Ascent of Mount Elbert on 2012-08-12

Climber: Andrew DeFeo

Others in Party:Tim Hallock
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, August 12, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Elbert
    Elevation:14433 ft / 4399 m

Ascent Trip Report

So we hiked in on Friday night in the pouring rain. We found a pretty amazing camp site that was naturally sheltered and kept us pretty dry. Saturday morning we slept in and didn't really plan on making an attempt for the summit because weather reports were predicting thunderstorms all day. Instead, we hiked up the mountain about 1.5 miles and cached some water at around 12,500 ft so we wouldn't have to lug it up the next day. It also gave us a chance to acclimatize and recover a bit from Humphreys and Wheeler (Which we climbed earlier in the week).

Sunday morning we got up very early for a alpine start and began our trek up the mountain. We were moving pretty fast up until we hit about 13,000 ft and the altitude and grade of the trail started to take its toll on me. The next 1.25 miles and 1,430 feet were pretty grueling. About 500 feet from the summit I got a burst of energy and it gave me the last bit of steam I needed to make it to the summit. We made it to the summit by about 11am and within a half hour there must have been about 30-40 people on the top. It was a beautiful day and most people try to make it to the summit between 11 and 1 to avoid the chances of running into afternoon thunderstorms.

Once we left the summit, the sun started to really heat up and I started to hit a wall. Typically, the decent goes much faster than the climb, but we weren't in any rush and the weather seemed to be holding up for us so we really took our time making it back to the camp. Once we made it back we just relaxed the rest of the day and hiked back to the car the next morning.

We hung around Leadville for a bit after getting off the mountain and then started making out way to Colorado Springs.

Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Oxygen, Guide, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:3 nights away from roads

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