last 10 miles or so. After turning right on the lesser road, I took the first left fork. The right fork goes down to Duck Lake. I stayed on this road for about 1.5 miles to where the road was skinny, a rock wall on the left, and a sharp drop off on the right. I parked because there was a large boulder protruding into the roadway. A smaller truck than a Tundra could drive past this spot.

From where I parked, Duck Lake was below me and Mt Elbert directly above to the south. The slope is very steep and brushy, so I walked the road to the west ridge of Mt Elbert and then walked the road back on the west side of Mt Elbert until I found a spur road that went up the west ridge and then wandered around on the north side of the peak before ending on a brush covered slope. I bushwhacked the final 200 ft to the summit where the views were great. I also noticed that the south side of the peak is way less brushy and would have been a better route to hike up. I bushwhacked back down the way I had come up.

When I reached the west ridge of Mt Elbert on the road again, I continued west on the road to The Rockies. I followed the road for about a mile to where it ended and then found a faded unmaintained trail off the south side of where the road ended. I followed this trail right to the base of The Rockies and then lost it in the brush. I bushwhacked up a very steep slope until I found an old trail that I followed to the summit. Great views from the summit. On the descent, I followed the trail as far as I could. It was very overgrown with brush and tough to follow. In any event I got back down to the east side of The Rockies and found my approach trail again that took me back to my truck. Nice hike. I think The Rockies are about 10 ft higher than Mt Elbert.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1586 ft / 482 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Bushwhack
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1336 ft / 406 m
    Extra Loss:730 ft / 222 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.9 km
    Route:West and North Sides
    Trailhead:3721 ft / 1134 m
Descent Statistics
    Extra Gain:250 ft / 76 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.9 km
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Dennis Poulin
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO resposibility or liability from use of this data.

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