Mt Elbert winter climb

Mt Elbert winter climb

Joined: February 3rd, 2006, 10:46 pm

February 3rd, 2006, 10:56 pm #1

Anyone familiar with climbing Mt. Elbert in the winter time? I'm hoping to be in the Denver area around President's day weekend. Was considering doing Mt. Elbert at that time but just didn't know how doable that would be this time of the year. I realize it's no big deal in the summer time but just didn't know what conditions would be this time of the year, with navigation/route finding, etc. - I spoke with Leadville ranger station today and they said it only takes a day during the winter to do the climb (given good conditions) which sort of suprised me. Is there a guide service that takes people up in the winter?
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Joined: February 4th, 2006, 4:16 am

February 4th, 2006, 4:20 am #2

I am planning on climbing Elbert that same weekend. You can check out a short discussion thread on the Yahoo HP group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/highpointers/

Get in touch with me if you are interested in joining up with us.
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Joined: January 23rd, 2004, 4:14 pm

February 5th, 2006, 12:42 am #3

Anyone familiar with climbing Mt. Elbert in the winter time? I'm hoping to be in the Denver area around President's day weekend. Was considering doing Mt. Elbert at that time but just didn't know how doable that would be this time of the year. I realize it's no big deal in the summer time but just didn't know what conditions would be this time of the year, with navigation/route finding, etc. - I spoke with Leadville ranger station today and they said it only takes a day during the winter to do the climb (given good conditions) which sort of suprised me. Is there a guide service that takes people up in the winter?
We climbed Elbert in March of 2004 via the South Elbert Trail, you can read my trip report here.

There has also been some recent trip reports of Mt. Elbert over on 14erworld.com,
here's a trip report from 1/15/06.

Here's a trip report from 1/22/06 with a ski descent.

The South Elbert Trail is the best winter route on the peak. You can drive to the 2wd summer trailhead, sometimes a little further up the 4wd road, and the avalanche danger is lower than the other routes. This has been a pretty high snow year so far for the Sawatch Range, so keep an eye on the CAIC's website when your trip gets closer.
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Joined: April 3rd, 2004, 4:42 pm

February 5th, 2006, 9:25 pm #4

Anyone familiar with climbing Mt. Elbert in the winter time? I'm hoping to be in the Denver area around President's day weekend. Was considering doing Mt. Elbert at that time but just didn't know how doable that would be this time of the year. I realize it's no big deal in the summer time but just didn't know what conditions would be this time of the year, with navigation/route finding, etc. - I spoke with Leadville ranger station today and they said it only takes a day during the winter to do the climb (given good conditions) which sort of suprised me. Is there a guide service that takes people up in the winter?
Rex offers good advice for a winter climb of Elbert. The East ridge is the best way to do it in winter as there is little avy danger and the trail is at worst accessible to within 1 mile as long as CO-82 is open. I climbed it 2/4 and there is a base of about 3' of snow in the trees, but the trail was well traveled. Just make sure there hasn't been a big storm recently or it will turn into a long day of wallowing!
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 10:33 pm

February 6th, 2006, 5:19 pm #5

Anyone familiar with climbing Mt. Elbert in the winter time? I'm hoping to be in the Denver area around President's day weekend. Was considering doing Mt. Elbert at that time but just didn't know how doable that would be this time of the year. I realize it's no big deal in the summer time but just didn't know what conditions would be this time of the year, with navigation/route finding, etc. - I spoke with Leadville ranger station today and they said it only takes a day during the winter to do the climb (given good conditions) which sort of suprised me. Is there a guide service that takes people up in the winter?
Here is my TR:

<A href=http://www.summitpost.org/mountains/tri ... d=153>Trip Report</a>

Elbert is a piece of cake in winter (if you are experienced), but be careful with the wind, and dress warm. Elbert is the easiest state highpoint in the west (other than Mauna Kea), in the winter, but it will still be a very long day. You may want to consider camping.
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Joined: January 23rd, 2004, 4:14 pm

February 6th, 2006, 5:20 pm #6

Rex offers good advice for a winter climb of Elbert. The East ridge is the best way to do it in winter as there is little avy danger and the trail is at worst accessible to within 1 mile as long as CO-82 is open. I climbed it 2/4 and there is a base of about 3' of snow in the trees, but the trail was well traveled. Just make sure there hasn't been a big storm recently or it will turn into a long day of wallowing!
Hey Kevin,

I read your Elbert report over on 14erworld, congrats on Colorado's highest as a winter ascent. You'll have to post a link to the report when Steve archives it to the TR database. I might have to go back and climb Elbert for a 3rd time, when we climbed it on March 20th 2004, it was technically the first day of spring. So although it was the exact same conditions as the day before(last official day of winter), the purist in me says I can't claim Elbert as a winter ascent.
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