Mt. Belford

Condition Updates  
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2023-01-01, By: DeclanKnies
Info: Was attempting to ski from the summit or at least close to it, but had to drop the skis at 11,500 because all the snow's blown away. All the western aspects are pretty much bone-dry so I had no issue taking the northwest ridge. No good ski lines as of now. Western aspects look heavily wind loaded, would not recommend any of those routes up Missouri. Observed an avalanche at around 12,000 on that loaded eastern aspect of Missouri mountain. Overall no traction or floatation needed, I would've been better off without skis, as there was not enough snow at the top or bottom to make it useful. Started a little after 6:15am and got back to the car just before 5pm. Was going to hit Oxford but turned around because the storm blowing in. Route to oxford looks completely dry as well. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2022-11-28, By: bmcqueen
Info: It snowed a decent amount on Belford. Not enough to require snowshoes, but plenty of trail breaking yesterday up the snowy ridge. 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2022-11-13, By: buttery
Info: Perfect day on the mountain, we had the day to ourselves, and didn't see anyone else. We started around 8 AM and it took us about 6 1/2 hours round-trip. The trail has snow for the majority of the climb, but there is a very solid trench established, and I did not need snowshoes or any other flotation. I brought micro spikes for the last pitch that is a little bit steeper, however, I did not end up them. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2022-10-09, By: karenfortier
Info: Great late fall climb. Some icy/snow patches on the high rocky switchbacks. We watched a guy descend with yak-tracks or similar who was able to cruise down much more safely. Would recommend some kind of spikes. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2022-10-08, By: maylemay1
Info: Hiked Belford, Oxford and then down Elkhead Pass. There are a few small snow patches still left on the northwest ridge of Belford, mostly above 13,500 ft, and a few on the Belford side of the traverse. It was all pretty firm and not slick, at least when we were on it, which was pretty early in the morning. Oxford is pretty much completely free of snow. 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2022-09-26, By: NativeTransplant
Info: All clear, summer conditions no snow. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2022-08-06, By: Syde0004
Info: I did the full Belford/Oxford/Missouri Loop. Runs about 16.5 miles with around 7,200ft of gain. A little surprised by just how cold and windy it was. Other than that the trails were great. Got to the trailhead at 3:10am and it was full with cars parked on the road. The road to the trailhead was bumpy but I made it just fine in my Corolla. Here's my time breakdown: Start: 3:15am Summited Belford: 6:40am Left Summit: 6:50am Summited Oxford: 7:40am Left Summit: 7:50am Returned to Belford: 8:40am Summited Missouri: 10:45am Left summit: 11:05am Back to Car: 1:20pm Total time: 10hrs 5mins 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2022-08-02, By: Syde0004
Info: Got to the trailhead at 4:30am and it was around 2/3 full. Started up the mountain soon after. Those endless switchbacks were well advertised. Took me around 3:20 to summit Belford. Started towards Oxford but doubled back due to the wind and thought I may be descending in rain. Regretting not going for it with how close I was. Back to the trailhead around 7hrs 11mins. The road to the trailhead was bumpy and wet but otherwise fine. My Corolla didn't have any problems. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-14, By: JacerJack
Info: Belford is 100% snow free on the standard route. Oxford (from Belford) is 99% snow free, except for one small ~10 yard patch of snow that is easily navigable without traction and will melt very soon. Standard Bel/Ox combo is doable in non-waterproof trail runners without traction. Elkhead pass side is still holding quite a bit of snow, but melting fast. Snow isn't very deep, so postholing shouldn't be an issue; more just wet and sloppy. Lots of mud and slushy snow below the Missouri turnoff. Trail is completely submerged in swift runoff down closer to the Belford/Missouri split. Would recommend descending Belford via the standard route for next week or two. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-05, By: chin1997
Info: Did Belford and Oxford yesterday. I drove up from Denver Friday night and camped near the old logging hut Friday night. Road in was dry and trail up to the cabin at about 11,200 had no snow. The rest of the hike was straightforward, Summer conditions with a few patches of snow here and there. Very doable without traction. I had planned to do Missouri as well but talk from other people who had tried said there was still a lot of snow pack and could be seen easily from Belford. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2022-05-19, By: btillack
