The Fun Continues
Day 2 of 14er Palooza started at the Missouri Gulch trailhead at 5:30 with everyone excited about tackling Missouri Mountain. The parking lot was already filling up on this Saturday morning but we managed to find parking spots and were soon making our way up through the forest switchbacks. This ended up being a very long but rewarding day. We spent a little over nine hours on the day which included one injury timeout and plenty of challenging stream crossings. There were still some remaining snow fields to cross but these didn’t cause any problems. In fact, we managed to enjoy several glissades on the way back down.
First stream crossing after the forest switchbacks. The logs made for a fairly easy crossing.
Our group at tree line, just past the cabin.
Heading into the gulch with Belford shoulder in view.
At the Belford - Elkhead Pass junction. For Missouri, follow the Elkhead pass trail as indicated in photo.
...Barefoot scramble across first major crossing - Brrrr...
Further up the valley.
2nd place where the trail actually crossed the stream. Most chose to find a narrower point and select a method of their choosing to cross...
...The Long Jump...
...The Pole Vault...
...reduce extra weight before attempting long jump...
Starting to be a long hike.
Wildflowers were blooming nicely.
At the Elkhead Pass - Missouri Mountain trail junction. Stay right.
First major snow field crossing after trail junction. No post holing.
Injury timeout. Duct tape does a fine job of holding bandage and dressing in place. Special thank you to Owen for providing additional assistance.
Going up snowfield close to ridge line. Several people skirted this by scrambling up talus to the left.
Getting close to the ridge.
View once making the ridge.
Downclimbing the one tricky part. No problem, just had to be careful of the remaining ice patch at the bottom.
Getting close to the finish.
Group summit photo.
What do you do to celebrate a summit?
...sprint to the finish...
...twirl a baton...
...Better timed jump...
Settle that pesky Iowa vs Iowa State rivalry once and for all.
Huron - we will attempt you tomorrow.
One of the glissades.
Thank you to the kind person who rescued Johnson and placed him where we could find him again.
JOHNSON! Are you okay? Our mascot had been missing once again.
This hike had it all. We were exhausted at the end - but we still managed to enjoy a Buffalo Burger at Pastime in Leadville to end the day.