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Hiking the Tallest Mountain In Colorado

by Meredith Adams

The summit of Mount ElbertThe tallest mountain in Colorado rises 14,440 ft above sea level.  It is the second highest at just 65' shorter than the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states and ranks 15th tallest when Alaska and Hawaii are added in the mix.  

Colorado has 58 mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation (14ers).  The tallest is Mount Elbert.  Mt Elbert is located in the Collegiate Peaks Mountain Range near Leadville.  It's not in Summit County but it is the tallest mountain in Colorado and just a short drive from Summit County so I felt it was worthy of a blog post.  There are several hiking trails that will take you to the summit of Mt Elbert, all require climbing steep grade above treeline.  Make sure you start early so you can reach the summit around noon and be heading back down before the afternoon storms roll in.  There is very little for cover at the top if you find yourself in a lightning storm.  Even if the weather forecast shows no chance of storms, don't rely on that.  Colorado weather is unpredictable, especially at 14,000 feet.

Hiking Mount ElbertWe opted for the South Mt Elbert Trail on this hike.  It starts from a campground so if you like, you can camp the night before and don't have to get up quite as early in the morning.  There is a well marked trailhead with a small parking lot but don't be tempted to start there.  Take a left  after the trailhead and drive a four wheel drive road back through an aspen grove for about 2 miles.  Regular cars could probably make the drive but any stock SUV won't have any trouble. It shaves nearly four long, agonizing miles off your total hike!

The route the trail takes was recently changed which made our hike a little longer than we expected.  The trail was in great shape though. It took about 2 miles and 925 feet of elevation gain before we made it out of a huge grove of aspen trees and then pines further up.  After a hike across a meadow the trail started it's steep climb up.  There were a few areas where it flattened out slightly giving us a bit of a break but it's a pretty unrelenting up.  After 3 miles of climbing, we made it to the summit.  Smoke from the wildfires in California was in the air creating a haze that limited visibility of the mountains surrounding us.  We could see Twin Lakes, the reservoir and many smaller ponds in the valley below. There were about 30 people at the top.  Most came from the North Mt Elbert Trail.  That is the most popular way to the summit.  

Mountain Biking Mt ElbertDuring our hike we came across four mountain bikers heading up.  The trail was so steep they were pushing or carrying their bikes.  There was no riding up the steep section of this trail.  The first two were beasts.  They stayed ahead of us to the top and were on their way back down before we hit the summit.  The other group of two mountain bikers weren't doing as well.  One ended up leaving her bike and continuing on with the hike to the summit.  The other eventually made it up with his bike.  The steep portion of the trail didn't look like a great mountain bike trail for a novice like me but it must have been a thrill for those that know what they are doing.

The hike took a total of eight hours, spending about an hour at the summit.  The GPS said it was 10.2 miles and just less than 4,000 feet of total elevation gain.  If you are considering a 14er and want the bragging rights that go along with climbing the highest peak in Colorado, Mt Elbert is a great hike.  It's challenging but do-able.  No steep drop offs or dangerous areas along this trail.  I would guess it's one of the mellower 14ers.  With that said, we did have a friend fall on the way down.  Nothing serious, just some scrapes on her elbow & knee.  We always carry a first aid kit so had some antibiotic wipes & band-aids to get her cleaned up and back at it.  A backpack with any gear you may need is a necessity for all your hikes.  You never know what may happen out there in the wilderness.  It's best to be prepared.

Hiking is one of our favorite things to do in Summit County in the summer.  If you want hiking information or recommendations feel free to contact us.  Text, call, email or simply stop by.  No purchase required!  

Hiking McCullough Gulch

by Meredith Adams

We try and get out for a hike every week.  Last week we hiked McCullough Gulch.  It's a very popular trail that starts south of Breckenridge.  In about 1.5 miles you can get to a waterfall, a lake beyond that, and many more higher lakes after that.  We went to the second lake this time making it a 7 mile hike.  The wildflowers were pretty in the meadow before the second lake.  This year has been a dry year and they were still good.  On a wetter year I bet they are spectacular!  Take a look at the video below for a glimpse of what this hike offers.  There's nothing like seeing it in person though so add this hike to your list.

McCullough Gulch Hike from Meredith Hanson on Vimeo.

