We awoke at 5:10 am, ate some bananas and drove the mile to the North Mt. Elbert trail head. We were on the trail by about 6am. The first part of the hike was along relatively gentle grades through a forest that reminded me of those you'd find in the north woods of Maine.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the ascent was seeing how the others making the trip were dressed and outfitted. While some hikers wore jeans and cotton sweatshirts, others wore mountaineering boots and carried ice axes. Noelle and I were part of the middle ground, we wore synthetics but carried no axes. I think we were adequately prepared.