Lake County Highpoint Trip Report
Date: September 1, 2006
Author: John Birrer
At 0500, I began the ascent of Elbert in Colorado from the north and almost
immediately got off the trail in the dark. I was supposed to have crossed a
creek soon after departing from the parking lot but I did not cross over for
quite some time. Knowing where the mountain was, I was not too concerned but I
did have to eventually cross the creek and ascend a very steep 500 feet where I
am sure the National Forest Service would have preferred I not travel.
Many others had made the same mistake or purposely taken the same route that I did as
evidenced by previous foot traffic.
I regained the right trail at the tree line after the short but difficult climb.
Having taken altitude sickness medicine beginning the previous morning, I did
quite well all the way to the top though the first false summit lowered my
morale a bit. The second false summit was not bad as the actual summit was
right behind it. I gained the high point in just under five hours and descended
in three hours.
Again, going down proved hard on the old man. I followed the correct route all
the way back and determined that getting "lost" that morning had actually taken
about 1.5 miles off the ascent so I didn't feel too bad about my deficient