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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-10-18||Route: West Ridge
Info: No snow on trail until ~13300 ft. Snow on ridge, but didnt need spikes. Peak clear of snow.
|2014-10-04||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Very winterlike conditions today. I would say an average of a foot of snow on the trail starting a mile or so above treeline. The back side of the summit ridge has a lot less snow, but deep snow blocks the trail in some places.
|2014-09-27||Route: West Ridge
Info: Summer conditions on the mountain. The road to the trailhead had some puddles/ponds that were about a foot deep, but any vehicle capable of making up this road should be ford them.
|2014-09-20||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Beautiful conditions up here still. No snow- foliage is awesome. The only unexpected part of the hike came just before the summit, where there was a somewhat hairy bit of Class 3 (or more) exposed ridge scrambling. Not sure if this is a normal part of the route, or if the trail below was washed out, but these moves can certainly catch you off guard if you are expecting Class 2 hiking all the way to the summit.
|2014-09-16||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Snow free and dry. Aspen and willows both golden. Final piece of ascent is terrible slid-out sandy face. Traction difficult. Otherwise, perfect season for Missouri.
|2014-09-11||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Just got back to rainy Boulder (what‘s with that!?) and thought I‘d post a brief update on the trail conditions up Missouri Gulch. This is my first post...I‘ve been using a lot of data from this wonderful site ("lurking", that is), so it‘s time to start giving back. The 7.5 miles or so of dirt road in to the trailhead from 24 is very washboardy (as usual, I guess) but the rain lately has also created a lot of potholes. You could still get a low-slung Cadillac in there, though, no problem. Just drive slowly. About halfway in, there are a couple of shallow ditches across the road where water is running--go slow there especially, or you‘ll break Mom‘s china tea set in the trunk. Trail was fine despite all the rain and snow flurries of late. I had brought microspikes, just in case, but they absolutely were not necessary. Most of the snow has probably melted off of the trail high on the ridge by now (it was clear, sunny, some scattered clouds up there today) and I was able to easily avoid it even early this morning. The biggest danger, if you go early, would be the frost encrusted rocks, especially up high on the ridge...and the icy rocks at the creek crossings. Just pay attention a bit and it‘s no problem. The leaves are changing nicely. It‘s a good time to go if you can find a break in the waves of monsoon weather. Oh, and avoid parking next to the beaver pond at the Trailhead. I parked there last week for Belford/Oxford and Mr. and/or Mrs. Beaver felled a good-sized tree across the back of my truck (luckily no damage). I noticed that the tree (an aspen) was still there today, laying across the fence. I have been doing some 14er reports with pics on my website (www.danieljoderphotography.com) but from now on I‘ll try to copy and paste them into this site each time I write one. Climb on!
|2014-07-13||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: The last conditions update from 7/4/14 for this route hold true, mostly. There is still a snow field to traverse just below where you pop out onto the ridge, but there are good steps in it from numerous hikers crossing it. Not an issue. The ice next to the rock outcropping on the ridge that you must pass under is no longer there. It is completely dry, though the dirt was a little damp today. Not sure if this made it more loose or less loose than if it were dry.
|2014-07-13||Route: West Ridge
Info: Tough hike but fun. If you drive a car, like me, make sure you park by the buildings in Rockdale and not by the creek. I nearly got stuck trying to leave. Also, make sure you bring some kind of sandals to cross the creek if you aren‘t starting from the 4WD trailhead. I had to cross the bare footed and that wasn‘t fun. Trail seems easy enough until you get to Clohesy Lake and from then on its tough. No switchbacks, just straight up hill hiking. I backpacked to Clohesy Lake Saturday and left for the summit at 5:30am. I made the summit by 8:30 and hiked down, packed up my gear, and hiked the rest of the way to my car by 12:00.
|2014-07-04||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Still a large snowfield covering trail just below ridge. Easier to bypass below than above. On ridge there was one tricky spot getting around a rock outcrop where there was some ice on the west side. I went around the east side on the ascent trough the snow and over the outcrop. On the way down, I came back on the west side. Both were a challenge for me. Overall, very good conditions for hiking.
