Peak:  Mt. Belford (14er)
 Route:  Northwest Ridge
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  alpinenut
 Date of Info:  01/04/2012
 Date Posted:  01/05/2012

Climbed Belford and Oxford yesterday. Missouri Gulch trail was packed snow all the way to the Elkhead Pass/Belford split. No spikes or snowshoes were necessary going up. The Belford Shoulder and NW ridge was mostly packed snow or wind blown rock/mixed rock and snow. Again no spikes or snowshoes were needed. Spikes may have been helpful but there was more rock the higher up you went. The saddle to Oxford was very similar, mixed rock and snow. Spikes may or may not have been helpful. I used an ice axe all day. Some folks in our group used poles. Given the slippery conditions I would highly recommend an axe or poles. Going down we descended the ridge to Pecks Peak and the West face of Pecks Peak. The West face of Pecks Peak is mostly talus or scree (not a fun descent) with a few snow fields mixed in. We stayed away from the major snowfields due to possible avi risk - cracking, wind slabs, etc... We used spikes from the Elkhead Pass split down on the Missouri Gulch trail. Given the packed snow trail, spikes were perfect going down.

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