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Mt. Belford  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2013-05-12  Northwest Ridge  I did Belford on 5.12 it was a bit of a slog - a little rain at the parking lot. There was snow on the switchbacks and a lot after the creek crossing. The snow was soft in the morning. After the trees the snow wasn‘t too deep hard and a the trail easy to follow to the base of Belford. Again on Belford the snow was soft - I went straight up. On the way down the wasn‘t any post holing (I was wearing snow shoes) until you get to the decline after the ‘cabin‘. Then I sank down a lot. The snow was melting fast and if this warm weather holds it will be different. Missouri looked dangerous from Belford peak - if there was a place for snow to slide you could see where snow had slid - even on the standard route Dex   2013-05-13  0     Edit Delete 
2013-05-04  Northwest Ridge  I went up Belford with Skis in tow on Saturday (5/04/13). Got a start at 6:50 am. The snow was as hard as a rock all the way to tree line and up to the summit, this made skinning very unpleasant, because the skins didn‘t sink into the snow at all and therefore didn‘t put enough surface area on the snow. Frankly it would have been easier to micro-spike it up to the ridge with skis on my back (which is what I ended up doing). On the descent(at around 12pm) from the top of the ridge It was hard as a rock in places. I didn‘t ski down the northwest gully because I read on CAIC that all of last week‘s Deep Slaps broke on Northwest aspects. So, I skied down the ridge, which was intermittent hard as a rock to nice loose snow, depending how far north a skied down the ridge, until around 12,400 when I traversed the shallowest slope down into the gully. Which was again hard as s**t to nice skiing depending on how much sun gets in there. It started snowing so it didn‘t get a lot, if at all, of sun on Saturday. After the gully I had some great lines all the way down till the creek crossing at 10,000‘, it was really soft, sometimes my buddy who was snow shoeing (poor boarder‘s, I do not why they board) sank down to his hips! The skiing was great though!!! / I have some nice pics, but they are too big for this there website of Bill‘s. On a tangent: I think the name of trees between 10,000‘ and tree line should be here after referred to as "the Tree‘s of Sorrow" I hate those f***ing trees!!!!!!! jmanner   2013-05-08 1     Edit Delete 
2013-04-27  Northwest Ridge  Still quite a bit of snow on the trail around treeline. Was able to walk from the trail head all the way to just before the old cabin without snowshoes in the morning (approx 6:30 am when we arrived at the cabin). Stashed snowshoes 1/4 the way up the valley for the return trip. Ridge line is in good shape and avalanche danger on the standard route is pretty low. The snow that exists on the route is easily avoidable and can be done without microspikes, though having them on certainly would give you better traction. On the decent, snowshoes were needed from just above the old cabin to about halfway back to the trail head. You will post hole up to your hip without them as the snow softens up. michaelgrundy   2013-04-29  0     Edit Delete 
2013-01-01  Northwest Ridge  I was able to drive to the Missouri Gulch Trailhead in my stock 4wd 4-Runner. It‘s about 7.5 miles down the 390 Road. There was a good trail to treeline with a few inches of new snow on it. I stomped it down with snowshoes both up and down. The Northwest Ridge of Belford has 3-6 inches of snow on it. I left the snowshoes behind at treeline. Microspikes are useful on the descent. I also did the traverse to Oxford. It‘s in decent shape with segments of snow and rock. I had a long cold day. Left the car at 3 AM and got back at 5:30 PM. Mickeys Grenade   2013-01-01  0  1  Edit Delete 
2012-12-30  Northwest Ridge  Weasel-ish calendar winter ascent. No problems on the Winfield road. No floatation or added traction needed. Didn‘t even pull out the axe. Too windy for us to have any inclination to head over to Oxford, though. Left TH at 8:00, got back at 1:00. doggler   2013-01-02  0     Edit Delete 
2012-12-02  Northwest Ridge  Packed snow in sections. Very windy. Traction is helpful below the treeline. awilbur77   2012-12-02  0     Edit Delete 
2012-11-02  Northwest Ridge  Route has some snow on it but is avoidable for the most part. We did it without micro spikes, but some may feel more comfortable in having them on some parts coming down. No wolf sightings  dehrlich101   2012-11-03  0  6    Edit Delete 
2012-05-27  Northwest Ridge  Trail very dry all the way to summit. Very few snow patches along the way, but they don‘t really interfere. Some slightly muddy patches on saddle to Oxford, but nothing too bothersome. aliciaf   2012-05-29  0     Edit Delete 
2012-05-17  Northwest Ridge  Trail is 99% free of snow until about 12,000ft. From there on up, there are many ankle deep snow fields along the trail. The snow was soft, grippy, and easy to hike, but you can also avoid it by cutting around the trail. Way down was muddy, and the snow/mud mix makes it very slippery. No flotation necessary, but some traction would be nice above 12k. All the snow should all melt off soon though. captainconair   2012-05-19  0     Edit Delete 
2012-05-05  Northwest Ridge  Trail icy in the morning in the trees, but no spikes needed. Snowpiles are consolidated although they are slushy in the afternoon. No snowshoes needed, very little postholing. Most snowpiles can be navigated around. Trail to Oxford is muddy on the Belford-down climb side, but again, can be navigated around. MissH   2012-05-05  0     Edit Delete 
