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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-07-23||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Great conditions, no snow to cross, easy trail to follow. A few simple creek crossings after the Elk/Belford fork en route to Missouri. Some steep sections heading up to the ridge but nothing too bad. Gorgeous summer day! Saw quite a few people heading up with clouds building... Just watch the sky, and you're golden!
|2016-07-22||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Camped at treeline. Hiked Missouri and then Emerald Pk, coming back on Elk Head Pass. This adds about 3.5-4 miles to the round trip.
|2016-07-16||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: No snow on route, conditions good. Ridgeline was VERY windy, there's a few places where the wind made moves much more difficult than normal.
|2016-07-10||Route: West Ridge
Info: Creeks at Rockdale are running knee deep in places -- we took off our shoes and waded across (wouldn't want to try it in our Subaru). Current isn't fast enough to be a concern, and we saw 5 jeeps drive through, and a pickup and Jeep Compass at the 4wd trailhead. Otherwise trail conditions are good except for at the crux described in the route description, which is pretty loose and pebbly. Re-reading the route description saw the class 3 option -- should've given that a try.
|2016-07-06||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Route is in good condition. Only one spot below the ridge where snow was encountered, no snow gear necessary. It was extremely windy along the ridge to the summit. Be warned. High winds make the difficult parts of the ridge even more challenging.
|2016-06-25||Route: West Ridge
Info: Mostly snow free. The first gully of normally class 2 rock tower bypass section just below the summit was still snow covered, with the bottom 1/4 of the snow field being solid ice. The melting snow is also making the dirt below it into mud and I calved off a freightingly large chuck on the ascent. This section is sketchy with an axe, do not attempt without. Everyone after us choose to bypass over the class 3/4 rock tower instead, as did we on the descent. There is one very airy move on the rock tower. Please take this into consideration. This is currently NOT a class 2 route until the snow melts. Photo attached is looking back at this area.
|2016-06-19||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Trail is mostly clear of snow, with some mild walkable snow sections a little below 13,000'. There's a patch below the saddle at 13,700' that was steep and hard enough for us to break out the microspikes and axes for a very short (but very safe!) scamper up the snow patch. From there, snow is avoidable up to the summit. Nice glissading down some of the not-so-steep gullies. Snow will probably be melting fast though, doubtful that spikes or axe will be needed by next weekend.
|2016-06-17||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: North Face Couloir is still running continuously from the summit down in to Missouri Gulch... maybe 2,000 vert of fine spring corn.
|2016-06-12||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Unlike it's neighbors to the east, Missouri is not completely dry and not in "summer condition." Shortly after the junction at 11,600, the trail is covered by deep snow for about 40 - 50% of the way, and anywhere that isn't snow covered was generally swampy. Things up higher didn't look much better - Wouldn't have felt safe continuing up to the ridge without an axe. Gaiters and good boots would be helpful, snowshoes would not be worth it.
|2016-06-05||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: I camped in Missouri gulch last night and climbed Belford and Oxford today. I had intended to stay another night and do Missouri in the morning. On my descent from Belford I got a good look at Missouri's couloirs and the standard route. I elected to descend all the way to the parking lot. There is a ton of snow up there and it is really warm. Here you need the whole arsenal (crampons, ax, flotation and avy gear). There are already quite a few avalanches there and a lot of snow and cornices waiting to come down.
|2016-06-04||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Attempted the standard route - NW ridge. Left TH around 6:30am. Trail mostly clear of snow and ice until about a half mile past the trail junction to Belford. No spikes or snowshoes or gaitors needed up to this point. The next ~2 miles after that (to Elkhead Pass, where you can choose which route you want to take on the ascent) was a mess. The trail wasn't visible at all in the basin. Overall we would be on the trail for 10 minutes or so then completely lose it, then pick it back up again. Everything is still *very* wet with melting snow. Goretex shoes would be very helpful! As you get closer to the Elkhead Pass, there was much more postholing and often the trail wasn't visible so we just tried to stay high (off the trail - either far to the left or far to the right) and off the snow as much as possible. It added time and some mileage, but still made it to Elkhead Pass around 8:30am. I don't know if I would recommend snowshoes - half the time we were walking on open grass or trail where we don't need them at all, but then a big patch of snow would come up where snowshoes would be very helpful. No one in the group was using them before Elkhead junction. All trails to the ascent are completely covered in snow - including the standard route. The snow is still *very* deep, though after Elkhead Pass there was little postholing (postholing on the way down but not up). I started the ascent with the group - around 9:30am-ish. The weather that day was exceptionally warm, making the snow soft and pliable, so there wasn't an ice sheet covering the snow. This was nice because we didn't cut our shins postholing up to Elkhead, but made the snow at the top and on the ascent less stable (harder to get really good footholds in because your foot could slip out) After we ascended to about 13,700 we saw a large cornice on the ridgeline route to the summit. We attempted to cut across the mountain to avoid this. This would have been doable with spikes and an ice axe. The fall would have taken us down over 500 feet. Ice axe wasn't "needed" but we turned around because we didn't have it and decided we needed it to attempt an off-trail successful/safe summit. The rest of the group went up the coulior - they told me it was doable, they got to the summit, but a ton of postholing to do so (on the way up and even more on the way down). And the trip down was a pretty tough because the snow was melting so much and made it hard to get strong footholds. They descended later than me, so postholing was probably worse. The couliours are very steep, more so than the pictures show. Everyone I talked to ended the day with soaking feet. I unfortunately ascended in soaking feet because there is a point where a ton of water flowed over the trail (about a half mile before Elkhead), but it's covered in snow so I didn't see it! So I was water logged about 7 out of 10 miles Normally this would've been a *big* concern, but as I said the weather was exceptionally warm that day and no clouds/storms were coming in.
