Peak(s):  Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
Date Posted:  07/08/2012
Date Climbed:   07/06/2012
Author:  Joygo
 A Massive Endeavor  

We (husband Jay and I) decided to give Massive a try - one of Jay's goal mountains for awhile. This would be #20 for us, and since we are Floridians, we are thrilled to check off a few mountains every year. We headed out on Friday, July 6, hoping to avoid some of the weekend traffic. We read several recent trip reports that were really helpful, including one regarding the elusive white marmot. Definitely something we hoped to see! Jay downloaded the GPX file from Thanks for the helpful waypoints - essential in places on the rocks where the cairns were difficult to locate.

We drove our rental 2WD Nissan Versa to the 2.0 mile marker on the road to the trailhead. No problem with Jay's excellent driving! We set out from the North Halfmoon Creek Trailhead and headed into the woods. We both agreed the hike was one of the prettiest with flowers and plants most of the way to the top. What a well-marked and well-maintained path! Kudos to the awesome people who maintain the trail! We had some beautiful views as we hiked out of the woods.
First Views As We Hiked Out of the Woods

Moon on the Way Up

We reached the summit and enjoyed the magnificent views - but I was nervously watching the skies and started down the mountain after a very short stay on the top. We actually had to hike down in some wind, rain, sleet, and thunder as monsoon season decided to come early on our hike. Fortunately, the rain stopped; the skies cleared out for a few hours; and our knees survived the long, arduous trek down the mountain. It was all good.

A few highlights - yup, the white marmots! We didn't see them until the rain hit.
White Marmot in the Rain

A Second Marmot Runs When We See Him

Also, we found the memorial to the Black Hawk helicopter crew that crashed on Massive some years ago to be quite interesting. Because everyone we asked on the mountain had a different version of what happened, we did a little research and were glad we did. If you are hiking Massive, don't know the story, and want to read about it in advance, here's a link:
Apparently, there's some confusion about an earlier FedEx plane crash and the helicopter crash.
Info about the plane crash:
Black Hawk Memorial

Finally, cheers to my fellow Steeler fan from Wexford, PA, who stopped to talk about Steeler Nation - which exists everywhere in the world, even on the top of Mount Massive.
Jay and I on the Summit

We always end our hikes with a "boot picture". It was a little too wet for us to lie down in the grass and pose with our feet in front of Massive, so we found an old, run-down cabin on the road toward Leadville and posed our boots there.
Our Boots With Massive in the Background

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Very lucky
07/08/2012 22:04
You spotted the sacred white marmot. Prosperity is just around the corner.


Me Gusta
07/08/2012 22:20
It's a little hard to see a Steelers fan on a 14er, but after last years playoffs, it becomes a little more bearable

The pictures of that white marmot have inspired me to go do Massive in the next couple of weeks

Great Report!


07/08/2012 22:37
it's really not that difficult considering Green Bay rocked them so hard in Super Bowl XLV! Go WISCO!

and also congrats on the summit!

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