Mt. Massive  
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2017-03-19  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2017-03-21, By: Count40
Info: Over past ten days, there were at least dozen people up (snowboarders and skiers included), but seems that nobody had time for a report. Thought that somebody may be interested in conditions after all. Anyways, over ten dry days, it got substantially drier above timberline, while the High Line trail snow got softer (meaning, afternoon descent postholing with snowshoes even along lower High Line portions). So, in detail: -morning boots or spikes either to Colorado Trail or even to the two ponds where you leave Highline Trail -decent trail/trench for snowshoeing from Highline Trail to timberline, not much postholing -short snowshoe walk from timberline to dry portion of East Ridge at 12200 -quick easy bareboot along the ridge to the base of the "notch" scramble -fairly visible straight-up dry line inbetween snow patches to the "notch" (you may choose to put microspikes on your boots for that section, even though it is mud/grass/boulders - your choice -after the notch, you may want to follow the ridge through snow (was too soft last week. So much so that even if you decided to hold onto rocks while walking the snow, you would not find crotch-deep postholing all too pleasant or efficient) -you can avoid the snow by sticking to right side of the ridge after the notch. That short stretch is summer dry. You can see a use trail leading there. You will pass under some roadrunner/coyote type balancing boulders along that short stretch, hoping that winter did not do much harm to their stability. -after you are done with that entire notch lump, at about 13100, you can continue all the way up to summit cheating that way, following just the dry ridge, or just to the right (north) of it -if you see footprints in snow patches, remember that they were made by people who hiked up when temps were about 20F lower (and below freezing) Did not mean to write this much. I have only pics from 19th, showing the stretch above timberline and above notch. Sorry, my SD card got wiped out on 17th. Note: Yes, as for snowboarders, they were there on 10th. Quite resourceful gents (who knew how to work their way up even with one of them missing the skins). That was some fine day. There is much less snow now, and the transition from upper to lower bowl on east slopes has more exposed rocks now, as well as completely brown stretch from lower bowl to just above timberline. Skier was up on Wednesday, and there may have been some Saturday, but that must have been rocky. Another btw note regarding that otherwise easy portion of High Line between Colorado Trail and the two ponds turn-off. On the way up, some hikers and skiers did not follow the High Line, and left (to the left) too early. After much meandering, those tracks will bring you back to the same two ponds, but about half an hour later. Some other tracks followed the High Line correctly. Do your thinking. (If it helps as a marker in a place where all trees look alike, just before that wrong fork, on the right side when going up, there is a slightly distinctive pair, that is, a tree with a four-five foot tall broken branchless trunk of dead tree standing right next (a foot away)) And, yes, my load on snowshoes was about 250 pounds, that much about postholing ability. You cannot lose weight that quickly, but your backpack can. 
2017-02-26  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2017-02-26, By: madadraw1
Info: Nice trench in place, for now at least. Ridge very wind blown 13K feet and lower. Wasn't worth skinning or using flotation shortly after 12K feet. I think you can get away without traction, my hiking partner would have preferred crampons / ice axe in one section just below 13K feet. 
2017-02-15  Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2017-02-16, By: jbchalk
Info: Some beautiful winter weather to be had! J and I had to play hooky. Skinned the 1st 3 miles to the CO Trail/Highline Trail intersection on a broken snowshoe path. Broke trail from then on to the summit. Skinned to around 13k and then booted the east ridge to the summit. Skied the east bowl in 6-8" of wonderful creamy fresh snow atop a firm hard glacier ice base was such a pleasant surprise. Just shy of 5.5 hours up and 2 hrs down. Great work day. 
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2016-11-25  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-26, By: MatthewWatson
Info: Good conditions, light snow (1-6 inches) throughout. Started at the Mt Massive TH just past Halfmoon campground, for the East Slopes trail. Heard that the SW slopes would be bad in the snow, so avoided it. The road was great; we were in a truck, but saw a minivan at the TH. The road had a few inches of snow on it but no drifts, and no bug ruts. The trail was at times a bit hard to find under the snow. Getting to the ridge just before the top, if you lose the trail, you may wander into some deeper drifts"knee to waist high. Other than that, the snow is shallow. Had microspikes but could have done it without them, and snowshoes would have been overkill. It was a quick in-and-out day trip and felt like a summer 14er. 
2016-11-12  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-12, By: capetrekker
Info: Perfect day in the high alpine. Massive's SW Slopes are snow free and lovely as can be. There is a small bit of snow on the ridge, but no traction or axes are needed. 
2016-11-12  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-12, By: Jdplatt
Info: Route from trailhead to summit ridge completely snow free. Summit ridge had moderate snow cover. Brought micro spikes and an ice ax and used neither without any difficulty. Practically no wind and had the summit to myself for a solid half hour. Go get it while it's still good! 
2016-11-07  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-08, By: adrienneking
Info: Only a few inches of snow on the ridge and no snow below that. We brought microspikes, but didn't need them. 
