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Belford/Oxford Questions

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Belford/Oxford Questions

Postby steenport567 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:12 am

Hello all!

I am planning on completing the Belford/Oxford combo next Monday (6/17/13). I had a few questions. Thank you in adavance!

1.) Camping: Any good campsites at the trailhead?
2.) Backpacking: Should we pack to treeline? If so, are there good places to camp around treeline?

Thanks!

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Re: Belford/Oxford Questions

Postby teedublya » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:29 am

I was up there on friday and camped a couple of hundred yards down the road from the trailhead in a spot just off the road. There are signs saying no overnight camping at the trailhead. There would be some good camp spots from the cabin to the elk head pass/belford fork if you decide to pack in. good luck.

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Re: Belford/Oxford Questions

Postby steenport567 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:34 am

Thanks for the suggestion.

Was there a lot of snow on the mountain still?

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Re: Belford/Oxford Questions

Postby epacalicious » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:52 am

I hit Missouri on Saturday, and yes there's still a fair about of snow up there above 11K. Microspikes & ice axe were necessary, probably could have used cramp-ons.

There are good campsites scattered throughout the trail, but there are signs banning camping at the actual TH. On the way to the TH, you pass tons of campsites along the road where you could car camp.
Mountains are the means, the man is the end. The goal is not to reach the tops of mountains, but to improve the man ~ Walter Bonatti

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Re: Belford/Oxford Questions

Postby Lemmiwinks » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:02 am

You can't camp right at the trailhead, but there are some spots all along CR390 before and after the trailhead. I'd recommend camping at treeline though if you don't mind packing in up the steep switchbacks to get there. There are excellent spots just before the trail splits for Belford.

epacalicious wrote:I hit Missouri on Saturday, and yes there's still a fair about of snow up there above 11K. Microspikes & ice axe were necessary, probably could have used cramp-ons.


I did the Bel/Ox combo two weeks ago and there was minimal snow on those two mountains, and it was entirely avoidable. I didn't use spikes or an axe. Missouri on the other hand, was still pretty covered.
“If you're bumming out, you're not gonna get to the top, so as long as we're up here we might as well make a point of grooving." -Scott Fischer

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Re: Belford/Oxford Questions

Postby steenport567 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 9:32 am

Thanks fellas. We will probably pack to treeline. This is typically a annual tradition with my team.

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Re: Belford/Oxford Questions

Postby redgoat » Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:39 pm

I'm going to pack up to treeline with a group of 5-6 14-15 yr old scouts this coming week. Most of whom have summited a handful of 14ers. Our plan is to camp the night before and the night after we summit the 2 peaks. Sounds like there are some decent camping sites?

My question is, just to be sure, is there a water source at the fork to Belford? Or should we look for a spot earlier than that?

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Re: Belford/Oxford Questions

Postby Aug_Dog » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:47 am

redgoat wrote:I'm going to pack up to treeline with a group of 5-6 14-15 yr old scouts this coming week. Most of whom have summited a handful of 14ers. Our plan is to camp the night before and the night after we summit the 2 peaks. Sounds like there are some decent camping sites?

My question is, just to be sure, is there a water source at the fork to Belford? Or should we look for a spot earlier than that?


It's been a couple of years since doing the Bel/Ox combo and subsequently, Missouri, a year later, but I do recall that there is a decent sized stream flowing through the basin. Even without saying with 100-percent certainty that there is a creek, I would venture to say that by just looking at a topo, a basin that large would almost certainly have to have a substantial drainage system for water. I think you're good to go on water.

Now, as far as camping at treeline? In the case of the Boy Scouts, I would say absolutely! This is a spectacular drainage leading up to Bel/Ox/Missouri. It's beautiful up there, particularly high up in the basin. In fact, it's one of my more memorable areas. Now, if you are just doing Bel/Ox from the TH, I would say go light and fast. Fair warning, but the switchbacks up off the TH gain elevation almost immediately and do so in quick order. I personally get a bit nauseated at the idea of having to pack up a camp and then shlep that pack down those switchbacks. I also feel the same about Holy Cross. We packed in to the creek last year and I will say, that was one of the best camping spots I have ever had, but lugging all that gear up and down the pass was just not worth it in the end. I would go guerilla style, light to do the Bel/Ox combo. Just go crush it. In my opinion, packing in would be more work than worth. That said, that basin is absolutely beautiful! Have fun!
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Re: Belford/Oxford Questions

Postby gonzalj » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:57 am

I've camped up by treeline pretty much right by the abandoned log house up there and will say that it is beautiful, a great camping spot & plenty of water sources for filtering. I don't disagree with the light & fast approach as those switchbacks right at the start are steep. However, I definitely don't think camping up there is all that bad of an idea, because even though you'll have a heavy pack coming down & it is steep, at least you're going down versus regaining the 1000' of elevation on holy cross. Whatever you decide, enjoy it up there.

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Re: Belford/Oxford Questions

Postby redgoat » Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:23 am

Great info guys. I appreciate it.

I took my family to Holy Cross a couple years ago using this format camp the nights before and after our summit day, and I think it still stands out as our favorite 14er. Though also, surprisingly, one of the most physically challenging 14ers we've done. I think our legs were pretty sore from the pack in... the short 6 mi RT summit hurt more than I expected.

But, I want these scouts to feel a little pain... this sounds perfect. Can't wait. Thanks again.

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Re: Belford/Oxford Questions

Postby Marty369 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:36 pm

Go past the old cabin that's right around treeline, to the trail split. Hang a right into the willows and there are some awesome spots there against the creek that runs through there.

One of my favorite spots to camp in Missouri Gulch

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Re: Belford/Oxford Questions

Postby Aug_Dog » Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:43 pm

redgoat wrote:Great info guys. I appreciate it.

I took my family to Holy Cross a couple years ago using this format camp the nights before and after our summit day, and I think it still stands out as our favorite 14er. Though also, surprisingly, one of the most physically challenging 14ers we've done. I think our legs were pretty sore from the pack in... the short 6 mi RT summit hurt more than I expected.

But, I want these scouts to feel a little pain... this sounds perfect. Can't wait. Thanks again.


Definitely! I think it would be a perfect place for the Boy Scouts to cut their teeth a bit. It's absolutely gorgeous up there! Now, for just the average, every day checklister, I would recommend going light and fast.
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