~8 hrs RT
Decided to take on Mt Massive on Thursday. Left the springs early and was the sole car at the trailhead at 4:30AM. The creek is still moving pretty high and fast. Temperature was warm all day and I only needed a long sleeve shirt once the winds picked up.
The Colorado Trail was pretty much bare with the exception of a half dozen or so small, avoidable snow drifts. Drifts became more numerous approaching treeline.
It became difficult to follow the trail at this point, and the snow was soft enough that I postholed a few times. After crossing a large snowfield below pt 12,400 the rest of the route appeared with only a few easy snowfield crossings.
Remainder of the route ahead
Several snowfields to cross on the way to the saddle
Lots of Ptarmigan around
I reached the saddle where the winds picked up some, but nothing substantial.
View of the ridge from the saddle
The summit ridge still had some decent snow on it, but it was easily avoidable the further up the ridge I traveled.
Snow along the ridge
Cool melt effects
Snow is avoidable along the ridge
It took me about 4.5 hrs to get to the summit. On the way back down it was much easier to navigate through the snowdrifts, and by carefulling following where others had packed the snow I never needed snowshoes. Gaiters were a must though.
On the way back down...maze of snowdrifts
Parting shot of Elbert and Massive