History of Mount Elbert: Colorado’s Highest 14er
Have you ever been to the highest summit in the Rocky Mountains? Colorado's Mount Elbert is a popular 14er mountain to climb, and a breathtaking mountain to behold.
Not only is Mount Elbert the highest point in the state of Colorado, but it is also the second-highest peak in the contiguous United States behind Mount Whitney.
Colorado's Mount Elbert is Millions of Years Old
It is estimated that Colorado's Sawatch Range separated from the Mosquito Range and to the east about 28 million years ago. The mountain does not have a permanent snowpack and Elbert is without a prominent north-facing cirque. Mount Elbert stands 14,400 feet in Lake County, Colorado.
The First Ascent of Mount Elbert in Colorado
Mount Elbert gets its name from Samuel Hitt Elbert who was the Governor of the Territory of Colorado before it became a state. Elbert brokered a treaty with the Ute Indians in September of 1873 which opened millions of acres of land up to mining and railroads.
The first person to climb to the top of Mount Elbert was H.W. Stuckle. He climbed Mount Elbert in 1874 while working for the Hayden Survey. Mount Elbert was first measured at 14,433 but was later adjusted in 1988 to 14,400.
Mount Elbert Vs Mount Massive
There is only a difference of about 12 feet between Mount Elbert and Mount Massive. An attempt to make Mount Massive the tallest mountain in Colorado was underway in the 1970s with people attempting to stack rocks at the top of the mountain to make it higher than Elbert. Eventually, this attempt failed, and Mount Elbert remains the tallest.