Ascent of Mount Elbert on 2009-09-04

Climber: Ken Curtis

Others in Party:Fred Duncan
Date:Friday, September 4, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Elbert
    Elevation:14433 ft / 4399 m

Ascent Trip Report

Fred and I arrived in Leadville around 3:00 pm Thursday afternoon. After settling into our rooms, we decided to head out to the trailhead to familiarize ourselves with the area and stretch our legs with a small hike.

We were glad we did. We found ourselves a bit confused with an un-marked and un-documented trail intersection a couple hundred yards from the trailhead. To make a long story short, we eventually went left at this un-marked junction and about a mile later we found the sign to Mount Elbert. We hiked a quarter mile past the Mount Elbert sign and turned around.

6:10 am Friday and we're off under clear skies and 29 degree air temperature. Mile 0 to 1.25 is easy walking with only about 700 feet of elevation gain. The trail through this stretch is well groomed and free of obstructions.

Miles 1.25 to 3.25 were a little more strenuous, gaining roughly 900 feet per mile. The trail from mile 1.25 to 2.25 remains relatively free of obstruction until you reach tree line (11,900 feet). From tree line on, the trail becomes narrower and rockier.

Mile 3.25 to 4.25 is where the work is - this stretch kicked our butt's. In this mile long stretch we gain roughly 1,700 feet. It's rocky, narrow, and full of loose rock.

Mile 4.25 to the summit at mile 4.5 was a much easier grade than the previous mile - Thank God...

10:55 am and we're on the summit.

Dark clouds began to form over the summit around 10:00 am. We were on the summit for a mere five minutes when it started snowing. We left the summit at 11:12 as the snow became heavier and thunder was cracking off in the distance. The snow followed us down the mountain for roughly an hour.

1:59 and were back to the car. What a great trip.

Started Hiking: 6:10 am
On Summit: 10:55 am
Left Summit: 11:12 pm
Back to Car: 1:59 pm
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Nice September morning (2009-09-04). Photo by Ken Curtis.
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Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4523 ft / 1378 m
    Extra Gain:70 ft / 21 m
    Distance:9 mi / 14.5 km
    Route:North Route
    Trailhead:North Mt. Elbert Trailhead  10050 ft / 3063 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:4 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Hours 47 Minutes

Other Photos

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Fred & I (2009-09-04). Photo by Ken Curtis.
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