Peak(s):  Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
"South Massive" - 14,132 feet
South South Massive - 13630
Point 12,381 - 12381
Date Posted:  08/22/2018
Date Climbed:   07/01/2018
Author:  Old Amigo
 Mt. Massive - Southeast Ridge   

Departing from the standard Mt. Massive Trailhead, I traveled approximately 1.1 miles before leaving the trail and heading WNW up the ridgeline through forest. I saw no carins marking the trail exit point, nor did I see any evidence of a trail until above treeline. The good news is that there is not significant deadfall or ground shrubbery so making progress is not difficult. You pop out above treeline as Point 12,381 comes into view. Also, the summit of South South Massive comes into view to the NW. There is a visible trail in parts of the saddle between South South Massive and Point 12,381, but it quickly disappears on the south slope of South South Massive. There are awesome views of Mt. Elbert to the south and the Sawatch Range to the south. On this day I also had good views of the Weston Fire. After summiting South South Massive, South Massive looms to the NW as does the saddle between. The route up the south slope of South Massive is not entirely obvious, but I chose to do some Class II+ scrambling up the rocks on the ridgeline closest to the steep SW facing slope. Up to this point I saw only one couple who turned around. On South Massive I started seeing a few additional hikers that had come from the standard East Slope Trail and the 13,900' saddle between Massive and South Massive. From South Massive you could spot the dozens of hikers on the summit and dozens more on the trail. I like my solitude and the SE slope route offers that when compared to the standard East Slope Route! I climbed down the north slope of South Massive to the 13,900' saddle where the remainder of the hike to Mt. Massive's summit follows the standard East Slope Route. I descended the standard East Slope Route for a total hiked distance of 12.5 miles. This route has you summiting three additional peaks on the way to Mt. Massive's Summit. There is rarely any trail and few to no carins to follow, and the net elevation gain is nearly 5,200'. You need to be in strong physical shape to attempt this route. Any significant exposure issues can easily be avoided by careful route selection.

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

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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