Peak(s):  Missouri Mountain  -  14,067 feet
Post Date:  10/22/2013
Date Climbed:   10/22/2013
Posted By:  jas0nleslie

 Missouri Mountain via Vicksburg   

First post on 14ers...16th Colorado 14er. I'm trying to tailor the info to what I usually look for in terms of information prior to a trip.

The road in from 24 (390) near Clear Creek Res was 100% dry. This route was snow bottom to top, in various forms and depths. The first shot up to the old cabin (where tree-line begins to break) was about 1" of powder, in some cases on ice. Very slippery. We had our microspikes on the whole time and I'd avoid heading up here without that equipment, and ski/trekking poles for when you lose your footing. We also had purchased some boot gators for my lady the day before, which came in very handy since her boots are somewhat low-cut.

The snow up the remainder of the basin to where you see the trail marker for Missouri summit and begin the final ascent to the ridge was between 2-8" deep, and in certain areas had blown into the trail (the trail is rutted in parts), which made it about a foot deep. Nothing you'd need snowshoes for at this time, but it definitely slows down your ascent.

The conditions leading up out of the basin and onto the ridge were also snowy (8-10" in places) but grippy where you needed it to be (no-fall zones), however, it's just that time of year where you need to be very careful and be willing to back down if it gets too dicey...we didn't even have a close call but less active or agile hikers should beware.

For hikers, the snow conditions up high on the ridge definitely added a bit in terms of danger. The route is rated advanced ascent in winter and I'd say it's already about there. Unless we get some warm days, a ton of wind, or a significant amount of melt up there, this will probably be the norm for the rest of the season.

By the way, Belford switchbacks out of the basin also looked good...not nearly as snowy as our ascent to Missouri.

Be safe!

Heading south along the ridge to the summit

Descending the ridge north back to the saddle

Looking back up at our route from the basin to the saddle

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

Good stuff     10/23/2013 18:27
I was in a group of four on this route just a couple days ago - did you see our tracks up the mountain?

I agree with you about the upper route, it gets a lot tougher with snow!


RE: Good stuff     10/25/2013 19:49
Daniel, we had very faint tracks to follow up high, but they were there. Without them we would have had to do a bit of route finding so you may have helped us out a lot!

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