2012-04-22  Northwest Ridge  We summited Mt. Belford on Saturday afternoon. We didn‘t hit the trail until almost 1pm. The snow was really consolidated almost the whole way up. Even with the afternoon heat around 50 to 60 degrees and 55+ lb packs on I only post holed once or twice. I suppose you could have got away without Microspikes but I found them really helpful. The good news is that snow shoes are not needed at this time. In the sunset photo you can see looking to the west there still appears to be a decent amount of snow. We camped on the summit then went for Oxford the next morning and came back down. Decending Belford over to Oxford was a little slick and covered in snow and ice especially near the top but the ascent to oxford was almost completely snow free. This could be one of my new least favorite hikes but seeing my first sunset on top of a 14er was totally worth it. kushrocks   2012-04-23 1  4 2  Edit Delete 
2012-04-21  Northwest Ridge  Traction would have been nice in the morning but not a necessity. Beautiful blue bird day, it was nice to be able to sit on the summit and enjoy lunch rather than trying not to freeze. 7 hours for Belford and Oxford, saddle back to Belford was a little slick but you could rock step to avoid slick spots. Great day overall. Dank   2012-04-22  0  4    Edit Delete 
2012-01-04  Northwest Ridge  Climbed Belford and Oxford yesterday. Missouri Gulch trail was packed snow all the way to the Elkhead Pass/Belford split. No spikes or snowshoes were necessary going up. The Belford Shoulder and NW ridge was mostly packed snow or wind blown rock/mixed rock and snow. Again no spikes or snowshoes were needed. Spikes may have been helpful but there was more rock the higher up you went. The saddle to Oxford was very similar, mixed rock and snow. Spikes may or may not have been helpful. I used an ice axe all day. Some folks in our group used poles. Given the slippery conditions I would highly recommend an axe or poles. Going down we descended the ridge to Pecks Peak and the West face of Pecks Peak. The West face of Pecks Peak is mostly talus or scree (not a fun descent) with a few snow fields mixed in. We stayed away from the major snowfields due to possible avi risk - cracking, wind slabs, etc... We used spikes from the Elkhead Pass split down on the Missouri Gulch trail. Given the packed snow trail, spikes were perfect going down. alpinenut   2012-01-05  0     Edit Delete 
2011-12-21  Northwest Ridge  Climbed Belford and Oxford yesterday. Snowshoes are probably the only piece of winter gear not needed right now. I brought them but stashed them away at the log cabin. I wore microspikes that were incredibly helpful. In fact, crampons, while not needed, would have been beneficial going up the shoulder. The shoulder is nightmare right now. There was about 4-5 inches of soft sugar-like snow on top of a layer of ice. It took us 4.5 hours to climb the shoulder. Also the rock hasn‘t quite frozen yet so there‘s still loose rock to deal with. Coming down the shoulder proved difficult without enough snow to glissade safely or plunge-step. From the start to the log cabin is an excellent trench and the trail is still clearly defined. From the log cabin to the bottom of the shoulder just requires one to pay a little attention to stay on the trail. From Belford to Oxford there wasn‘t a lot of snow but it was extremely cold. Hope that helps anyone going out there in the next little bit. I‘ll be posting a TR soon. Artvandalay   2011-12-22  0     Edit Delete 
2011-12-17  Northwest Ridge  Missouri Gulch trail below tree line is easy to follow - snow on the trail was never more than ankle deep until the creek crossing. In the trees past the creek crossing the snow begins to deepen. We didn‘t have snowshoes but the party in front of us did and dusted us from there to the start of the ridge - we were in microspikes the whole time. We did a decent amount of post holing between the old cabin and the start of the ridge. The ridge itself had enough snow to make the trail slippery, but not enough to cover or hold the scree and talus in place. No avy danger on the Belford trail - slopes look to hold more snow as you continue to Missouri. The trail to Oxford looked pretty clear, but we didn‘t head over. StikMan   2011-12-18 3     Edit Delete 
2011-11-11  Northwest Ridge  There is only about six inches of snow at the Missouri Gulch Trailhead, making it easily drivable in any vehicle. The route itself is in good shape, and could definitely be climbed in nothing more than a good pair of waterproof hiking boots and some sort of gaiter system. Our group carried snowshoes, but there is a good boot-pack from TH to summit, so they never became necessary. The weather for the first 2/3 of the hike was wonderful, but towards the summit the wind was blasting be prepared for that and throw in an extra layer. AW007   2011-11-12  0     Edit Delete 
2011-09-24  Northwest Ridge  Trail muddy between bel and ox but manageable. tjerasdave   2011-09-24  0     Edit Delete 
2011-08-28  Northwest Ridge  Trail up to Belford is clear and in great shape. NOTE: Missouri Gulch TH is REALLY hard to see at night, the sign is tucked away in the aspens on the left side of the road coming in from 24. If you drove past the Vicksburg Museum sign, you just went past it, so make a u-turn and the TH will be on the right, after the wooden fence. Otherwise, the turn off looks no different from a campsite. Pic 1 = easy to see by day, impossible to see at night TH sign. RockyMountainMustang   2011-08-29 1     Edit Delete 
2011-08-02  Northwest Ridge  Route is clear and dry to summit! Flowers are in full bloom! mrschaible   2011-08-03  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-03  Northwest Ridge  Great hike of Belford. No snow on the trail and beautiful weather. Unfortunately an afternoon windy storm came through for about 15 minutes and caused us to turn around before trying Oxford, but other than that, perfect conditions for a great hike. Colorado4years   2011-07-04  0     Edit Delete 

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