Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mt. Elden Slabs

Mt. Elden is a unique volcanic feature in an area dotted with volcanoes.  Unlike the dozens of cinder cones in the area around Flagstaff, Mt. Elden is a lava dome that extruded viscous lava flows and built a steep dome.  Today there are numerous hiking, running, biking, and climbing opportunities on and around Mt. Elden.  Perhaps the least traveled route, is a scramble up the 45 degree southern slabs of Mt. Elden.  The route climbs 2,500 ft. in about a mile over predominantly 3rd class terrain with a couple 4th class sections.

Paul and I started at the Mt. Elden lookout trail around lunchtime and made our way towards the slabs.  We climbed up onto the slabs and climbed the natural stair master all the way to the top.  It took an hour and a half from car to the summit, 15 minutes for a break and snacks on the summit, and another 45 minutes to hike down the trail.  2.5 hours roundtrip at a normal pace.

Paul getting onto the Elden slabs
Scrambling on Elden
January on Mt. Elden slabs 
Close to the top
One final obstacle
View looking Northwest from summit of Mt. Elden