Peak(s):  Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
Date Posted:  06/25/2007
Date Climbed:   06/23/2007
Author:  lordhelmut
 SW slopes  

Drove down to Leadville after work on friday and swung by the Quizno's in Silverthorne to fuel up for the weekend. Just so happened that Kiefer (Skaasgard), Shanahan96 and Mark Milburn had the same idea at the same time. After talkin to Kiefer for a bit, I made it to the TH with a little bit of daylight left. The last 0.5 miles to the N.halfmoon TH is a bit south colony-ish, but only for about 20 feet and there's no real chance to bottom out if you have any kind of SUV or truck or high clearance.

Went to bed in the back of the Xterra, alarm went off around 5am, was on the trail soon after.

The trail through the woods goes quick, dry and a good trail all the way to the junction where you cutoff to the SW route. Had a good view of the sun coming up over Elbert the whole day, it was cool to get a different perspective of the Rocky Mtn highpoint.

The trail from cutoff is a long 3000 foot trudge up to one of the few false summits of Massive. Its very easy to follow, and works the legs pretty good. I was thinking this would be a warmup for Crestone Traverse but ended up being a tiring day.

Summited around 8:45ish, saw a group of guys who had been on the Colorado Trail for 14 days and planned on making it all the way to Durango. Goodluck to them, they looked like they were definately enjoying life. They had two dogs with them; Stewart and another one that slept the whole time on the summit.

For conditions, the road to the TH is doable in any high cleanance vehicle, just be careful at that one spot, you'll know what I'm talkin about when you get there, its the only tough part of the road. The trail is completely dry all the way to the summit. If you approach from the east anytime soon, there is a few glissade opportunities, but it wont last for long at all. And on the way down, I ran into probably a group of 30 marmots, and they were all bumpin' uglies. At one point, i saw two marmots run into a hole, i assumed one was a male the other a female, and heard one of the more disturbing noises in my young life. I guess its go hard or go home in the world of marmots, they dont mess around. Some pics :

Image - view of Elbert from the beginning of the climb up the SW slopes

Image - approaching the cutoff to the SW route

Image - cairns marking the cutoff, notice the difference in vegetation, this is a tell tale sign to get switch trails

Image - start of the boulderfield

Image - view of La Plata from the SW trail

Image - below one of the false summits

Image - ridge to the real summit

Image - massive summit

Image - view of the elks in the distance

Image - this was Stewart, a great dog

Image - me along the descent w/ some sawatch in the background

Image - ??????????


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Marmot Power!
02/05/2011 00:22
Diggin' the marmot shots man! Go hard or go home in the world of Marmots...classic! Massive is a leg burner, congrats on the summit!


06/27/2007 04:54
Did you punt those $%^#*& marmots?


Great day on Massive
06/27/2007 17:07
I think I passed you when I was heading was the first 14er for one of the girls I was with was, so it was very slow going. We also got a late start but fortunately the weather held out for us...


11/30/2010 17:28
your right, it was a great day, I passed a lot of people on the way down but I do think I remember what you're talkin about, dont blame you on the slow part, that was a steep trudge up that damn hill. Did you hear those marmots? Those little bastards play rough...........

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