Mt. Elbert, Colorado

June 14, 2003

Mt. Elbert, CO

Mt. Elbert, Colorado, 14,440 Ft.

Mt. Elbert is the highest mountain in Colorado, the highest in the Rocky Mountains, and the second highest mountain in the lower 48 states.  Located in the Sawatch Range of the central Rockies, Mt. Elbert is a spectacular peak and worthy of recognition.  The mountain was named for Samuel Elbert, a controversial territorial governor in 1873.   It has several routes to the summit, most being easy class 1 trails.  The choice of route is inevitably yours to make, but in case you were wondering, we chose the South Elbert Trail and had a wonderful day hiking with several of our friends.  But enough talk...let's get to the photos!

At the Trailhead
At 5:30 am, the Mt. Elbert sign greets us near the trailhead just before beginning a steep part of the climb.

A beautiful aspen forest awaits those who choose to climb this peak.  One of the ridges to Mt. Elbert is in the background.

Katie and Jackie
Katie and Jackie hike towards Mt. Elbert at 11,000 ft near treeline.  The trail follows the ridge towards the snow.  The ridge is seen here starting just above thier heads in the photo.

Jackie starts the 1000 ft. climb up the ridge.  The summit is not in view.

The ridge
Near the top of the ridge, hikers still have a long way to go to the summit (in the background).

Twin Lakes area
Jackie and Andrew trudge up towards the beginning of the snow at about 13,000 ft.  The Twin Lakes area to the south makes for a great view while trudging.

Katie and Andrew on the snow
Several areas of snow covered parts of the trail, requiring Katie and Andrew to do some alternate route finding.

Mt. Massive
Spectacular views of Mt. Massive dominates the northern side of Mt. Elbert.

Our Gang!
This is our group with our new friends.
L to R:  Alan, Syd, Ellen, Aaron, Eileen, Jackie, Andrew, Katie

What a wonderful day!  We climbed in perfect weather and had fun with our new-found friends.  We were treated to a fantastic tour of the Colorado Rockies by Aaron Johnson, who pointed out 50 or more peaks in a 360 degree circle around the summit.  Thanks to Aaron, Ellen, Eileen, and Syd for being such good company and making a great day better.

Part 2: Mt. Sherman