Peer pressure can be a wonderfully powerful thing and this weekend it won over as I left my house at 2am on Saturday to head for Leadville will my "buddy" Chad (the persuader). Our objective was to climb Mt. Elbert, the tallest mountain in the state of Colorado and the second tallest in the U.S.
We embarked at approximately 4:15 and 10,200 ft, using headlamps to navigate what can best be described as a biking path. Although no bikes were encountered for the entire day, it was nice to start the day with a decently sized path, albeit consistently uphill (who knew?). The above picture is the view crossing tree line (according to our GPS 11,900 ft) just as the sun came up (approximately 6:00).
If you are able to squint enough to focus on this picture, you can see the rough outline of what are biking trail quickly became after crossing treeline. Although I never fell, the loose gravel and large rocks presented quite the challenge for the old size 14 shoe (it was a lot like skiing, I just didn't point them downhill). Off in the distance is the first of three false peaks.
We arrived on top, 14,440 ft at 8:30. That is Leadville off to the left.
One of these two men has climbed 16 14,000 ft peaks. The other has hiked one. I am guessing you can figure out which is which.
This is the drop off down the side of the peak. No, we did not come up or (thankfully) go down this way. But it does begin to put in perspective the heights as compared to the surrounding geography which is sitting at atleast 10,000 ft.
Another view off in to the distance from the top.
We were back in the car heading back east by noon. This is a view from the road heading away. That is Sir Elbert towering off in the distance. Good day sir.