Peak(s):  Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
Post Date:  08/03/2009
Date Climbed:   07/24/2009
Posted By:  Gopherboy

 Massive - Southwest Slopes Day 3  

Mt. Massive Trip Report
Southwest Slopes
Trailhead: North Halfmoon creek
Trailhead elevation: 10,500 feet
Summit Elevation: 14,421 feet
Elevation Gain: 3,950 feet
Roundtrip distance: 8.0 miles

For this our third day of 14ers (DeCaLiBron and Yale day 1 and 2) we were a group of three. Carrie decided to take the day off and rest her knee. Although, she actually ended up covering as much distance as we did on a walk to Turquoise Lake from our house in Leadville.

We decided to brave the rugged four-wheel drive road and made it all the way to the trailhead.

Difficult spot on road to trailhead

Signing in at the nice, well marked trailhead

Creek parallels trail for first stretch

Shortly after the trail split at 11,200'

First small boulder field. Although you must traverse several boulder fields the trail is fairly well defined and in many cases it is laid out in staircase fashion. Thank you to CFI or whoever did the work on this trail – it must have been a "Massive" undertaking.

Trent taking advantage of one of the many opportunities for a dramatic posed shot along the way

Looking back down the long, steep slope

Nearing a false summit and eventual finish!

View from Summit with aptly named Snowmass visible near upper left hand corner

Brian celebrating his 4th 14er

Steve relaxing on summit - temperature was mild, no wind, all around awesome day!

Starting descent

I am Marmot King, who dares pass?

Heading back down – stay right for Southwest slopes

This hike offered some fantastic scenic views!

We were extremely pleased with our decision to hike the Southwest slopes rather than the standard East slopes. The trail up the slope was long and steep, but the views were amazing and the time saved was well worth it. The hike was voted our "Most Enjoyable" for this trip. I would recommend this route even if you have to park at the road junction ˝ mile below the trailhead.

Our only disappointment for the day was discovering that Rosie's Brew Pub in Leadville has been shuttered. We really had our hearts set on a Mt. Massive Ale and a greasy burger. But never fear, we are an adaptable group and located cold beer and great burgers (especially the Buffalo burger) at Pastime. We called it an early night since we would be hiking in the pre-dawn hours the next day for our attempt on Mt. Harvard.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions
Wish I lived in CO

All the way to the TH!
08/03/2009 15:02
I‘m pretty daring on the 4x4 roads, but that spot made me park 1/4 mile down last year and then walk a 1/2 mile or so up to the TH. Your‘e one of the brave few!


....or maybe foolish?
08/03/2009 16:13
It took me three attempts to clear the area. But I was in a nice Ford F150 4x4 rental with plenty of clearance.

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