Run fast ... fall down

Run fast ... fall down

Monday, October 15, 2012

N Mount Massive

Depending on who you ask, the number of 14ers in Colorado can vary from 53 to about 59. The difference are peaks that are either too close to other higher peaks to count as a separate mountain or ones that are far enough away but the drop between the peaks is insignificant (usually about 300 ft). I hiked Mt Massive (the 2nd highest in CO) a long time ago and didn't know to care enough about walking 1.14 miles along the ridge to a bump called N. Massive. So after finishing the 14ers in 2007, it was kind of cool to still have one left.

After some serious indecisiveness, like literally on the drive from the front range, we still hadn't fully decided between Drift peak, Massive or Yale. Upon pulling into Leadville, we'd apparently ruled out Drift since we passed the trailhead, however we added the possibility of either climbing Oklahoma or Elbert. Still George and Mike were undecided and Ziva was ready to get the show on the trail, so I spoke up and proclaimed N. Massive.

We loaded up and set forth about 8:30 with only 1 or 2 other cars at the N Halfmoon Trailhead. After 1.5 miles, we passed a trail junction leading up the S slopes of Massive, a route we would come down later in the day, but first we skirted around the ridge into the valley home to the N Halfmoon lakes.

Looking up at the valley wall we had to decide where to gain the ridge.

N Massive is straight ahead. We ascended the wall to the ridge at the far left of this photo

The climb up the wall is steep.

Looking back at Oklahoma (left) from the ridge

The ridge walk is long and has a few interesting obstacles that we mostly skirted around on the N side of the ridge. A few summit shots from Mt Massive summit.

Then we followed the very steep S Slopes trail back to the junction at 1.5 miles in. Total day was about 10 miles with 4200 ft of elevation gain. garmin data

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