Ascent of Mount Elbert on 2008-09-14

Climber: Walter Blume

Date:Sunday, September 14, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Elbert
    Elevation:14433 ft / 4399 m

Ascent Trip Report

Took the South Elbert trail and started rather late, at 9:30 a.m. I did not actually intend to climb all the way, as I left my son behind in the car (he wasn’t feeling well with a cold and headache), just wanted to check it out. However, the weather was beautiful and the trail beguiling, always beckoning me to go a little bit further up. First I was only going to hike 45 minutes, then turn around. Then the goal became, get to treeline. Then of course when I got above treeline, I spotted an enticing looking small promontory a little farther up, and so set that as an end goal. Arriving, I took a small break and enjoyed the rather tame marmots who came up looking for a handout. Summit fever began to set in, and I could see a number of hikers not so far up ahead, so I thought maybe it wasn’t so late after all, and since the weather was so perfect (no clouds whatsoever) I continued on up the mountain, leaving my poor son to wait below.

Being a flatlander from St Louis, I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to weather the elevation, and I did indeed feel a little dizzy around 13700 feet, but it quickly passed after a minute rest and water break, and I continued up to the top. The weather was remarkably wind-free and clear, and would have stayed up a while, but wanted to get down quick back to the trailhead. So I went down very quickly, resulting in very rubbery legs and extremely sore quads, but a quick descent.

Click here for map.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4193 ft / 1278 m
    Round-Trip Distance:9.7 mi / 15.6 km
    Route:South Elbert
    Trailhead:Lake View TH  10240 ft / 3121 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time:0 Days 3 Hours 25 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes

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