| Missour Belford Combo
Roughly 12.4 miles, 5,780 feet elevation gain
I had originally planned to do the Missouri, Belford, Oxford hat trick, but doing Oxford would just not have been very enjoyable because I was just too tired. For those of you who have done the hat trick, nice work!
For anyone wanting to do the three, I would recommend doing them in the order listed above because there is less room for error on Missouri. You do not want to be battling rubber legs or lightning on its ridge or rocky descent.
There was not a cloud in the sky on Saturday, which made for great views all around and put aside the usual worries of thunderstorms in the afternoon.
Ran into fellow 14ers.com member janaynay and her friend Brian at the old cabin just above the first pitch to get into Missouri gulch. It was nice meeting both of you and I hope you summited Belford and Oxford!
Here is a look (taken from Belford) at the gully climb and ridge of Missouri. CFI has done some incredible trail work up the gully. Most of the ridge work is on the other side, but you do go back and forth and the views are spectacular. 1 marks the summit, 2 marks the Apostles and 3 is Mt. Huron.
It was pretty windy all day long. Gusts were probably around 40 mph on the summit, which made it not a fun place to hang out.
This is looking back down the ridge from the summit. It was really a fun ridge - it is a nice distance, there are ups and downs and a short scramble to the summit.
On to Belford. We took the even longer, even gentler route (Roach 13.1V2, blue line) to get there instead of 13.1V1 (something like the red line).
I passed a guy on the way up Belford who was bonking pretty hard. You know the look - flaying arms and swaggering. I asked him three times if he had enough water or needed anything, but he said he was OK, just tired. Since he did not say he was Batman, I kept going. I thought it was funny because I was wondering if that was what I looked like since I was starting to feel like that. Having some trail runners zip by did not help either.
After making it to the Belford, Oxford saddle it was an easy call not to try it even though Oxford felt so close - my conditioning is just not there. I settled for numero dos and called it a great day of climbing!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):