The sunrise we witnessed from the trailhead was awesome! Look out for more....
Mount Elbert is Colorado's highest summit. From here, though, it doesn't look as impressive as its title suggests
Starting temperature, 0 degrees. But there was no wind and it was filtered sunshine. A downright balmy day for February.
We skinned up from the trailhead. It would be 5.6 miles up to the summit and roughly 5,000 vertical feet of gain.
Crossing the bridge at the "4WD trailhead" two miles from the winter trailhead
Thankfully a track had already been broken so route finding was easy and the going was fast
That's Twin Lakes in the background
Nearing treeline at 11,700 feet
I was on my split snowboard in ski mode and Jeff was on his tele skis
We skinned up to 13,000' where the east ridge became wind scoured and it was more efficient to go by foot
Looking the rest of the way towards the (unseen) summit. Two hikers were ahead of us.
Just below the summit we got a great view of nearby 14er Mount Massive
Self portrait on Mount Elbert, 14,443', February 27, 2010 at 12:10pm
On the summit with 14er La Plata Peak off to the right
Now for the fun and efficient descent from 13,000'!
Ripping turns above treeline was a bit touch and go since it was inconsistent sastrugi
Jeff skiing down and almost to enter the trees again
I was able to snowboard down to about 10,200 feet where the terrain flattened out and it was time to go back into ski mode
The end. It took us just a hair over 9 hours car to car. A great winter outing!