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 Peak(s):  Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
 Post Date:  05/31/2009
 Date Climbed:   05/30/2009
 Posted By:  JakeK

 Massive SW Slopes   

After skiing Bierstadt two weeks ago, I thought my ski season was probably over. But after a rainy Memorial Day weekend in Utah, I was anxious to get back up in the mountains and make some turns. Massive seemed like a great option based on a trip report posted earlier in the week.

I left Vail a little later than I planned, and the drive down the jeep road took a while... so I actually started my hike around 7:15am. The first part of the hike was stunning... just a beautiful day in the mountains.

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View as I was driving towards Leadville

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The dirt road heading back to the trailhead. I could tell it was going to be a beautiful day!

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The SW slopes come into view

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Posing with Mt Elbert

Once I hit the snow, the hike became more difficult. I stayed on the snow as much as possible because I wanted to get a feel for what I was going to be skiing, but it was a slow ascent (by my standards). I really had to make sure my foot placement was secure, so I was kicking a lot of steps.

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The SW slopes with two other hikers (great folks!) heading up

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This goes on for quite a while...

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And its very steep in parts

Finally I got up to the summit ridge and was just blown away by the views. When I hiked Elbert last September, it was snowing and visibility was about 100 feet at the top. So needless to say, I really enjoyed the hike along the ridge to the summit!

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The summit ridge

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What a view from the top!

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On top

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Turquoise Lake looked so sweet that I went to check it out on my way home

I took some pics, had some lunch, and then was ready to strap on my skis after about a half-hour on the summit. I had to hug the SE side of the ridge as high as possible, and then was able to get over a little saddle to the SW slopes. It was a little tricky picking a line where you could ski continuously, and I had to billy goat a short (maybe 15-20 foot) stretch at one point. But overall it was a good descent... the snow softened up to nice corn.

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About to drop in

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Upper part of the slopes that I skied

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The last stretch (skier‘s right) that you could ski

There were some threatening clouds while I was skiing, and it even started snowing a bit while I was taking my skis off, but the weather became really nice again as I was hiking out.

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On the way back

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The creek was raging!

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Looking back while driving away

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Turquoise Lake

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Last look at Massive while driving home

Overall it was a great day! I must say that the East side of the mountain looked very tempting to ski as well. I would say that now my ski season is over, especially with Teva Games this upcoming weekend, but you never know... maybe I‘ll get the chance to climb/ski another peak the following week if conditions are good.

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The next day I went rock climbing for the first time in my life. I only mention this because after kicking steps in the snow for 2 hours on Massive, my toes were killing me while I was trying to climb!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Hypersnow


Nice!     2009-06-01 16:20:26
We saw your ski tracks on the way down, wished we had brought the boards! Glissade was nice, but very mashed potatoes; as we were a good 1.5 hours behind you.



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