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 Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Mt. Oxford  -  14,153 feet
 Post Date:  07/18/2006
 Date Climbed:   07/17/2006
 Posted By:  jdsiro

 Belford and Oxford   

Started up Missouri Gulch at 5:11am, about an hour later than I had planned. Gorgeous weather the whole way! The first part of the trail was a little steep going up through the trees, but once I came out at about treeline, things smoothed out and got easier. (Image) I summited Belford at 8:28am, rested for a minute and headed to Oxford. The weather was balmy, probably a good 65 degrees - comfortable enough for me to hike without my shirt and with my pant legs rolled up. Not sure what time I summited Oxford, but I sat for a minute and took in the view (Image). Notice the clouds building. A few minutes later it looked like this (Image). Those clouds were coming fast, so I decided to light a shuck outta there in a hurry. I was at the bottom of the saddle when lightning struck to the south, about 4 seconds away (not sure how far that is). Time was 9:30ish, I think. I was nearing the top of the Belford side of the saddle when the hair on my arms started standing up and crackling and popping like I‘d been rubbing a ballon on them. I ran like the devil was on my heels. Like and idiot I went back over the summit of Belford instead of skirting it. Clouds were well overhead by now. Right as I got over the summit, I experienced the same static electricity, but this time around it was much, much stronger. I chucked a new stainless steel flask (if you want it, it‘s on the Missouri Gulch side of Belford, about 20 yards (?) from the summit on the south side of the trail) I had with me, not wanting to take any chances. I was also praying like crazy for the Lord to protect me. Needless to say, He did. Coming back down it was sleeting/ raining a little. (Image) Got back to the parking lot at a little after 1pm.


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