Mt Elbert, Colorado, 14,433


July 27th - 28th 2007


Colorado has several peaks that are above 14,000 feet. I hiked my first one in 2005 and have been wanting to do another one since. Last year I tried to hike Mt Elbert and was denied due to a bad foot. This year I was in much better shape and was injury free.

Mt Elbert is the tallest 14er in Colorado. The trail is rated class 1 on, with a length of 4.5 miles to the peak with a 4700' elevation gain. The trail is supposed to be easy, but the elevation gail is a real challenge.

I arrived in Leadville on Friday in the late afternoon. I had taken my time coming in exploring the northern parts of the Carson National Forest in northern NM.

Here is a view of the mountain coming in from Leadville.

It was raining when I made camp, so I put up a tarp and started dinner. I cooked up some tasty buffalo sausage spaghetti. I was hoping to carb up before the hike the in the morning.


The rain kept coming all night, but I slept nice and dry in the back of the truck. I got up early and hit the trailhead at 0615. There were already a few cars at the trailhead. I was hoping to peak out by noon to try and avoid the weather.

Along the way I snapped a few photos before the clouds rolled in. There were 2 or 3 more false peaks before this one in the photo.

Up around the 13,500 mark I started getting some nausea. Another hiker was walking with me and offered me some jelly beans. he told me that the sugar would help. Turns out he was right as my nausea subsided quickly one I started taking with the sugar.

I peaked out at 1045, just 4.5 hours after I started. I did way better than I thought I would. I had some of the other hikers get a picture of me at the top. The clouds had moved in and it was cold up there.

The GPS was close, but a few feet off on the elevation.


The scene at the top was wild. One group of hikers was having a small birthday party eating cake. They were all wearing the pointy party hats too! Another group had hiked up a small backpacking stove and some burgers and they were grilling up some burgers. What a crazy group. I simply ate my apple and other snacks and headed out.

The hike down was tough because my knees and ankles were really getting sore.

The clouds broke along the way down and I got a few pictures of the surrounding peaks and Twin Lakes.

It took me 3 hours to get back to the truck. I had planned to camp near Gunnison and then explore on Sunday, but I was cold, sore, wet, hungry, and freakin tired!!! I opted just to head home and relax.

For a big man, I made the hike is damn good time and I was proud of myelf. :)

Thanks for reading...








© 2007