Day #1: Mt. Massive: Southwest Slope
Trailhead: North Halfmoon TH
Hike start time: 5:45 AM
Summit time: 9:35-10:35 (Excellent ridge hike, beautiful day!)
Back to camp: 12:35 PM
We drove up and set up camp Friday afternoon. No problem getting all the way up to TH. There were Subarus, trucks, and SUV's, but for that last ½ mile 4WD is recommended. While a bit chilly with the raging river, we enjoyed our spot and got a decent night's rest.
We'll keep this report short and to the point since it is a well traveled peak. The first 1.25 miles are truly pleasant—wooded, easy to follow, relaxing, scenic…
The turn to the right is very clearly marked with both a cairn and a sign.
We took this on Day #2
The trail is incredibly well maintained with a clear path, stone steps, and although it shoots up pretty steeply, it's fine until you hit the snow fields. This is where the trail was buried and most people continued straight up to the saddle. Having a dog and not knowing for sure if the ice fields were safe to traverse, our trail was lost and we too headed for the saddle, happy to see the ridge/trail to S. Massive once there.
Glancing to the right, the standard route sure looked easy compared to our steep--at times class 3 --maneuvers made to reach the ridge.
We spent an hour hanging out on the summit and hiking along the ridge of S. Massive and Mt. Massive.
We decided against the traverse over to N. Massive as our dog Anna was pooped.
Here is a shot of Massive Green
Also, spot the marmot. There were a couple HUGE ones!
Spotting the North Halfmoon Lakes, we mentioned possibly hiking them the next day.
The highlight of our hike was meeting some other nice hikers—Hugh (who we watched hiking a bit ahead of us), Jody (following just below us) and Scott (who caught up to us). We found the actual trail again on the down-climb and made sure to enjoy some riveting glissades. The first one was quite steep.
Jody, Ella (her pooch), Jen and Anna (our pooch)
We almost wiped out a couple times…
Day #2: North Halfmoon Lakes
Hike time: approximately 3.5 hours round trip (not positive since we spent well over an hour enjoying the absolutely gorgeous morning at both lakes.
Since we camped out again, we woke up itching to hike some more. Taking the same 1.25 miles to the juncture, we snapped a photo of Massive's South Face where you can see the patch of snow we glissaded down.
This hike is so serene with a lush forest-lined trail, creek crossings, raging rapids, waterfalls…
… rock climbs (easy enough)
and the grand finale… one glistening lake and one frozen lake.
We also had to stop and check out the thick snow next to a stream.