Mt Elbert

5:36 p.m. on May 10, 2003 (EDT)
(Guest)

My husband and I are planning to hike a few mountains this summer, including Mt Elbert. We've never summited before and are looking for any advice, especially regarding clothing to wear, how difficult of a hike it is, etc. We're planning on hiking in late June.

12:24 p.m. on May 11, 2003 (EDT)
37 reviewer rep
747 forum posts

Quote:

My husband and I are planning to hike a few mountains this summer, including Mt Elbert. We've never summited before and are looking for any advice, especially regarding clothing to wear,

Haven't done Mt Elbert but your question said "some mountains" so that makes it a generic question which I can answer.

First off I checked the weather and today its 41 degrees in Leadville - would make for a nasty night on the summit. So - are you carrying the gear required for an emergency bivouac? You are wearing proper climbing clothes like quality long underwear of non-absobant materials (no cotton). Fleece layers available - never mind how nice it seems, carry too much insulation and a good hat and gloves. Goretex shells or other quality shells that will breath so you don't get wet from your own sweat? Water - food, water filter? Foot gear - quality boots I hope - a turned ankle can create the emergency situation that you need to be prepared for. GPS? Remember most of those who died on Everest a few years ago died within 1,000 feet of the safety of camp because not even one guide had a GPS and they were lost. Carry spare batteries and record your path in incase you get lost or need to follow it back at night - you are carrying flashlights that will burn all night long right? Lithium batteries are the best. Also hikng poles will help a lot not only making it easier on your legs by putting shoulder muscles into the fray, but they will help you keep your balance - remember that twisted ankle...
Jim S - enjoy but be prepared.

9:32 a.m. on May 14, 2003 (EDT)

Quote:

Quote:

My husband and I are planning to hike a few mountains this summer, including Mt Elbert. We've never summited before and are looking for any advice, especially regarding clothing to wear,

Haven't done Mt Elbert but your question said "some mountains" so that makes it a generic question which I can answer.

First off I checked the weather and today its 41 degrees in Leadville - would make for a nasty night on the summit. So - are you carrying the gear required for an emergency bivouac? You are wearing proper climbing clothes like quality long underwear of non-absobant materials (no cotton). Fleece layers available - never mind how nice it seems, carry too much insulation and a good hat and gloves. Goretex shells or other quality shells that will breath so you don't get wet from your own sweat? Water - food, water filter? Foot gear - quality boots I hope - a turned ankle can create the emergency situation that you need to be prepared for. GPS? Remember most of those who died on Everest a few years ago died within 1,000 feet of the safety of camp because not even one guide had a GPS and they were lost. Carry spare batteries and record your path in incase you get lost or need to follow it back at night - you are carrying flashlights that will burn all night long right? Lithium batteries are the best. Also hikng poles will help a lot not only making it easier on your legs by putting shoulder muscles into the fray, but they will help you keep your balance - remember that twisted ankle...
Jim S - enjoy but be prepared.


As a Colorado resident with many 14-ers under my belt, my recommendation is to stick with the traditional route from Halfmoon campground, wear layers and comfy boots. Not knowing your conditioning it's difficult to estimate the round trip time. Elbert is ever popular and you'll be far from alone on the mountain. Expect to encounter some snow on the north approach but it will have been beaten down by the masses ahead of you and should pose no problem (assuming a good weather day). Speaking of weather, late June is generally an excellent time as it's not too hot but the noon thunderstorm pattern may be set up. If you leave around 6-7AM you should be OK. And, as I'm sure you already know, there are still many rewards to reap even if you don't summit; the mountain will still be there for another day. The route I'm suggesting is Class 2 which makes for a long, non-technical hike but very enjoyable. Good luck!

September 20, 2014
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