Buying Gear?  Click Here
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
 Post Date:  07/05/2008
 Date Climbed:   07/05/2008
 Posted By:  CarpeDM

 Stairmaster to Heaven - or at least Massive   

Goal: Mt. Massive
Route: Southwest slopes
Distance: 9 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,000+ ft
Car to Summit: 5 hours
Summit to Car: 3 hours

The distance and elevation gain are estimated from Bill's route description and the fact that I started at the 110J intersection.

For those of you familiar with the Royal Arch trail in Boulder, imagine that one except 400 ft per mile steeper, two and a half times as long, and starting roughly 5,000 ft higher. That's about how Massive's SW slopes route goes from the turn-off in the meadow.

The main reason I wanted to post this one is to steer people away from a particular snowbank. I had left my shiny new ice axe in the car because I had thought that any snow on the route was avoidable. Well, as I was climbing up the ancillary ridge – leading to the summit ridge – the trail disappeared into snow. At that exact point, well-defined and confident-looking tracks going up and across a steep snowbank. As I couldn't see where the trail was, I could only theorize that the trail cut back across to the left once above the snow. So I got across and studied what lay before me – which was nothing but nasty scree. I realized I'd been duped – shoulda known anyway, this was steep snow with runout onto some pointy rocks. So I carefully made my way back down and eventually found the trail where I had expected it – up and to the left. So who's the bigger fool, the one who made the tracks or the one who followed? Well, at least I wasn't the only one who made this mistake. In fact, I think everyone I discussed this with either made the same mistake or would have if someone had not stopped them. One father and son actually stayed over there and picked their way up the scree. Wow!

So this little adventure cost me about half an hour. The descent back across the snow also sapped a lot of anxious energy from me. I imagine that the next couple of weeks will reveal the actual trail. But until that happens, please avoid crossing this snowbank! The tracks fooled us all.

Along the way, I met Tom from Lafayette and Tim & Stephanie from Rifle – among others. I think they all at least refer to 14ers.com – don't know if they post. Good to meet you all!

Approaching the snowbank
Image

A closer look at the tracks
Image

What lies beyond the snowbank (beyond the rise in the foreground was nasty scree)
Image


Hikers on the trail (from same position as above, looking north/northwest)
Image

And a little higher (with more hikers on trail)
Image


Okie's 20th 14er
Image

Don't worry, I'll drive home - THIS time!
Image



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Gypsy

Nice pic     2008-07-06 20:47:32
I like your doggie pic. That‘s how I felt at the end too!


tmathews

Okie!     2008-07-07 10:31:24
I think I met you on Pikes Peak back in early June! Is your name Dave? I just recognize Okie‘s pic.


CarpeDM


thanks for the comments!     2008-07-07 18:41:29
Gypsy, yeah, I definitely slept well that night, too.

TMathews, yeah, that was probably me. I guess that was you that I chatted with just before tree-line? And then I met you up by the road, too, right?



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.