For the prior 2 years, on the 4th of July holiday weekend, I have taken my kids on a mountain climbing adventure. We stuck to Mount Sherman for those. Its close. Its short. But its steep. But we nailed those. So this year, I was ready to diversify. And I felt like gambling on a successful summit. I wanted to be sure we worked for it and hit up a proper mountain this year. So I went to my favorite. My steady. The 2nd closest to my cabin. And the tallest in the state of Colorado — Mount Elbert @ 14,433 feet.
The kids popped out of bed at 5:30. We left by 6 AM. On the trail by 6:30 AM. Pretty busy out there today. But that’s good when you are with kids. Lots of folks to chat to and give the kids accolades on being out there. I continue to love watching adults struggle and have a 9 year old blow by them with sheer determination. Its inspirational.
The mosquitoes were super thick in the woods but we kept charging on. I had confidence if we got above treeline in good shape, we had a shot at this. We stopped once at treeline and I had the kids re-fuel. Then we marched up. There are 2 false summits on Elbert so those were a bit of motivators, then demotivators. But oh well. The kids kept busy watching their dogs frolic around the mountain. We had great weather and it seemed like we had this in the bag as we hit 13,000 feet. Reagan then started to bonk but some sugar turned her quickly and she sprinted off and summitted well before the rest of us. Sydney had a headache near the top but was a trooper.
We stayed up top for nearly an hour with dozens of other people. Clean skies and decent temps. Sydney took a nap. The dogs rolled in the snow. And I just enjoyed chilling out on top of Colorado once more.
9 miles R/T, 4,400 feet of elevation gain, 8 hours.