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

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
 Post Date:  03/25/2009 Modified: 03/30/2009
 Date Climbed:   03/25/2007
 Posted By:  Easy Rider

 West Ridge & Northwest Gulch   

A lack of March storms left many ranges looking pretty dry for early spring. The Sangres looked desperate. The warm temps have already begun a pseudo melt-freeze in the Crested Butte area. I was getting some good riding in the Irwin area. A few storms cycled through the Sawatch during the week, and Josh and I headed over to Buena Vista. It was late, and we couldn't really tell what the weather was doing, but there was still a lot of snow way down in the junipers. There was a lot of heavy snow on the road to Vicksburg, and we were glad there was one set of tracks on the road to follow. We skied across the bridge from the TH at 2:00 am, and broke trail up the switchbacks to the creek crossing at 10,8. It was a little tougher to follow the trail after the crossing through the open areas with deep snow cover, but I try to feel it out so Josh will have a more supportable path to follow on the sticks. We passed the old Cabin and the trees ended. Beyond, there was still just blackness, no trail cut, and no real good indication of the surrounding landscape. We retraced to the old cabin, and dug out a place to huddle with the thermos, waiting for dawn . . .
"Hey, you awake?"

Image





My legs were stiff from sitting there curled up in a ball for the past hour. Back at treeline again, Belford could be seen immediately, but looked minimal for snow coverage. Josh ditched the XC sticks at the base of Belford's northwest ridge.

Image





$10

Image






Image

The West Ridge

Image






Huron

Image





MO was still too early in the season for steep leeward north faces to be conservatively safe.

Image






The clearing storm entertained on the final hike to the summit nub.

Image

Image

Image





Oxford looked so far away, and really dry. Another day.

Image

Image

Image




Some side stepping was needed to get off the summit nub.
The snow leading into the northwest gully on skiers left was thin. There was one small rock outcrop near the top that chewed the p-tex. Smooth sailing from there, though.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image






We picked up Josh's skis at the base of the ridge, and continued down to the valley floor. We traversed a few yards on foot here, and continued to the old cabin. The riding was a little bit commando from there down to the river crossing, especially for Josh, since he was carrying the XC skis like a lurk. I split here and skied the narrow trail with skins on to stay in control.
j~



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Kyle the climber

cool     2009-03-25 18:55:40
cool


scotthsu


nice b&w‘s     2009-03-30 20:50:39
thanks for posting!



   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.