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 Peak(s):  Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
 Post Date:  08/28/2008
 Date Climbed:   08/24/2008
 Posted By:  SteamboatDog

 Mt. Massive SW Slope   

We camped by the Half Moon Lake trailhead (but down the road .5 miles). We had a Jeep, but decided we'd rather walk half a mile extra each way than risk any expensive car repairs. We'd gone a few weeks ago on the Lead King Basin Road and I ended up with a 1,200 repair bill afterwards despite having a trail rated jeep... So we camped by the creek, which was really pretty and got to sleep early.
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There was a huge thunderstorm that night which kept us awake for a while, but we still managed to sleep pretty well and woke up at 5am and we started hiking at 5:45am.
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We reached the trailhead at about 6am, still mostly dark. We continued on the trail until we got to the sign for half moon lakes or massive trail. By then it was light and you could see the sun coming up over Mt. Elbert.
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By about 7:30 we were 1/2 way up the to the ridge from the turn off. There are a lot of really cool steps made from the stone. The trail is pretty easy to follow if you are looking around.
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Another shot looking out to the right of Mt. Elbert.
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About 8am we finally encountered sunlight and a bunch of mountain goats.
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By 9am we had come over and onto the summit ridge.
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By 9:15am we had reached the summit. We didn't see anyone else up there or anyone going down, but within 10 minutes we had company. We couldn't find the geological marker or the summit register, but we took pictures with the stick on top and of the view.
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Our feet and Bear's on top
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Us on top
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We saw several people on the way back down... about 5 other groups coming from the SW Slope, and many more coming up the other way (From the Mt. Massive trailhead) visible from the summit ridge, although they looked like little ants.
The way down, no storms in sight...yet. (As we drove off later it looked like some were coming in.)
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We made it down by noon and were off to our home in Steamboat.

The view from the road of Massive
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One thing to note: We heard from the trail description and other reports that there was not a trail the whole way. We had no problems finding the trail and staying on it all the way to the summit. The trail is there if you look closely. It almost disappears at one turn right before the summit ridge, but its there.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


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