Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Mt. Oxford  -  14,153 feet
Date Posted: 
Date Climbed:   09/03/2005
Author:  JeffR
 Belford/Oxford - 9/3/05  

Truck-camped at Missouri Gulch TH (didnt see the "No Overnight Camping" sign until I left the parking lot). Hit the trail at 5:01, about 15 minutes behind 3 other groups. Half-way up the switchbacks, it started getting darker... hey, isnt it supposed to get lighter as the sun comes up? Did I remember to change my headlamp batteries? DOh! I was able to stumble and squint my way through the near-pitch-black to about 11,000. Luckily, the dropoff wasnt too bad on the two switchbacks I walked off. After the trees thinned out above the log bridge, all was well, light-wise.

Passed a few groups in the gulch and on "the ramp" and was the first to summit Belford at 8:12. Weather was still chilly, but with very little wind. The sky was looking a little squirrelly, so I waited to see what it was going to do. Most everything cleared after 1/2 hour, at which point I headed east. Topped Oxford at 9:32. Didnt stay long, wanted to head back in an attempt to beat the rush. As advertised, the re-ascent of Belford blew donkey big-time, but it was over fairly quickly. Over the top of Belford again, dark clouds starting to gather. Wanted to spare my old-man knees a little by descending via Elkhead Pass, but couldnt find the trail over to it. So, in light of the weather, I just did the standard descent.

Back to the TH a few minutes after noon. Great hike, awesome trail (kudos to CFI), beautiful weather (seemed to be clearing as I was leaving the parking lot).


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