Peak(s):  Missouri Mountain  -  14,067 feet
Mt. Oxford  -  14,153 feet
Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  06/27/2007
Date Climbed:   06/26/2007
Author:  ksegasser

 Missouri/Oxford/Belford w/ ridge  

I just wanted to post a quick report since I had a hard time finding info when I was planning this route. The main thing to know is Missouri can now be done w/out crampons or an axe so don‘t lug them up there I really wish I would have left the extra weight at home.

We left the trailhead a little after 4am. The route to Missouri‘s base involved three stream crossings that were pretty deep. We stopped at two of them to make some improvements in the crossings by throwing many big rocks in the river. At the base of Missouri we elected to avoid the snow and basically followed the standard route, except a few spots. There is still snow, but you can get around it. If you wanted to climb a couloir there are still routes available, but you need to get there EARLY (5am ish) before the snow gets soft. Once you get on the ridge there is still some snow that unavoidable, but as long as you are early you should be able to walk it. If you get there late you will be sinking in pretty deep. We saw some very large post holes.

We took the 4th class ridge over to Elk pass. It doesn‘t look that bad from the top of Missouri, but if you read the Fourteeners book by Roach he says something about having nightmares about this route. There is good reason for this statement. The beginning part from Missouri isn‘t horrible, but about half way through is starts to get ugly. The route is doable, but the rock is really rotten and there is quite a bit of exposure and fall potential. The ridge took quite a while and it was almost noon by the time we got over to Elk Head pass.

The clouds were starting to roll in so we ran down part of Belford over to the summit of Oxford. The trail is very obvious and there is no route finding involved. After the summit of Oxford we went back the way we came and summited Belford. It was 1pm, and we still were not wet, but the clouds were not looking good. The ridge was a bit precarious, but the worst part about this long day was having to decent after all the hiking. We took our time on the way down and got back to the car a little before 4pm.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Nice Work!
08/01/2007 16:09
ksegasser, you are a true champion! I am glad you survived it.

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