Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mt. Elbert Winter Ascent (2/18/12)

Route Name: East Ridge
Start Elevation: 9,607 ft. (2WD TH)
Summit Elevation: 14,433 ft.
Elevation Gain: 4950 ft.
Round-trip Mileage: 11.4 mi
Start Time: 6:16am
End Time: 4:10pm


We left at just past o-dark-500 this morning to head for Twin Lakes and the South Mt. Elbert trailhead. We arrived in the morning twilight of about 6am and proceeded to get our gear ready. Another pair of vehicles were in front of us in the parking lot with four guys also getting their gear in place. They were testing out their avalanche beacons which were obviously new to them. We also would later learn they had rented their snowshoes as well. They had the impression there would be plenty of avy terrain on Elbert today, but the recent beta we'd read said otherwise.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hoosier Ridge (2/17/12)

Route Name: East Ridge
Start Elevation: 11,539 ft. (Hoosier Pass)
Summit Elevation: 13,352 ft.
Elevation Gain: 2965 ft.
Round-trip Mileage: 8.79 mi
Start Time: 9:30am
End Time: 4:07pm


We hit the trail from Hoosier Pass at 9:30am. The weather looked perfect for the day. There was a fair amount of snow on the ground at Hoosier Pass and so we started right away with snowshoes. The main trail heading east was well packed into the trees and so its possible snowshoes weren't entirely necessary, but we always like to have them. It was a clear trail to follow that led us out of the trees and into the shorter brush. We ascended mostly to the north of the crest of the ridge. At around 12000 we left the last of the brush and it was open meadow ahead of us. At this point there was also no clear trail anymore so we just navigated by sight to what seemed the high point of the ridge.

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