Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  11/01/2012
Modified:  11/03/2012
Date Climbed:   10/31/2012
Author:  Millerland
 Belford on a blue bird day (with wolf sightings)  

My wife and I took advantage of perfect climbing weather on a classic blue bird day by taking a halloween hike up Mt. Belford. We arrived at the Missouri Gulch trailhead and began climbing at a leisurely time of 11:30 a.m. Note - we would NEVER start this late in the warmer summer months (due to thunderstorm risks), but deemed the risk of dangerous lighting next to nothing on November eve. The steep climb up the north facing switchbacks through the forest was surprisingly snow free this late in the season (with the exception of a little ice at the creek crossing).
Enjoyed a little lunch break at 11,400 ft. where the forest ends and the alpine meadow begins. As we started walking again we looked up and 50 yards away was a big 'ole wolf with a rabbit in its mouth! 30 seconds later we spied a 2nd wolf up the slope. What a wildlife treat! Proceeded through the snow free meadow and gained the northwest shoulder of Mt. Belford. That's where the real work begins! Tammie made it halfway up the northwest ridge and decided to bask in the sun and wait for me as I finished my summit attempt.
Picked my way up the high alpine trail (minimal snow in spots, but no microspikes needed with good hiking boot traction). Finally reached the summit at 3:30 p.m., took some pics of the beautiful view, signed the logbook and looked up Romans 12:1 in the bible provided. Figured it was a fitting verse after a tough climb (for a 50 year old): " view of God's mercy, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice...this is true worship"!
Left the summit at 4:00 p.m., reunited with Tammie at about 13,000 ft. and continued our descent together, arriving back at the car at 6:30 p.m. as the beautiful day turned into dark!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Not a wolf
11/02/2012 03:33
Ummm, no wolves exist in Colorado. There was a lone wolf hit by a car near vail a few years back, but that was the exception. You most likely saw a coyote. Everyone wants to believe they see wolves, when in reality it's coyotes or even foxes that they spot. Only Wyoming, Montana,Idaho and northern cascades in Washington have viable wolf populations in the lower 48


Wondering about wolves
11/02/2012 04:33
Hello Hansolo35,
Normally I'd be one of the first to agree with your wolf territory accessment and discount the possibility of them in Colorado. You may indeed be right, but having seen foxes and coyotes in the wild my entire life, these fellows we saw with the big bushy tails were twice the size of their smaller counterpoints. For a moment I thought I was back home in northern Minnesota witnessing a pair of the fairly common and occasionally seen timber wolves. For years it was said there were no longer grizzly bears in Colorado, yet I've heard that line of thinking may be changing. Could there be a possibility a few wolves have now made their way back to Colorado? The optimist in me says yes to the animals we witnessed.


11/02/2012 17:53
Upper Michigan also has a small wolf population, but I would have to agree that it is HIGHLY unlikely you saw them in Colorado


11/02/2012 18:55
I would agree that a wolf sighting is highly unlikely. However, I always struggle to understand that there are wolves in WY but, they have a clear understanding of where the CO state line is and will not cross it under any circumstance.


Re: Wondering about wolves
11/02/2012 22:05
Yes indeed, there are plenty of wolves in the upper Midwest as well (i.e. UP of Michigan, northern Wisconsin, and the whole northern half of Minnesota). In fact they just took the timber wolf off the threatened species list and re-opened a hunting season on them this fall in Minnesota. They made such a comeback there I figure they could make a comeback in Colorado. If there indeed was one wolf killed by a car a few years ago near Vail, I'm guessing he's got a few buddies and a couple of mistresses prowling around who lived to tell about it and are perpetuating the family tree


Report it!
11/03/2012 19:01
The DOW would love a report on your sighting. There is a link at the bottom of the overview to fill out a wolf sighting report.

DOW biologists thought it would only be a mater of time before they made there way in from NM, AZ, WY, so it could be a actual sighting. A few years back on Bierstait there was a wolverine sighting that many (Including myself) were skeptical about but as it turned out it was really a wolverine.


Re: Wondering about wolves
11/04/2012 01:29
Will do dehrlich101. Thanks for the D.O.W. suggestion!

CO Native

I learned my lesson
11/04/2012 01:43
It's been a while now but someone once posted that they saw a beaver on the summit of Sherman. We all laughed and made jokes and told the poster those are called marmots.

Then he posted a photo. I still would love to know how and why a beaver ended up on the summit of Sherman.

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