Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Mt. Oxford  -  14,153 feet
Date Posted:  08/05/2018
Modified:  08/07/2018
Date Climbed:   08/04/2018
Author:  pboldt94
 Belford-Oxford   

Woke up a little late around 4:30am in the Vail Valley and made my way to the trailhead around 6:45am. The Missouri Gulch trailhead is extremely easy to find, mainly because of how crowded the parking lot was when I arrived. It was also cool to see a handful of volunteers who were raising awareness on the dangers of 14ers (I believe they were doing this because of the high number of rescue missions so far this year). I would say that if you plan on climbing Belford and feel the strength to continue to oxford, it is completely worth it.

18851_01

This is my first sight of Belford at around 7:30 (45 minutes of hiking). The hike up to this point is steep, yet, I prefer the vertical hike early on rather than walking on relatively flat ground for a few hours.

18851_02

This is the look back from the exit of the woods and the begin to a relatively steep incline to Belford. I reached this point at 7:55am. These are the lucky hikes where the sun does not hit you early in the morning when you are working hard to reach the first summit.

18851_03

A reverse look up at the top of Belford. You will notice how crowded the trail gets, especially on a Saturday morning. Always nice to see others on the trail.

18851_04

I reached the top of Belford at 8:40am. From the parking lot to the summit, it took me a little less than 2 hours. At this point, if you plan on making it to Oxford as well, I would not even treat this as half way (because it isn't). I took this picture, and continued moving along. This is by no means an easy set to climb, but I tend to limit my rest to 30-45 seconds until I reach the final summit. I would say that this was one of the best views I had along the hike.

18851_05

This is a look to the north as i continued my hike towards Oxford. It is never a good feeling when you are declining in elevation with another summit in the future. This is what makes this climb unique and that much more rewarding when you complete the trip. It is confirmed that it is 1.5 miles to Oxford from the Belford summit, tacking on a total of 3 miles of both decent and vertical hiking.

18851_06

A good look at Oxford after a slight decent from Belford. Reaching this point at 9:15 and would not stop until summit of Oxford.

18851_08

The halfway point! Mt. Oxford looking south. I managed to make it to the summit of Oxford at 9:45 with an elapsed total time of exactly 3 hours of hiking.

18851_09

I hunkered down for about 10-15 minutes before heading down back the trailhead.

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I ended up hitting the parking lot at 12:20 and ended my 5.5 hr hike with time to spare for the rest of the day. All in all, this was an awesome hike with beautiful views and a level of difficulty that makes the trip worth the while. I also tend to over-prepare on all 14er hikes. I bring anywhere from 4-5 liters of water, usually drinking every drop before getting back to the trailhead. Oxford and Belford were my 16th & 17th 14ers so far, with plans to hike Missouri Mountain next weekend. In comparison to Grays & Torreys, I find this hike to be more difficult because of the total vertical feet needed to climb.




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Vicminakov
Fun Combo
08/05/2018 23:36
Great report, I'm hoping I'll get a chance to hike Belford and Oxford in one day this year as well. Have fun on Missouri Mountain.


mtcorcoran

great report
08/06/2018 21:15
I'm looking forward to hiking this combo this week and your report is just what I was looking for thanks!



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