Thursday, October 2, 2014

TBT Hiking Post from Hubby - Mt. Elbert

It's Thursday!! That means another Throwback Thursday post from Hubby. Today's hike is when we met up with Hubby's parents in Colorado. While there we hiked one of the fourteeners (mountain that is or above 14,000 feet) Mt. Elbert. It is 14,440 feet high and is the second highest mountain in the contiguous United States after Mt. Whitney in California. Mt. Rainier is at 14,417 feet, however a technical climb. Mt. Elbert was not technical, just a long hike. This hike is also special as it will always be a great memory of my Father-in-Law. He passed a couple years ago and I will always remember how fun it was hiking with him. 

Mt. Elbert, August 18, 2007

Sharon and I visited my parents in Colorado a couple weekends ago and spent one of the days hiking up Mt. Elbert.  My Dad had suggested the idea as a suitable challenge for him given that he is in his 60s and rarely does hikes that don't start and end at their house.  Plus, he'd have bragging rights with his friends.  My Mom came along as well, but she has more of a journey rather than destination attitude than my Dad, so she was content to just go as far up as she could make it.  Mt. Elbert is the tallest peak in Colorado and second tallest in the lower 48, but it is a very straightforward hike with a well-maintained trail the whole way.  Also, roads lead to within 4500 ft of the summit.  The two main challenges are dealing with altitude-induced fatigue and getting down before any afternoon thunderstorms hit. 

Mt. Elbert from the road.
Leaving Colorado Trail on Way up to Elbert
Just above treeline along trail.
After passing treeline, my Mom was ready to stop. We encouraged her to go about another 700 feet higher.
Mom is happy.
We headed off, telling my Mom to head down to just below treeline if any storms developed.  My Dad had been going strong, but seemingly as soon as we rounded a corner out of Mom's sight, he slowed down and admitted fatigue.  I guess he is still out to impress her after nearly 40 years. wink.gif  With nearly constant encouragement from Sharon, we made our way to the summit. 
Near the summit.
Heading higher.
On the summit.
Dad on summit.
We ate lunch on top while enjoying the views.
Clouds were building and my Mom was waiting so we went down after a little bit.  Sure enough, it rained on us as we descended and we could hear thunder before making it to treeline.  My Mom was waiting there, as planned and we slowly made out way back to the car. They were both completely worn out at the end, but proud of their accomplishment. 

Total stats: 9 mi, 4700 ft. elevation gain 
We spent the remainder of the weekend hanging out with my parents and letting them recover. smile.gif  


  1. Looks like a gorgeous place to hike. We did some hiking in Aspen this summer and it was breathtakingly beautiful.

  2. Awesome! We visited Vail while we were there. Would love to visit Aspen if we ever go to Colorado again!

  3. Nice pics! Looks like a cool hike! It would be cool to hike the second highest mountain in the contiguous United States.

  4. Thanks! It is pretty neat to do, especially since it's not a technical climb.