Info: I tackled Belford, Oxford, and Missouri today (5/19/22) from the Missouri Gulch TH. Road is dry and passable for 2WD. Beyond the Belford-Elkhead Pass junction the snow on the Missouri switchbacks caused some postholing nightmares. It was like wading through thigh-deep water disguised as snow. So do this early in the morning to avoid such misery. Snow on the Belford trail to its summit and even beyond to Oxford is nearly non-existent. So no postholing issues there. Wind was ferocious. 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2022-01-29, By: daway8
Info: Belford is currently in about as good of shape as you can probably expect in calendar winter and Oxford (which I ran out of time/energy to do) didn't seem to have hardly any snow at all getting to it. The 3.1 miles from where the plow stops to the summer trailhead is packed super well. Others already put in tracks on the main trail so I didn't put on snowshoes until a little after the ruins of the old cabin. There were tracks going to Missouri (one guy on skis passed me headed that way) but no sign of any tracks to Belford. Trenching to the ridge wasn't bad. The ridge itself has lots of exposed rock with pockets of snow between. Snowshoes weren't viable so switched to spikes, which I left on until back at the Belford/Missouri junction. Mostly went straight up that horridly long ridge but on the way down blasted a bunch of snow off the summer trail by plunge stepping down. Now there are a couple route options to choose from. Note I didn't quite gain the ridge at the right spot - might be easier to reroute to avoid a brief little scramble. At the junction I put on snowshoes again so now there's a much better trench. If you've been wanting to get these peaks in winter now's a great time to go for it! BTW Missouri looked super loaded - but some folks have managed to get it done - I personally wouldn't be comfortable passing that terrain now but the Bel/Ox route is currently free of any real avy danger. 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-12-22, By: the_hare
Info: First calendar winter ascent down! Road to TH was clear of snow until about 2/3 of the way in until the point where the wilderness registry/info signs are and the road narrows. Several stretches of light snow on the road from there to TH, no worries for any 2WD. Trail from TH to the old cabin had 2-4 inches of loose snow, more in the old avalanche path. Shoutout to the 2 people who summitted yesterday and left some nice packed steps to follow. Trail from old cabin to the base of Belford climb had a mix of bare ground, hard pack snow and postholed drifts. The east-facing aspects of Missouri's north ridge & the west-facing ridge of Peck's Peak didn't have any loaded snow at all, only a few facets closer to Missouri seemed like they had any slide chance. NW ridge up Belford was windblown leaving hardpack snow and bare ground for the steep climb up. It was a lot steeper than I anticipated, I used the rest step technique to maintain a good pace. Used spikes for the entire climb up until the summit block. Winds were forecast at 15-30 mph blowing towards the east/northeast, only felt strong winds just past the old cabin, down from the NW gully, and around Belford summit. I didn't go over to Oxford but the ridge there looked bare. The Missouri standard route even looked feasible as well without too much risk given the very light snow on the east face of the ridge. Elkhead pass trail is drifted in from the trail junction, snowshoes would be helpful. I went up and down the NW ridge. Crazy how the snow levels looked like late October. Lots of snow forecast for the next week, might make the road impassable after the storm. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-12-03, By: 14ersKen
Info: Climbed Mount Belford on 2 December. Very little snow for the first mile up the tree switchbacks. Some snow maybe 1-2 inches from mile 1-2 in the flatter area in the willows. Packed snow on the trail from mile 2 to the top. About 2-3 inches. Micro spikes are very helpful on the packed window blown snow. Gaiters unnecessary. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-11-24, By: benmangelsdorf
Info: Snow not an issue until about 12k. At that point I would advise putting on spikes. There's not really enough snow to posthole on the way up to Belford, but the switchbacks on the mountain itself get a bit slippery. Brought gaiters, did not use them. All the slopes that I personally felt worried about in terms of avalanche danger were very, very dry. Got caught in a mini whiteout/snowstorm on the way down, but it only deposited a slight dusting that had no impact on trail conditions. Road has a bit of snow on it, but that was also not an issue. Also went on to Oxford. Some slightly deeper snow coming down from Belford, and then once you start going up again there is basically no snow to worry about. Oh, also, Missouri had much more snow than Belford or Oxford. I personally would have felt a bit nervous doing it in the current conditions. Met two nice people on the way down who let me tag along with them while visibility was low. Thanks guys, that made me feel much more at ease! 
