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 Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Mt. Oxford  -  14,153 feet
 Post Date:  07/03/2011
 Date Climbed:   06/30/2011
 Posted By:  derekmueller79

 stuck on the ridge   

It was the annual guys trip, every year we go to places like Moab, the Grand Canyon or the mountains. It is hard to get away from families and jobs so we try to pack as much into the guys trips in as short of time as possible. I know the peaks I chose for the trip are considered the easiest of the 14ers, but coming from 600 feet of elevation in Fort Worth it made it a kick in the butt. Our goal was 8 mountains in 5 days. I ended up getting 7 because the Sawtooth looked a little too much for me to cross to Evans. I summitted Grays, Torreys, Bierstadt, Belford, Oxford, Elbert, and Pikes, all via standard route. All of the hikes were uneventful except Belford and Oxford, this is my first report so I will do my best. Sorry about no pictures.

6/30/2011- Out of the 6 guys on the guys trip only Jason and Myself went this day to climb Mt. Belford and Mt Oxford. Hit the trail at 0600. It was a chilly morning. The hike through the woods was incredible. After the treeline we were able to see the mountains north west shoulder. We saw the rescue teams searching for the lost hikers all day in the valley between us and Missouri Mountain. We made good time up the summit. We summited Belford at 1030. This is where things went BAD. We couldn't see the storms coming in from the route coming up, but when we hit the summit we saw BLACK skies. We knew that the storm would reach us prior to us being able to decend to the treeline. I have read enough to know the danger of being on the ridge or summit during a storm, but here we were. We saw half way down the ridge to the saddle before Oxford some rock ledges that we could make it to and crawl under and move rocks to protect us from the storm. The storm hit about 15 minutes later and it was intense. The storm had hail, sleet, rain and probibly 100 mile an hour wind with a lot of thunder and lightning mixed in. The ledge kept us dry and protected us from the hail. The storm passed for long enough to rsummit Oxford and re summit Belford and haul but down before the second round of storms came. We made it just shy of the treeline when the rain came back. It poured all the way back down to the trail head. At the bottom we ran into a television reporter, we refused an interview about conditions up top and drove back to camp. I am glad nothing happened to us and that we were able to construct a quick shelter, but I hope to never end up in that situation again.

 


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