Peak:  Mt. Massive (14er)
 Route:  Southwest Slopes
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  Grover
 Date of Info:  05/18/2013
 Date Posted:  05/18/2013

The SW Slopes of Mt. Massive are holding snow from 11,600 ft. all the way to the summit. A snowboard/ski descent off the summit is possible. I crossed over from the East Slopes bowl to the SW Slopes on foot, only to avoid the various rocks poking through at/near the top of the saddle.

What you need if you are going:
Crampons - Yes, I used them for the entire climb while on snow to the summit.

Microspikes - Suggested, as I used them from 11,100 ft. till 11,600 ft., then switched to crampons. Snow covers most of the rocks/trail after the sign junction, when you start climbing up the bench.

Snow Shoes - YES! In the trees, specifically between 11,100 ft. and 10,900 ft., the snow was deep, and the consistency was that of a Slurpee. Post holing in the afternoon was an issue.

I used trekking poles all the way up to the summit, and then carried my ice axe with me during the ride down the SW Slopes.

 Comments or Questions

05/19/2013 22:33
I only have microspikes and snowshoes. Is it feasible to climb without crampons this coming weekend?




A: Crampons
05/20/2013 18:10
Hhhhhmmmmmm, I must say, that is personal choice. My recommendation is crampons would be needed, due to the amount of time spent on the snow, climbing up to the summit. I used crampons to climb up +/- 3000 vertical feet of snow. You may want to look at the East Slopes route, which still has snow on it, but the angle of the slope is much lower. I hope this helps.

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