Mt. Elbert 14,440'
06 July 2012
Second highest peak in the lower 48, just 15 feet behind Mt. Whitney. Humbling.
I got an early start, again. The trailhead is literally right across the street from CFI employee housing. Our yurt rests on the shore of Twin Lakes with La Plata and Elbert towering above it. How fortunate I am to live and work in such a place.
I drove to save myself a few hundred yards. As I didn’t want to will my car up the “4WD recommended” road to the upper lot, I was already adding 3.5 miles to my round trip and figured I’d save as much distance as I could. A few cars passed me as I walked the road, but I passed most of them right back before I made the summit. I wasn’t the first up there, but I did have the place to myself for a few brief moments. And there I was, alone on top of Colorado. Cool.
I managed to snap a few quick photos before the fog rolled in on me. At one point, the surrounding view disappeared entirely. I didn’t mind; it didn’t compare to some of the other fourteener views I’ve enjoyed anyways. Besides, it was kinda cool to be up there shrouded in fog. Before long, I packed it in and started the trek down to my car. On the way down, I passed untold hordes, many of whom were charging up the braided trail, increasing the impact beyond the established trail. Ugh, frustrating. There will always be work to do out there; we don’t need the job security.
On a lighter note, I must admit that I get some sort of (twisted?) satisfaction from cruising down the trail while everyone else is laboring up in their basketball shorts and tennis shoes. Ah well, what are you gonna do? Everyone wants to conquer the biggest (insert challenge here). And why shouldn’t we?