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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-11-14||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: Conditions are perfect right now. There was at least 12 people behind me today so the trail/trench up Belford is solid. No snowshoes required, but I recommend spikes for traction. There is some hard wind blown snow to deal with. You could go without spikes, but it is a lot safer and faster when you wear them. I did see some snowshoe tracks going up Missouri, but they looked a couple days old. No new traffic on Missouri today, everyone hit Belford with few continuing to Oxford. Trail between Belford and Oxford has minimal snow. Be prepared to be on snow from the moment you step out of your car. If you have never done this route give yourself 3hrs to make the round trip over to Oxford and back. I think some people might have been walking out in the dark today. Car to the summit of Belford took 3hr58min, summit of Oxford 4hr55min, and car to car took 7hr42min. This is a long day so be prepared. Weather report is calling for snow to start sometime on Monday so go get it now. No guarantees this report, or the trail, will be any good once the next weather system moves in.
|2015-08-29||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: After summiting Belford, it only took about 50 minutes to traverse over to Oxford. The trail is easily visible and in great shape. Took a little over an hour to get back to Belford since the toughest climbing of the day is indeed going back up Belford. Again, perfect conditions and really only needed gloves and a light jacket in spots with very little wind.
|2015-07-13||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: Bare and dry minus 10ft of rapidy melting snow.
|2015-07-11||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: Small patch of snow on the trail between the saddle and Mt. Oxford, maybe 50 ft long. Good footsteps packed into it and no trouble crossing at 10am. Evidence of postholing from other footsteps. No gear needed as it‘s a short patch, and you can probably go around, although I didn‘t think it was necessary. Otherwise trail is in great condition.
|2015-06-27||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: Summer conditions. No gear needed. Trekking poles will help for the crossing. Take the main crossing at Missouri Gulch. I didn‘t get wet; just walk on the logs and use a pole or stick for balance if needed. The trail continues just about after 15 yards of the crossing. A little scree on the steep descent from Belford to the saddle to Oxford. Might be a bit scramble.
|2015-06-21||Route: From Pine Creek
Info: Pine Creek trail is washed out about 200 yards shy of the intersection with the Colorado Trail. Fairly easily skirted (although the hill is really steep in this area) through small, dense fir trees.
|2015-06-06||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: Two of us skied NW gullies on both Belford and Oxford today. We found soft freeze above 12.5k and hard freeze above 13k. Gullies are clean with very minimal wet slide debris, above 13k mostly powder. Very soft conditions in the afternoon below 12k. Wore trail shoes to creek crossing @10.8k, patchy snow after that.
|2014-11-08||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: It was calm weather climbing to Mt. Belford; but the winds picked up as we headed over to Oxford. I‘d estimate gusts at 30mph. The snow is totally navigable, but not always avoidable (see photo). Also, I saw a herd of elk just below the summit. Definitely a first for me at that elevation!
|2014-11-01||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: Went over to Oxford today... Fair amount of hard freeze-thaw snow from Belford down to around 13,600 feet. The ascent to Oxford was pretty dry. Sorry not a lot to report. I‘d advice wearing traction. It took about 1 hour each way.
|2014-08-03||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: We camped in Missouri Gulch and enjoyed a nice evening of star gazing. There were many flat campsites along the creek- which was flowing strong and had plenty of access to clean water-which was ready to filter or boil. The saddle is very forgiving heading up to Oxford, and is steep and sweet on the way back up to Belford. Make sure you are planning to ascend Belford again on your return trip. The switch backs from the Missouri Gulch TH up to Missouri Gulch take you a little more than 1,000 feet of gain per mile, and the gulch and mountains there are beautiful. I can see why this is a popular summer trail.
|2014-06-21||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: A couple of snow patches near the summits of both Belford and Oxford, both are very small and easily passable. Other than that entire trail is in summer like condition!
|2014-06-15||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: The traverse from Belford only has snow in a few isolated areas, and it can all be easily avoided without much effort. It‘s as good as clear.
|2013-06-27||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: The small patch of snow is still there (on the way up from the saddle), but it‘s melting quickly. Easy to avoid on the hiker‘s left, if you want to.
|2013-06-19||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: Trail from Belford to Oxford is clear except for one small snow drift patch near the top of Oxford. Snow drift can easily be avoided if so desired.
|2013-05-26||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: Areas of snow remained from Belford over to Oxford. The trip from Belford-Oxford and back was done between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The snow was wet and sticky, and relatively easy to climb. The traverse was completed with no special gear, although I could see that some people would like microspikes and they probably would have been a good idea if the snow were firmer. Picture 1 (looking to Oxford), Picture 2 (high on Oxford), Picture 3 (Oxford summit toaster?!?) Picture 4 (heading ack toward Belford).
|2012-11-02||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: Very little snow across the saddle. See picture below.
|2012-09-29||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: Belford- Oxford trail is clear of snow except for a few small spots. Elkhead Pass clear of snow and muddy in places.
|2012-05-05||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: Muddy trail on downclimb from Belford, but no need for snowshoes or spikes. Most of the snow (and mud) can be navigated around.
|2012-05-04||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: Trail is mostly snow free or easily avoidable. I did not bring snow shoes or micro spikes and did not ever need them. The conditions are more like July than early May. There is one small snow field about 2/3 the way up to Oxford from Belford that was very soft at 1:00 pm and I post holed both legs up to mid waist. I have included a picture of it. Kind of shocking but I easily climbed out. Coming back through it I used my poles to find bottom and then supported myself better and did not get stuck. The climb back up Belford from Oxford is pretty strenuous after 5300‘ of vertical, save some energy for it. I started at 8:30 am and finished at 5:00 pm. Weather was perfect.
|2012-05-01||Route: From Mt. Belford
Info: From Trailhead to treeline: Dry ground the first half of the trail. The second half was crusty/consolidated snow in the morning, but slushy (still consolidated) snow in the afternoon. Postholed once or twice. Microspikes would have been somewhat valuable, but I didn‘t waste the time putting them on and off even though I had them in my pack (i.e., not necessary). From Treeline to Belford: Mostly wind-blown and snow free! Only a couple patches of snow to cross. From Belford to Oxford: Almost no snow at all that wasn‘t easily avoidable. I do recall one patch a short ways from the Belford summit that had to be crossed in order to stay on the trail, but that was about it! Questions? Feel free to ask!