|2014-06-25||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Road to the Missouri Gulch trailhead is in fine summer form; passenger cars can make the drive easily. As for the trail to the summit, all portions are clear dirt or tacky damp soil through the switchbacks and into the main large meadow below the ridge and summit. After the trail turn-off to Mount Belford, the Missouri Mountain trail was a little wet in places where the meadow drained down the trail, but this is just a bit splashy in places and not bothersome. (Stay on the trail, even if damp or muddy, to avoid damaging the meadow.) On the final ascent up to the ridge, the main trail is obscured by several snow fields. On the way up, I decided to take a "short cut" and bypass the mail tail and head more or less straight up the talus slope to the ridge. What a mistake (at least for me). Missouri Mountain seems "soft" over all to me, with lots of chossy talus and crumbly soil. The climb up the talus was not enjoyed, but it did get me to the ridge. The trial along the ridge is mostly free of snow, although there are a few stretches of snow on the ridge itself that you need to cross to reach the summit. I used trekking poles and found the footsteps of previous climbers to be pretty firm. I postholed a few times, but never felt in danger of falling down the slope. On the way down from the summit, I took the standard trail along the ridge and then down to the meadow. It was a longer hike, but was much gentler than the talus expedition. The trail does get lost in snow fields on several occasions, so I hiked on snow and tundra to rock cairns and tried to stay on the trail as much as possible. I could have done some glissading, but I didn‘t bring sturdy rain pants and didn‘t want to tear up my hiking pants. I‘d recommend bringing an ice ax (which I did, but didn‘t use) and tough snow pants so you can glissade a fair way down from the ridge. As for mammals, I saw 12 marmots, 1 weasel (near the summit), and a dozen Big Horn Sheep (the night before, near where I camped by the road). I was the only climber of Missouri on the day. I left the parking lot at 5:30 and reached the summit at 10:00. The summit was calm and warm. On the way down, clouds gathered and grappel fell a bit. I reached the parking lot at 1:15, tired and hot. Beautiful day all around.
|2014-06-24||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Went up Missouri Mountain yesterday via the Northwest Ridge standard route. Missouri Gulch TH: great shape up to the ranch, decent washboard from ranch to TH. TH to Trail Junction (w/ Elkhead Pass Trail): the gulch (photo #1) is dry, excellent trail Trail Junction to Ridge: -minimal snow coverage on trail below the handful of switchbacks (photo #2), easily avoided, no route-finding issues -three key snowfields to contend with below the ridge. First (photo#3, path shown very approximate) no issues, not steep, used poles for stability, keep eyes up for large cairns. Second (photo #4) short, not steep, again, keep eyes up for large cairns, regain trail. Third (photo #5, doesn‘t really do justice. Photo #6, as seen from summit), just below the ridge, most challenging, steeper than the other fields, we slowed down, kick stepped, and used trekking poles to get across. Ridge to Summit: mostly dry (photo #7), two areas with snow. First (not pictured) is on the crux (photos #15/16 of route description), good boot-pack, no issues. Second (photo #, along ridge, great boot-pack. Overall, I‘d highly recommend poles and gaiters for this route. We brought micro-spikes and did not use them because the snow was too slushy. Experienced some postholing on the edges of snowfields (on both ascent and descent, summited around noon). I would not quite give a "summer conditions" rating, but it‘s getting really close. I‘ve got more pictures of the couloirs, but have no idea how helpful they are. PM if you want to see them.
|2014-06-22||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: The standard route is a bit muddy in places and a few snow fields to cross. Did some post holing and swearing. Trekking poles were helpful. Other than that the trail is awesome.
|2014-06-22||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: Both Main and C Couloirs are in but the conditions are deteriorating quickly, the snow held up for me but there was a freeze the night before and the sun was in and out.