|2016-05-22||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: Climbed the Main Couloir on Missouri Mountain yesterday which was in near perfect shape. We started at the bottom of the Couloir around 6:45 am and topped out at 7:20 am. The snow was firm from an overnight freeze. It did get a little soft about 1/2 way up, but nothing to be concerned about. There was some post holing on the way in and out so I'd recommend flotation and a very early start.
|2016-05-14||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: Left the TH at 6:00am. Made it to the summit around 11:30am and descended shortly afterwards in perfect snow in the main couloir. We ascended a ridge climber's right of the C couloir as outlined in the picture (see attached, ascent in blue, descent in red) in order to avoid bootpacking and keep our skis on as long as possible. The crux of the climb was passing a gendarme on climbers right along the ridge just before the summit - we were glad to have axes (and crampons) for this section. Intermittent snow from TH to creek crossing. We wore hiking shoes for this section and I don't see the need for spikes or anything more. Beyond the creek crossing, we faced continuous snow which was hard pack in the morning. Afternoon snow from treeline to the creek crossing was brutally soft with lots of postholing and hard to manage on skis/snowboard. I would recommend an early descent to avoid this mess. I have also attached a picture of Belford from Missouri's summit. I have more pictures of the surrounding area from the summit I can provide at request.
|2016-05-12||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: Climbed the C Couloir today from Missouri Gulch. Snow in the basin and in the couloir is still a tad soft. Good boot pack and steps are in now though in advance of the weekend. Snowshoes needed on the way down from Cabin to creek crossing.
|2016-04-10||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Road is clear to the TH. Started hiking early, minimal snow for the first portion of the trail. Flotation is required beyond the little creek. Snow started to soften rather quickly late morning. 'Twas also a tad bit on the windy side. The hike out was slow going, postholed quite a bit even with flotation, waist deep in spots.
|2016-04-02||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: This was some of the best skiing I can remember. We skinned/booted and skied the C couloir. The skinning was good until the last 300ft below the ridge when snow was too hard. The crux just below the summit (http://14ers.com/photos/missourimtn/mRMiss_115.jpg) was a bit tricky. Crampons would have been welcomed for this short section; the snow as almost too hard for kicking steps.
|2016-03-11||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: Ascended standard route from Missouri gulch. Punched a few times thru willows, even on skis. Jon Kedrowski and I skied Main north couloir. Current conditions are a few inches of powder on top of firm base. Continued on to Belford from Elkhead pass, the route is mostly dry. Oxford looks very dry. Wanted to ski NW gully on Belford, but it doesn't connect to the saddle. A downclimb of several hundred feet on dry ground is required. Jon wanted a more continuous ski line, so we linked patches of snow on west face. TH access is similar to the prior report - Missouri gulch TH is currently accessible by Subaru Forester (with good tires). Road is mostly dry to about 0.7 miles below the actual TH. Didn't have much trouble getting in or out (conditions softened up considerably in the afternoon ). Solid bootpack to the cabin, where it ended. Some postholes noted. Flotation is advised.
|2016-03-06||Route: Elkhead pass to South
Info: Was able to drive to summer TH in a Subie Forester with a one inch lift (cute huh) Saturday eve 3/5. There was a vagabond man in a white pick up that looks as though he's been there a while. He was no bother to me. I started hiking the well-preserved/trench along the Missouri Gulch trail at 11pm. Because of the ability to start early and at the summer TH was able to get to Missouri via Elkhead Pass then skirted south along spring like snow totally in the dark, surreal! Hiked back up Elkhead when the wind picked up considerably ahead of the cold front that whipped through, crawled to Oxford then Belford then descended a beautiful gently sloped northwest facing couloir that essentially parallels the summer route. Fun glissade! Never needed snowshoes. Def used crampons, one axe, goggles. For you skiers, the north face on Missouri looks FAT!
|2016-01-02||Route: West Ridge
Info: Larger snowshoe trench has been laid through the last clearing before the gate below Clohesy. Expect deep powder till at least treeline.
|2015-11-28||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: 390 only had a couple inches of snow up until the ranch (4 miles below the TH). After that there was between 8 and 12 inches that my Forrester and I had to deal with. I only spun out a couple times on an uphill so it wasn‘t too bad. Someone had driven the road before me so I was able to ride in their tracks. AWD and high clearance are highly recommended though. I also had some trouble getting out of the parking lot at the TH but fortunately had a lot of room to work with as I was the only one there. The hike up to the old shack had about a foot of snow. I used snowshoes for this part going uphill and microspikes on the downhill and was fine. With snowshoes on, the only tough part of the uphill was the steepness. The path was very well defined considering the recent storm and the snow was manageable. Breaking out of the treeline though was a different story. I had no idea where the trail was and I often found myself in snowdrifts between 2 and 4 feet. That really sucks especially when the snow is that light fluffy type that your snowshoes just sink right through. Long story short I put in enough energy to have climbed a 14er that day, but I turned around at 12,000. It was exhausting winding back and forth trying to find the trail and simultaneously avoid deep snow drifts. If you do attempt Missouri in the next few days be prepared for the deep snow! Another heads up - on my way down I did spot some animal tracks alongside mine. From my two minutes of research my best guess is bobcat or coyote based on the size. One of the dead trees alongside the trail had had the fresh snow brushed from it recently too with the animal‘s tracks all around it. Be careful!