Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  11/05/2011
Date Climbed:   11/03/2011
Author:  oldschool
 Just a TAD windy!  

Headed up to do Bel-Ox. That was the plan......I was solo.

Got up at 2:30 am, drove to the trailhead. Made it all the way to the parking lot. I have updated the Trailhead Status. No other cars in the parking lot...hmmmm. Left the parking lot about 7:30am. Image

Started up with snow on the trail from the beginning. Not much at first, maybe a few inches at best. Didn't put the snowshoes and gaiters on till the cabin. As I exited the trees the wind became a HUGE factor. Image Image Image

I was trotting along, having exited the trees maybe 20 minutes ago and saw a herd of elk climbing up to the ridge. They move FAST! Didn't expect to see that. They were my only company all day. They went up and over the top. Image

Beautiful sunny day but the wind did play a factor all day long. I took the "general" route up to Belford but in many places I just went straight up! I had on snowshoes and it was just easier for me to take a more direct line up the apex of the ridgeline. I had to hunker down at least 40 times to keep my balance as the wind was whipping! I got knocked over 2 times. The wind would blow hard for a minute then settle for maybe 20 seconds then it came back...that was the pattern all day. Image Image Image

Got the summit of Belford. It took me WAY longer than I had planned....6 hrs to summit. I wasted lots of time hunkering from the wind. I had wanted to go to Oxford but skipped it. I was tired of the wind and the constant battle to stay upright and the noise was getting to me too! No issues on the way down....except for the wind! Made good time down. Image Image

I took snowshoes and used them from the cabin to the summit. Crampons might have been helpful but in places snowshoes were needed. It was nice to have the mountain to myself all day...that happens now and then but not too much. Image Image

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

A windy week
11/05/2011 15:30
Nice report, love your pictures. I climbed Mt. Bierstadt on Tuesday the 1st & I can relate to the wind...scary fast on the summit. Guess it's been that way all week. Anyway, thanks for the photos!


11/05/2011 15:41
... for the report Oldschool! I've said this before on other people's TRs too, but it's always interesting to see routes I've only taken in July in a different season. Nice shot of the elk! Yeah, it's amazing how fast they can move, through thick underbrush too in the trees. Guess it helps having 2 more extra long legs to work with however! But I bet it was nice having their company for a little while anyway.


Nice pictures
11/09/2011 01:26
As MtnHub said, it's very interesting to see winter pictures of a route I've only seen in the summer. I'm not quite ready for a winter 14er, so I love looking at these pictures! Seeing how that snow was blowing off the mountaintop, gives a strong perspective of how strong the wind must have been up there.

James Scott

Stupid Wind!
11/24/2011 14:42
I was on the Belford shoulder in early Oct several years ago, and the wind knocked me forward. I first thought someone had snuck up and rammed me from behind. I fell forward, reached down to catch myself, and bent my finger back all the way to the back of my hand. It dislocated, and I never did get full motion back. I'll never forgive Belford for that- but your report brought back that trip. Great pictures and great job perservering up that shoulder in those conditions.

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