Peak(s):  Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
Post Date:  02/12/2008
Modified:  02/14/2008
Date Climbed:   02/10/2008
Posted By:  sgladbach

 Massive/ North Massive : Winter   

North Massive/ Massive


For information that is actually useful, read Layne Bracy's report on or Ken Nolan's on Both were written two weeks ago. In the meantime, there has been 30" of snow in the area. Still, the trail was well broken for the first mile, fair for the next 1.5 miles (where we lost it completely). Striking out for timberline, we made a 2.0 mile trench of 15" with 1600' gain. The snow was not too poorly consolidated considering the blizzard that shut down Leadville two days beore. The interim warm, sunny day had been a big help. For this section we did not follow the Highline trail; instead, we opted to drift south and meet timberline right at the base of Massive's east ridge, 2400' and 1.5 miles below the summit.

Here I said a temporary goodbye to Ariel and Prakash as they tackled Massive. The dog and I, on the other hand, began a one-mile traverse through the Massive/North Massive amphitheatre to reach North Massive's east ridge.

Fish Hatchery Trailhead

Ariel and Prakash at first light

Small tarn in the middle of the Massive/ North Massive amphitheatre

Massive/ North Massive ridge as viewed from the amphitheatre. Massive is just behind the sub-peak at the left side of ridge; North Massive at the right end of ridge

Ariel and Prakash's ascent route via Massive's east ridge as seen from the amphitheatre

North Massive's east ascent ridge

Don't walk to close too the edge of the ridge (and don‘t ski under the rope!)

Looking down North Massive's east ridge

North Massive's summit view to the north (Mt. Jackson on the left and Mt Holy Cross to the right)

View of North Massive from where I waited for Ariel and Prakash to finish their descent. This is at their snowshoe stash at 13000' on Massive's east ridge.

Light fading as I wait at their snowshoe stash

Massive's shadow cast to the east

They're here! Prakash snowshoed-up at 12,500' after starting the descent

Art Photos: These photos are an attempt to measure up to the precedent set by Ken Nolan when he took gorgeous sastrugi photos along North Massive's east ridge. I didn't find the same quality of sastrugi, but my appreciation for beauty is more finely tuned.

Sastrugi sculptures left by elk hoofs. See the face of the puppy dog sock-puppet?

Amazing close-up of the elk's work. Want to buy a print?

More elk art. Can you say more fiber?


Proof of the Yeti

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions
Layne Bracy

Well done, guys!     02/05/2011 00:22
Glad you had a little track left to follow!

Steve, do I gather that you climbed N Massive, descended to 12K or so and then re-climbed Massive‘s ridge to 13K? Say it ain‘t so!


haha!     11/30/2010 17:28
People who've met Cooper will understand the allusion to Rin-tin-can... a lovable but slightly dumb mutt . Nice pics. I will write something up for summitpost and link it to this report later. Layne, it's true, but I've stopped being surprised. I'm sure Ariel would agree.

Edit: Oops! Wait... Rin tin TIN? Haven‘t heard of that one...


great job!!!     02/13/2008 00:41
Sorry I had to cancel. Keep me posted on what your doing next. I will do the same.


Way to go!     08/28/2008 00:37
Great climbing weather on Feb 10th! Love the sastrugi pics!


Massive     02/16/2008 04:43
excellent report. Glad you made it back safely. great pics too. really makes me look forward to getting back on the mountains soon


Sweet report     10/22/2008 10:35
Got some good pics, Steve. Hopefully, the Highline Trail will be easier to find in the next couple weeks. That slide picture is amazing.
You had me rolling over with the ‘sock-puppet‘.

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