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Mt Massive - Best Route

Colorado 14er peak questions, condition requests and other info. 14er Trip Reports, Condition Reports
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Re: Mt Massive - Best Route

Postby B[3] » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:38 am

We did the East Ridge route from the Native Lake Trailhead described in Roach's guide. Massive was our first 14er (Labor Day Weekend, 2004), and we did the route as a backpack so we could get an early start on our summit day. It was a nice backpack, with good campsites near the lakes. The east ridge wasn't too bad--I don't remember it very well except that there was some talus to negotiate near the summit. I looked through our photos from the trip, and this one is probably the best as it shows part of the east ridge route.
east ridge1.jpg
east ridge1.jpg (180.29 KiB) Viewed 524 times

It was a fun trip and got us started on our 14er quest--looking back over the photos makes me tempted to repeat the route at some point.
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Re: Mt Massive - Best Route

Postby markhingston » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:04 pm

I hike the Highline Trail from Native Lake TH last August. The Highline is a beautiful, easy to follow trail. However, I could not find any sign of a trail from the Highline to the East Ridge as Roach suggests. You will have to negotiate beaver ponds and bushwack thick woods for at least the 0.4 miles mentioned in Roach. Allow plenty of time for that. I found it was too much for a day hike. USFS staff in Leadville discouraged bushwacking. It is a pretty popular area already, though not as a route up N. Massive. Good luck.
E Ridge from Highline Tr
P8250148-2.jpg (185.55 KiB) Viewed 478 times
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Re: Mt Massive - Best Route

Postby Lemmiwinks » Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:21 pm

I did Massive Mania from Windsor Lake last summer. Once you gain the ridge, the route is very straightforward. It is very long though and you need a good weather day because of how much time is spent above treeline.
“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: Mt Massive - Best Route

Postby rkalsbeek » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:20 pm

SW Slopes are spectacular! I had a lot of fun hiking this. Great views, steep without much exposure. Started really early in the morning so we got a little "off trail" in the beginning and had to do some scrambling, but that was a lot of fun and easy to find the trail again. The summit is deceptive from this way though, make sure you keep on hiking until you hit the true summit! Definitely worth the trade off - it is steeper but shorter. And fewer people.
Sous les pavés, la plage.

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Re: Mt Massive - Best Route

Postby gkhickox » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:22 pm

Thanks for all these comments, I am likewise planning a trip for a small group next July. I had more or less decided on the SW Slopes Route and all of the feedback confirmed it for me.

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Re: Mt Massive - Best Route

Postby peter303 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:24 pm

Trailhead access is a factor. East is graded gravel road. Any sedan can drive.

SW has high clearance parts.

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Re: Mt Massive - Best Route

Postby Rossback » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:24 pm

I'm attempting to summit north massive (if the weather is right) from Skinner hut mid March. Has anyone ever attempted this route? (Summer or Winter).


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