Saturday, June 28, 2008

Colorado's Highest Point: Mount Elbert

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. After about a mile of following the Colorado Trail we made a right and started up the peak in earnest.
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It was a long, difficult ascent.
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I think it seemed especially difficult because we weren't fully acclimated to the altitude yet. When we made it to tree-line the views really opened up.
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There were great views of Mt. Massive and the other surrounding mountains.
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The trail seemed to get steeper and steeper, but at least there was no snow to post-hole through.
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When we finally made it to the summit, it was an amazing feeling. We sat up there and took some photos and watched others make their way to the top.

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.

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