The Summit of Mount Elbert

Summiting the highest peak of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 14,439 feet turned out to be a true test of perseverance. My good friend Patrick and I set off on this adventure from the South Mount Elbert Trailhead at 7 in the morning. The first few miles of trail confluence with the Colorado Trail and then with the Continental Divide Trail. It started out as a pleasant hike, through a forest of white aspen trees and over roaring streams.

Once we reached the tree line at an elevation of around 12,000 feet and entered the Alpine zone of the mountain the hike started to be substantially more difficult. I live at an elevation of only 554 feet and not being climatized to the area, the elevation in the Alpine zone was taking a toll on Patrick and I. It seemed about every ten paces we had to stop and catch our breath. It went on like that for miles and it got worse as we climbed to ever-higher elevations. We could see others on the trail as mere specks in the distance. Once we would reach where they were, thinking we had reached the summit only to see more people further in distance as yet more specks. We continued this routine of constantly catching our breath thinking we were closer to the end only to be met with more specs countless times, but when we finally reached the summit of the mountain the views were worth struggle.

360 View of Mount Elbert Summit
The trek to the summit and decent Mount Elbert took us 12 hours and over that time my perseverance was tested more than once and it even began to test mine and Patrick's friendship. The trek from our starting point of an elevation of 9560 feet at the South Mount Elbert Trailhead was about 11 and a half miles round trip with an elevation gain of 4879 feet. There were a good three times where I fully considered turning back and I probably would of if I would have realized just how much further we had still to go. After getting back to Patrick's place in Denver we spent the next full day just lazily recovering. It was good times and definitely an adventure!

Clicking on the picture above and following the link with let you see a 360-degree view of the summit of Mount Elbert. Click and drag your mouse to look around view or use your arrow keys. Below is an Instagram post with more pictures from the trip that I hope you enjoy.

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