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Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-11-23, By: Eagle Eye
Info: (Mt Belford standard route and Belford to Mt Oxford trip 11/21/21) Apparently some snow had fallen late Saturday afternoon or night in the area. There was only one other vehicle in the large Missouri Gulch TH lot when I arrived there about 4 am. Another one pulled in about 6 and I started just slightly ahead of 2 groups of two. There was snow coverage but no tracks, the first big creek crossing is in great shape with lots of logs across it. Some areas around the cabin ruins were dry and then snow coverage again. At 11.9 k I briefly lost the start of the switchbacks and then got back in them for the remainder going up Mt Belford. This was the deepest snow I encountered this day, just deep wind-blown powder but sometimes obscuring the summer trail. At the flat saddle spot around 13.9 k snow on the trail became much thinner/dryer. I took some pictures on the Mt Belford summit and none of them are on my phone, I'm not sure why. I continued on toward Mt Oxford and the second deepest snow was on the short ridgeline descending to the Belford-Oxford saddle. Then the remainder of the way had only minor snow. I ran into the couple people I'd been seeing for a while on their way up Mt Oxford when I was coming down. The other two people had summited Mt B, and then descended. The afternoon weather became very calm and nice! I had worn micro spikes the whole day and they were perfect for the conditions. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-11-14, By: 14ercooper
Info: Snow on the trail for a lot of the hike, gaiters were appreciated near the top but not nearly enough snow for snowshoes. Heading up the shoulder, could probably get by without spikes of any sort, but there's also enough snow that you could get up to the top with just a hundred feet or snow of walking on dry trail. Coming back down over Elkhead pass, the trail was pretty hard to follow from the pass down to where it meets back up with the trail for Missouri. The bottom part of the snow route had pretty consistent snow coverage, not sure about higher up. Trail over to Oxford looked like more of the same - mostly dry with snow drifted on the trail. Missouri looked like it has significantly more snow. 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-10-20, By: Mark Goldstein
Info: Parking lot only had 2 vehicles. Switch backs up to water crossing/avalanche filed was clear and dry. Near old cabin, small amount of scant snow. Past split trail head sign, snow began to accumulate on the trail. Around 11,500 snow was present (approx 2-6 inches) from past weather. Sunny, moderate amount of wind up on the ridge to the summit. Temperature around 15-25 degrees. Traction (e.g. microspikes) and gators suggested above treeline. Enjoy! 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-10-17, By: CTLawn
Info: Snow conditions are about the same as the last report. A little on the trail from the beginning but it starts getting deep at about 11,800 where the ridge starts. It was a slow go through the snow but waterproof shoes, gaiters, and spikes made it totally doable. Very little wind and great views! 
Route: Northwest Ridge
Posted On: 2021-10-10, By: boldlyintomordor
Info: Lots of snow since last report. Went for Belford today and had to blaze trail up the mountain beyond Missouri Gulch. Snow was over a foot deep in some places. Definitely bring poles, spikes, gaiters, and waterproof shoes. My partner and I made a bad gamble with trail runners and we got turned around at around 13000' with very icy toes. Keep in mind that the trail is on the west side of Belford so is in shadow most of the morning. It is absolutely beautiful there right now, but come prepared for snow. 

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