mount elbert - 14433' - east ridge class 1
Mandy and I went to climb Mount Elbert on Christmas Day via the east ridge which is known to be an avy safe route in the winter. We drove out the night before and camped at the trailhead right near Twin Lakes and it was one cold night. We were told it got down to -20 degrees in Leadville that night. It took us a while to get going in the morning and the car barely started! Once we were all warmed up and packed we started up the 4WD road to the trailhead was was very bare. Then on the trail which had little if any snow on it, we made very good time to treeline. Near treeline we noticed across the valley some animals tracks that led right up to a small avalanche! That's direct proof that animals also cause slides. For the rest of the slog to the summit for some reason I felt horrible and was going very slow. Really this whole climb was on bare rock on moderate slopes and I was bored as hell. We saw two other pairs of hikers that day, one from Texas even and they were going slower than me. On the summit, I met up with Mandy and one other guy who I would later find out was a friend I climbed with in summer of 2012. I wasn't as impressed with the views from the top of Elbert and since it was cold we just started back down. I won't be climbing Elbert ever again.