Family funIf so, a Summit County vacation home is a great way to achieve your goal. A vacation home in Summit County will bring your family to you. No matter how far away they are, a get together at the Summit County cabin will appeal to them and draw them in. The reality is, this may be the easiest New Year’s resolution you have ever made!

The best way to accomplish resolutions is to break the huge achievement down into manageable chunks. In this case, the first step would be to determine your price range. Are you comfortable spending $200,000 or $1,000,000? Would you need a loan to make it happen or would you liquidate other assets and pay cash? If a loan is involved talk to a local lender and make sure they are on the same page you are. We can help you find a great local lender if you need one. Once you have determined a price range, we should set you up on a property search.

Will the price range you are comfortable in get you the property you want? Taking a look online at what your money will buy is the next step. By setting you up on a search, we will send you properties that fit your criteria and save you time searching the internet.

‚ÄčSummit County propertiesThe next step is to look at some properties in person. There’s a lot you can’t tell from the internet. Sometimes you can get a feel for the floorplan, but usually it’s a little different in person than you anticipate. The neighborhood feel is something you have to be there in person to see. And the condo complex configuration is always a mystery until you see it.

Finally, it’s time for an offer on the property that works best for you. We’ll negotiate with the seller and hopefully come to a price that works. Then, we handled the details, helping you as review the information to ensure your decision to buy this place is a good one.

Once the place is yours, the family will be there with you before you know it. Next January, you’ll be looking back at 2015 and have so many more family memories at your Summit County vacation home. You’ll be able to mark your 2015 resolution off as a success and come up with a new one for 2016. If your resolution wasn’t to spend more time with your family this year, maybe you should consider it. We’re happy to help you as you look into the idea and determine if it’s right for you

We hit the jackpot at Copper Mountain Resort!

by Meredith Adams

We were reluctant to ski on a Saturday but Copper Mountain was reporting 32" of snow in the last week. We had to go. With only 3 lifts open we knew the lines would be long, and they were. We headed up the Eagle after waiting for what seemed like a really long time in the singles line. Then it was on to the Excelerator to hit the top of the mountain. We didn't want to go back down to the bottom and wait in that line again unless we had to. The Excelerator usually doesn't have much of a line but today it did. We finally made it to the top. We didn't linger with the gusty winds at the top and headed towards Ptarmigan, the only way down. Along the way we noticed a crowd was building. Skiers and riders were looking into Mine Dump where ski patrol was packing snow. I could hardly hear the ski patroller as she asked for help with the packing. "Five at a time," she said, "and if you're not orderly, we'll have to stop." After a short wait the first five headed down the slope. We watched as they enoyed the fresh powder. Then 5 more went, then 5 more. The anticipation was almost unbearable as we listened to the whoops and hollers of those on the slopes. Finally it was our turn. Off we went. The snow was worth the wait. Soft, fluffy powder that was easily knee deep greeted us with every turn. Fresh tracks on a Saturday! Knee deep powder on our second ski day of the year! A spectacular ski day at Copper Mountain We floated through the powder, down the slope until we connected back to Ptarmigan. We high fived each other, grinning ear to ear as we headed back to the Excelerator lift hoping we would get a second run down it. It was all I could do to wait patiently as the lift took us back to the top. We made our way back down to the Mine Dump entrance. It looked like they were still letting everyone in and we could breathe easy knowing we'd get another run as great as the first. Then, they told us they were going to open CDL too. We traversed behind ski patrol to the top of CDL. We were going to be in the first ten people to go down this run today! We couldn't believe our good fortune as we headed back into the powder. We were experiencing conditions that rivaled some of our best days last year; which was a phenomenal season. Unfortunately, we had work to do and couldn't spend any more time on the mountain. We left feeling like we hit the jackpot or won the lottery. The smiles still haven't left our faces. Thank you Copper Mountain for an incredible start to the 2014/2015 ski season

Ski Season Opening Day 2014

by Meredith Adams

Arapahoe Basin is the first ski area to open for the 2014-2015 skiing and riding season! Temps are forcast to be in the 50s today so it's like spring skiing in October. We stopped by this morning to give you a quick look at what it looks like on the slopes today. Plan to do some Beachin' at the Basin soon!  

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5




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Jason & Meredith Adams
Mountain Living Real Estate
101 E. Main Street, #109 / PO Box 4115
Frisco CO 80443