Ascent of Mount Elbert on 2019-10-31

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, October 31, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Elbert
    Elevation:4327 ft / 1318 m

Ascent Trip Report

Based on recent weather, my guess was that the route to the Rockies and Mt Elbert would be snow free. Since I was going to Yakima anyway, this seemed like a perfect time to grab these two rather than waste a beautiful summer day on them or contend with snow in late spring. Conditions turned out to be beautiful, and I had the entire area to myself.

The lower part of FR 74 is in good shape. It’s a little bit of a drive back up there, but it was easy going. After the junction with a large intersection where FR 74 starts to head west to the peak, the quality of the road deteriorates noticeably. It’s not bad, but the brush was starting to encroach a little. Eventually, I ran into a big frozen puddle that I decided wasn’t worth trying to push through since others parked just a little further up the road anyway. I also had a bike that I was planning on using to cover most of the distance anyway. It turned out that if I had driven a little further, there is a nice place to park just a tenth of a mile ahead. In fact, a lot of the road heading up toward the peaks seemed just fine. The last mile or so could be problematic for some vehicles and scratches would be inevitable, but there were tire tracks all the way to the end of the road.

Anyway, I pulled out my bike and make quick time. In general the road traverses to the saddle between Elbert and the Rockies. However, there is quite a bit of up and down. I decided to go with the Rockies first since it was further. The last stretch of road is a bit overgrown, but it’s not a problem to bike all the way to the use trail. The trail was at least initially much more well maintained than I was anticipating. There is even flagging for a stretch. The last 200 feet are quite overgrown, but there are faint makeshift detours through the brush if you look carefully. It was a beautiful fall day, and there were stunning views of Rainier and the Goat Rocks.

But, I didn’t have time to waste and made my way back to my bike to head over to Elbert. I had seen from the summit of the Rockies that the west/soutwest slopes of Elbert were quite open. So, I took a line up that aspect. The route went nicely and the brush was minimal. The summit of Elbert is pretty flat, so I walked around a bit to be sure to hit the potential highpoint contenders.

The descent was quick and enjoyable on a bike granted there were a couple uphill climbs.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2676 ft / 814 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2676 ft / 815 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13.5 mi / 21.7 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Bicycle, Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2184 ft / 665 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 727 ft / 221 m; Extra: 1457 ft / 444m
    Loss on way in:1457 ft / 444 m
    Distance:8.6 mi / 13.8 km
    Route:West Slope
    Start Trailhead:FSR 7424  3600 ft / 1097 m
    Time:1 Hours 54 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1219 ft / 371 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 727 ft / 221 m; Extra: 492 ft / 149m
    Gain on way out:492 ft / 149 m
    Distance:4.9 mi / 7.9 km
    Route:West Slope
    End Trailhead:FSR 7424  3600 ft / 1097 m
    Time:56 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Connor McEntee
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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