|2014-06-21||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Standard route is do-able without traction. Some snowfields are melting out that are easily avoidable, others are unavoidable but short and on flat ground. The one tough spot is right below the saddle. I didn‘t feel comfortable going up with no traction, but there is a way to reduce it to almost no snow crossing by going up a more direct, class 3 pitch. (To the left from the picture vantage point)
|2014-06-15||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: From Missouri gulch TH at 6am we booted (in running shoes) all the way to 12500ft at the base of the North Face. Early AM snow was solid no postholing, but ice on the logs/rocks made for tricky stream crossings. North face is still full snow above 12500ft, used crampons and axes to go straight up the C couloir, snow was just starting to soften at 9am, with some sections of hard neve in the couloir that required front pointing/kicking steps. The right side of the couloir got more morning sun and was thus softer than the climbers left side, more direct finish. Dropped into the climbders right side of the C couloir on soft corn snow at 11am, perfect skiing conditions. We only experienced very minimal sluffing of the top 1-2", the rest of the slope was very well consolidated. At the base of the C couloir we traversed slightly NW into the main trail gulley to continue ski descending. We had to remove skis for 3 short sections, but were able to ski our way down the drainage to 12000ft. Snow is melting fast so this lower portion will soon be gone. Main Trail Update: Still fully covered in snow, with some snow on the traverse ridge. There is an option to avoid much of the snow by climbing the rocky rib just South of the main trail. Crampons and ice axe highly recommended! Photos to be uploaded soon.
|2014-06-13||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: The trail is dry until .25mi past the Belford junction sign. Small snow patches remain, but snow shoes are not needed. The willows at 12,500ft are a sloppy mess in the afternoon with soft snow bridges and large ‘creeks‘. Wear waterproof boots and gaiters. Your feet will get muddy and wet. The snow in the couloir is fairly soft and varies across the slope. Every step was sliding 2-3" and made for extra work. CAUTION - On Friday, the top 1/3rd of the slope to the climbers right (looking up) had a unstable layer and was collapsing a few inches with less than one pound of pressure. Sloughing or a small wet slab avalanche is a possibility. You will need crampons, ice ax and helmet. I was unable to glissade because the snow was too wet and soft to get purchase. I did not see a feasible way to climb via the standard route. Sections are covered by large snow fields. You will still need an ice ax and crampons
|2014-06-08||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: Snow is melting fast so this report has a limited life. Crampons, gaiters needed, Ice Ax if you want. I got to the sign at the base of the mountain at 6:45a and the snow was perfect - crampons got a good grip. I did the B Couloir and there is now almost to the top. I think I go to the summit at 10 and the snow was good getting down for heal stepping. NOTE: it was a cool and cloudy day. If it is sunny expect softer snow.
|2014-06-07||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: Carried boots/skis almost the entire way to the summit. I gained the ridge looker‘s right of the C couloir (crampons /axe were necessary within about 200 feet from the top), and traversed to the summit. This required a couple transitions, and it probably would have saved time to just ascend the couloir directly. I dropped in at 9:30 and the snow was still a bit icy. Taking my skis off twice and hopping to snow patches, I was able to ski through the gulch all the way to the Mt Belford/ Electric Pass junction. It would have been possible to ascend this way with skins, but post holing was minimal with an early start and it was easy enough just hiking all the way up.
|2014-05-24||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: Climbed and skied the C Couloir as the Main Couloir had plenty of wet slide debris from prior days. The C Couloir was creamy powder except for approximately the top 100 feet. The top 100 feet of the couloir as it hooks left in towards the summit was approximately 3 inch of wind crust on top of facets. There was a boot pack set on climbers left of the couloir near the talus that was consolidated and offered better footing. The C Couloir had been skied recently, but precautions were taken on the upper portion when dropping in to ski. We were able to ski just below the old cabin remnants with a few walking sections. The snow on the face was great for crampons and ice axe, with very little balling. There were sections of hard snow on the face that was sun crust and wind slab. I am unsure what weather the area has seen since Saturday, but graupel was failing on the decent near 11,500 feet.
|2014-05-20||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: I started at 3:15 AM. Even that early in the morning it was warm down low and I had some post-holing below treeline. Above tree-line in the willows the snow became more abundant with more post-holing. The gully was filled with solid snow so sticking to that I made better time and less post-holing. Looking at the Northwest Ridge from the basin I saw a lot of snow and the ridge looked to be corniced. I ascended the Main Couloir without much difficulty. However, the snow was not totally consolidated so I tried to stick to the rock ridge on the climbers left thinking the snow might be more stable near the rocks. I descended the C Couloir which had similar non-consolidated snow much like the Main Couloir. Return trip back down was uneventful except for more post-holing with the warmer conditions...