|Peak:||Mt. Massive (14er)|
|Date of Information:||05/26/2013|
Beautiful sunny hike up the East Slopes of Massive on Sunday. Completely dry at the trailhead. Did not start to encounter snow until about 10,800 ft. but it really was not a problem until turning off the Colorado Trail onto the Massive Trail around 11,300. Made it up part of the way before route finding became a little difficult due to the patches of drifted snow (Pic #1). I used my snow shoes through part of this section until just after the willows. I ditched the snow shoes around 12,500, as they were not needed. The hike to the saddle was a mix of grass and snow (Pic #2). The first pitch from the saddle had some crunchy and some soft snow. Microspikes or Crampons could be used, but I opted not to put mine on and had no problems without them. The same held true for the ridgeline (Pic #3). If it was colder and the snow was iced up, Crampons would be a good idea. Pic #4 of Mt. Massive was taken from South Massive (I was a glutton for punishment and included this in my hike). The way down the snow had softened up and was melting at a pretty good rate. Snow shoes were a must especially just above and through the willows. I saw where others post holed directly into the running water beneath the snow. When going down, the route had become more defined due to earlier traffic. Some of the post-hole areas were becoming post-hole trails. I have other pictures if anybody else needs more details on other parts of the trail.
Hope this helps.
Photos (click for slideshow):