2016-11-05  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2016-11-06, By: sjfredrickson
Info: Started early in the morning and the trail was dry nearly to the ridge. Small patches of snow above tree line were avoidable. At ~9:30 am light snowfall began above 12,000ft. and continued to fall for the rest of the day. By the time we left the summit, 1-2 in. had accumulated on the trail in some places, and the descent became rather slippery, especially on the ridge, and remained so until we reached tree line. I was alright wearing trail running shoes with heavy lugs for mud and snow, but we were off the mountain by 1:30pm. Given that it was still snowing above tree line when we left, I would bring microspikes for the last 2,500ft were I planning to summit again this weekend. 
2016-10-27  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-10-27, By: C-Shepguy
Info: SW slopes route is totally dry all the way to the summit ridge...then the ridge had patches of snow here and there...traction really isn't necessary. 
2016-10-27  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2016-10-27, By: C-Shepguy
Info: Essentially dry up until the last mile or so to the which point there is sporadic patches of snow on the trail, some of which is getting packed down and slippery-ish. It's mostly avoidable, but bring spikes if you're that person who is always first to put on your spikes. 
2016-10-15  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-10-17, By: boarderben84
Info: Picture perfect day on Saturday. We were the only group to camp at the trail head. Ample camping spots available. Trail was in great condition. A few areas of snow closer to the summit but all easily managed without traction or gaiters. Saw 3 other groups along the way and had the small summit to ourselves. What the hike lacks in distance is made up for in vertical. I found trekking poles to be very helpful. 
2016-10-08  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-10-08, By: thill
Info: A few patches of snow/ice near and on the summits but easily passable without traction. 
2016-10-02  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2016-10-04, By: Kitten
Info: Route on East slopes was bone dry on Sunday. It started snowing lightly when we left our camp on Monday morning, so this might change conditions on the upper route for the next few days. 
2016-09-26  Route: Up SW Slopes, down East Slopes
Posted On: 2016-09-26, By: lrosenmayer6
Info: Both routes were in excellent condition today. No clouds, very little wind. One patch of ice at 13,200' on the East Slope but it was easily avoidable. Outside of that, no snow or ice on either route today. Starting from the North Halfmoon Creek trailhead and finishing at the main Halfmoon Creek trailhead, we clocked 10.18 miles in 6.5 hours. Lots of pretty aspens near the bottom of the east slope. Saw about 10 other hikers. 
2016-09-16  Route: Up East Slopes down SouthEast Slope
Posted On: 2016-09-16, By: indigord
Info: Full moon night hike with clear skies and clear solid trails. Only an old dusting of snow in small patches left on the summit. Trail is solid and clean the whole way around the mountain. Beautiful trek with aspen color creeping through the Halfmoon Creek valley! 
2016-09-06  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2016-09-08, By: ker0uac
Info: Halfmoon road is easily accessible to 2WD/low clearance cars... the route posted here for the summit via east slopes is outdated... after willow creek crossing, you must not turn left, but rather turn right following the posted signs... the trail continues onto the CDT for a little while longer now before bifurcating 
2016-08-29  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-08-29, By: Nelson
Info: I climbed Massive this morning. The trail is in good shape up to 13,700. At the point snow,starts to accumulate making it a little slippery. Above 14k it snowed a couple of inches making it slippery but requiring no special gear. On the way down at 12,400 I witnessed an impressive rock fall. It started above 13,000 and ran passed 12,000. A helmet would not have helped. 
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2016-08-27  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-08-29, By: KristineL
Info: Camped near the TH and started our hike up the SW slopes just before 5 on Saturday, 8/27/16. The trail was pretty easy to follow through the trees, but we did step off after one of the creek crossings onto a well-traveled side-trail. We realized pretty soon into the wrong path and were able to rejoin the 'real' trail. The directions for the forks in the trail are great, and there's a sign where the N. Halfmoon trail splits from the Massive summit trail. The rock fields are steep on this one! We were able to see lots of marmots and a few ptarmigans in the rock fields going up. The ascent up the rock field, to what we thought was the ridge, was deceiving and took much longer than we had initially thought. But, by the time we intersected the main trail on the ridge-line, it was a quick hike to the summit and not much more elevation gain. The views of Elbert on the ascent were great and Elbert looked like it had more snow than Massive did (just a few patches near the top, easy to avoid). We summitted after ~ 4.5 hours, but we were moving slow since I was still a bit sick and we stopped for water breaks for our dog frequently. The summit is small, and we were lucky there were probably only 5 others when we summitted. Coming back down was tough on our knees because of how steep it was (glad we had our poles!) and took us nearly 3 hours to get back to the car. Luckily, the rock fields are large rocks and not small, loose rocks. Overall, great hike, but pretty steep! 
2016-08-27  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2016-08-27, By: bernadettebenson
Info: Despite all the snow this week up high, there was just a little slushy stuff around the top. Running the route, it was 2.5 hours up and 1.5 hours down. 
2016-08-25  Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2016-08-29, By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Road wasn't too bad with a high-clearance vehicle... take your time, though I wouldn't take a sedan past the standard Mt. Massive TH lot. On the trail, when you get to what looks like a fork - either turning left on a trail or right up a small rock face - take the small rock up and to the trail (see picture). We did not do this and walked in a few circles in the dark (not recommended) - we ultimately found the right trail with a nice labeled sign and continued our ascent. Steep with a lot of elevation gain but great conditions all the way up. A few spots of short snow crossings that could be avoided near the false summits. Where the SW Slope trail meets the East trail is very well marked. 

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