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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2012-09-15||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: A dusting of snow on the mountain but none at all on the trail.
|2012-08-03||Route: West Ridge
Info: Drove up the gate. No problem with my Jeep Grand Cheorkee. Bumped bottom a couple of times going up when not paying attention. Creek crossing and big puddles near top not a problem. Trail up West Ridge was in good shape, but have be alert for cairns going up long grassy slope. You can‘t get lost, but it is easier to follow the path. Took the shortcut going down, don‘t know how much time saved, but bypassed some steep sections along the creek.
|2012-05-31||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Conditions are great - no need for any equipment. There is snow just before the ridge but it can be avoided. There are two areas within 75 yard of the summit that require caution.
|2012-05-27||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: Conditions pretty much the same as the previous report. Some of the stream crossings above treeline were icy. The drainage gully mentioned in the route description still has snow that makes for good skinning, but it‘s in two pieces and you have to cross some tundra to connect them. You can hop on the drainage snow after the Missouri Gulch trail goes up the first hill. From the drainage, can skin up to and climb the chutes mentioned in USAKeller‘s report from earlier this year. The C couloir did not have continuous snow to the summit, but it had continuous snow to the ridge. Some places had ~1" thick soft windslab on top of a layer of facets on top of the old snowpack. From the ridge, you can hop on the standard route to the summit. There was one sketchy snow/ice slope traverse with some nice frozen kicked steps that would feel more secure with an ice axe. The main couloir had some old frozen wet slides. The C couloir was smooth-ish except for a dirty/rocky bit in the middle that you can avoid by skiing skier‘s right. Snow was still hard at noon. Feel free to PM or email if you have more questions and thanks for the awesome TR and conditions reports, it really helped us out!
|2012-05-20||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: No snow below tree line and then patches here and there up to around 11.5K. The ridge was covered with snow still and there was some nasty ice patches approaching the summit. I put my crampons on and was really happy to have them. Another in our party did not have traction so he hiked down to scree below the ice and was able to get through it o.k. We got a 1,600 foot 2 pitch glissade on the decent. The entire north face is still covered with snow and every couloir is skiable. A skier could expect to keep the boards on down to 12k feet or so. Snow was really soft on the way out and we did some post-holing here and there. Snow shoes would not have been practical as the patches were short lived if effort was made to avoid them.
|2012-04-28||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Here are a couple pics to accompany the forum post I made. I know its not a very purty pit, I‘ll blame it on the ice and sugar. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or would like additional beta. We dug on an E aspect at 12,700ft just below Elkhead Pass. Pic 1 is the initial collapse (obviously we didn‘t dig there ). Pic 2 demonstrates my excellent posture, but also shows just how rotten the lower snowpack is. Pic 3 is the slab that pulled out with a Q1 shear while digging. I had cut the right side and was cutting the back of the column when it pulled out. Pic 4 is the CT5 Q2 that failed next.
|2012-04-25||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: Skied the main north face couloir today. It still has great continous snow from a few feet below the summit down into Missouri Gulch. Conditions today were a few inches of blown in powder in the upper 2/3 of the couloir and soft snow and corn below.
|2012-04-10||Route: North Face Couloirs
Info: I am just back from Missouri Gulch after climbing Belford, Oxford and Missouri. The Bel-Ox route is in great shape and the only extra gear I had was Micro Spikes but you could probably make it without those. On the 10th I climbed Missouri via the C Couloir. The route is in great shape for climbing and avy risk is low early in the morning (I summited at 8:40). I descended the standard route. I have to say the skiing would not have been great as it had been warm in the day with a superficial freeze at night. I did not bring my skis because I didn‘t want the extra weight on top of my already heavy camping pack. I had just done this on Wetterhorn. From the stream (10,800) up to 13,000 feet you will be on snow. You can use snow shoes (I did) from 11,500 to wear you begin climbing. They help but are not necessary if you travel early. This will change as the snow goes through the spring melt. There is evidence of a lot of post holing. From 9,900 to the stream crossing there is a lot of intermittent ice and snow on the trail. I wore microspikes the role time and this made life much easier. If you are camping you can find water up to 11,525. Above that you will have to melt snow.
