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 Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Mt. Oxford  -  14,153 feet
 Post Date:  09/28/2009
 Date Climbed:   09/26/2009
 Posted By:  [climber]

 Snowy Belford/Oxford-Northwest Ridge   

This is my first trip report on 14ers.com and I have to say that it is well overdue. These were my 16th and 17th 14ers and I‘ve been using these trip reports from the beginning.

I had it all planned out to take my camera and actually provide pictures but conveniently forgot it in my car. Next time.

This was a solo climb and I started on Saturday morning at 5 am at Missouri Gulch. I would say that I reached the abandoned cabin before the trail split around 6:15. One confusing area is just a little below the cabin in a small clearing on the right side of the stream. The trail seemed to sort of dead end. After wandering around in the dark for a few minutes I noticed a crude bridge made out of three logs that were simply placed across the stream side by side. The directions that I had made no mention of this crossing.

Snow was sporadic after leaving the treeline I had to switch to my waterproof boots soon after. I did bring my snowshoes but never needed them. The snow was up to my knees in parts getting near the ridge at 13,800. I reached the summit of Belford around 10:30 and didn‘t stop before continuing on to Oxford. The decent to the bottom of the saddle between the two had rather deep snow and was a little steeper in parts than what I was expecting. The ascent to Oxford though was a little more gradual, which allowed me to regain a little strength both going up it and coming back down it.

I was a little concerned about climbing back up Belford when looking at what I had climbed down but it was surprisingly easy. I reached Belford (again) around 12:30 and began my final descent. When climbing up I had been using my headlamp until about treeline and therefore didn‘t notice the changing aspen. It was a beautiful trip down though, that was one of my most enjoyable. The weather was perfect all day and a cheesesteak and fat tire in Leadville on the way home was just a cherry on the cake.

These are probably my last climbs for the summer but I‘m already looking to next year. They‘re getting more difficult and I have to start making a concerted effort to not climb solo anymore.

 


  • Comments or Questions (3)
14ercbear

connecting trail     2009-09-28 14:04:45
Is there a trail connecting oxford and belford. Thinking about these for next year


[climber]


Connecting Trail     2009-09-28 15:11:32
Yes, In fact the saddle from Belford to Oxford is the only route that I know of to get to Oxford. This of course means that you have to essentially summit Belford twice. When you get to the top of Belford you can‘t miss the connecting ridge. It‘s a fun climb though.


14ercbear

thanks     2009-09-28 16:09:02
Nice thanks really lookin forward to these two. Nice report



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