Peak(s):  Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
Date Posted:  07/30/2006
Date Climbed:   07/29/2006
Author:  epeffer
 North Halfmoon Trail - Class 3 route  

Started the climb at 7 AM from the North Halfmoon route. (the 4x4 trail is rough about .5 miles from the trailhead, but there is plenty of parking for your car/truck).
About a mile or so into the hike, keep an eye out to the right for two cairnes; they mark the trail for the shorter, but much steeper route to the peak (southwest slope). I continued through the treeline to the open field before the turn that leads west then north up to the summit (west slope) . Instead of going northwest, I went straight up the Class 3 skree field (about 2200 foot climb). It looked like I my have been one of the first to climb it this year as most of the skree was undisturbed. Two ridges have to be scaled on the west side of the skree, or you‘ll have to deal with loose sand and large rocks. (I started to attempt it until I noticed about ten feet above me the rocks and some small boulders shifted at every step I took).
It‘s a great route; an 8 out of 10 as far as strenuous physical ability though as it‘s one step forward, two steps back as they say. It took me about 2 hours to complete, but the look on peoples faces as I poped up behind them on the summit over the ridge was a sight to see. In fact the first thing they said was, "where did you come from!?" That was at 11 am and I stayed for a while taking peoples pictures and having some chow.
I ascended using the southwest slope route, which after the climb, my legs felt like they were going to fall off! All in all, a great climb and great weather!

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