|2012-04-04||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Road access to Missouri Gulch is clear and accessible in any car. It is hard to find in the dark, so keep a lookout for the wooden post-and-rail fence on the left side of the road. You likely won‘t see the sign as it is tucked well into the trees. After the recent storm there was ~6-9" of fresh powder (give or take depending on the wind). manbearpigg blazed trail all the way to the summit, while I slowly trudged along behind (never having done a 14er in winter conditions, I was slightly unprepared for what I was getting myself into...). In the morning, the snow was light and fluffy, which made travel slow. Because it looked like the normal route up the NW ridge may have had some avalanche risk due to wind-loading on the eastern slopes and some small point release activity, we went up to the ridge earlier than the actual trail (which was invisible under the snow anyhow). After getting to the top of ridgeline, we found that the slopes had less snow than they appeared (~1ft or less in most spots) The ridgeline itself had a good amount of snow on it. A little taller than knee height in spots. Snow conditions varied a lot between powder and windslap up there. The day was warm and clear, and the snow started to melt and get pretty slick. Later in the day, during the descent, this hardened and with the slight wind formed a decent crust over the softer snow beneath that should make ascents much easier than the conditions we went up in (provided you go up when it is still cold). By this time, I‘d say avalanche conditions were pretty much nonexistent, and conditions should stay relatively safe. If it is really warm, one or two areas may have slight wet slab risk, but otherwise the no worries. Snowshoes are a must, and I‘d recommend yakstrax for the slick spots on the lower 2-3miles of trail. Trekking poles were very helpful. If you don‘t use them, an ice axe may have been useful in a couple spots but isn‘t really necessary provided your snowshoes have good built-in crampons. img 1 - Missouri Mtn. img 2 - heading up the ridge. img 3 - manbearpigg and dogbearpigg on the ridge. img 4 - class III crux (we went up and over rather than break trail around it)
|2012-03-27||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: from missouri gulch. road up to trailhead is 99% bone dry. any 2wd car could make it. We hit the trail probably 20-30 min after the first glimpse of daylight. snowpack was good with very little postholing up to around 12,800. The snow on the way up the mountain (which had been facing the sunrise) was decent but wish it would have been harder. Even more so on the way down. Surprisingly, on the way down, everything below around 12,800 seemed the same if not more firm than it did early that morning. This was extremely easy FOR MARCH but was still a lot harder than it will be in July. I would say that on the way up to the ridge probably 90% of the steps you take (and the moves you make) are on snow. Also, be aware that the day we went the 14ers.com forecasted high was 39 with clear skies.
|2012-03-24||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Climbed Missouri Mountain yesterday from Missouri Gulch/NW ridge. Trail up the gulch was hard-pack snow below treeline. No snowshoes needed...microspikes helpful. The flatter area around treeline higher in the gulch had some areas of snow cover that induced post-holing but light stepping and some walking around these slopes minimized post-holing. We went up the east slopes a little further north than the normal summer route because I liked those snow slopes better. There was a small rib separating two prominent snowfields that we followed and crossed snow here where it was shallower. Nice anf firm early in the morning. We walked the riige for quite a ways heading over Point 13,718 and meeting up with the NW Ridge summer trail. The towers near the summit were fairly well covered on the south side requiring the direct traverse of the first one...some icy class 3 with decent exposure. The rest of them were easily bypassed on the south. The North face couloirs are on their way to becoming stable...barring any big April storms. They still looked a slight bit unstable and wet-slides would be the main concern. Post holing may also happen though. The day was downright hot once the sun came higher into the sky. The snow we ascended that morning became a very delightful glissade/plunge stepping descent that allowed for a very quick and fun descent. The last photo is of Longs...I just really like that one! First one is of the N couloirs Second one shows the traverse over the first pillar near summit and subsequent cornice crossing Thirs one shows me with Huron/Apostles in background
|2012-01-02||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: About as easy as it gets in winter. Can drive to the summer TH. Great bootpack to the Belford cutoff, no snowshoes required. Traversed from treeline up alternating snow/tundra. Occasional whomph, but the snow was pretty stable - mostly hard slab that typically held body weight.
|2011-10-11||Route: MO. Gulch
Info: Information as of Tuesday: Made it to 13,000 feet. Snow was getting a bit deeper and storm clouds were lingering so I decided to retreat. I most likely would have been alright, but I was solo so I decided to play it safe. Route finding was a bit tricky after tree-line as tracks were snow-blown and spots of the trail were under large drifts of snow (waist deep in spots). The pictures don‘t quite do justice, but they are better than nothing.
|2011-09-29||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Trail is snow free all the way up. There is very little water flowing through the stream crossings. There is a little mud here and there on the trail, but it is easily avoidable. The aspens look nice, but may be a bit past peak. There were two families/herds/social clubs of goats to the west of Missouri Gultch, probably 15 total.
|2011-09-24||Route: west ridge
Info: Route from clohesy lake is snow free and aspens are peaking in the area. 9/24/11
|2011-09-17||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Route is free of snow until 12,000 +/-, snow increased gradually but was a non-issue until the summit ridge at 13,700+/-. From here, the last 2/3 mile or so along the ridge have anywhere from 1" to 4", with occasional drifts of a foot or so deep. No ice had formed on the rocks while we were there, but I assume that is probably on the way soon. Definitely not a trail runner hike in its current state, I was happy to have my boots.
|2011-08-02||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Route is dry and clear except for a few places around 12,500‘ that are easily avoidable. Water crossing is still deep (got my feet wet) at 12,500. Flowers in full bloom.
|2011-07-31||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Great hike, beautiful day, flowers in full bloom! No trouble with water crossing; my feet stayed dry (water level a little higher later in the day). Small snow field just before saddle, you can walk around to avoid if you want. Great to see other 14ers.com members on the summit! Definition: Mutual Admiration Society - Group of 14ers.com members on the summit of a 14er.
|2011-07-20||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Not much change from the 7/17 condition report. Stream crossings are still running high, and the snowfield directly below the ridge is still there. Snow crossing was very firm at around 6am when I crossed it, microspikes definitely helped.
|2011-07-17||Route: Northwest Ridge from Missouri Gulch
Info: Snow free except for 100‘ snow field near ridge. Pretty well boot compacted. No snow gear required. Streams are high but if you have a long stride you can hop rock to rock and stay dry. If you‘re camping around treeline bring DEET. Mosquitoes are out!