Peak(s):  Missouri Mountain  -  14,067 feet
Date Posted:  10/01/2007
Date Climbed:   09/30/2007
Author:  14ergirl
 Don‘t go back to Rockdale.....  

So despite the bad weather on Saturday, Holy Schist and I wanted to attemp one more 14er before these mtns got a ton of snow and became snow climbs. Gatorchick and I have been pming and decided to get together for this one.

We left Denver around 5:30 and I 70 was hell- icy, icy, icy!!! We saw a turned over truck in the median, semis stopped chaining up, snow on Fremont pass, etc. After a slow drive we found ourselves at the trailhead of Rockdale at close to 8:15. We made it up the clear 4 wd road in our Bronco to the parking area around 8:40. And we started hiking by close to 9am. THe morning was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! Not a cloud in the sky!
Starting out on the snowy trail
Beauty of the day

Holy Schist and I had been up this way before, but it had been a while. There is a trail up to Pear Lake, but a half mile into the trail is another trail, a turn off to go up Missouri‘s west side. Well, being a nonstandard route, we missed it, of course! And I should probably take responsibility for that. When I realized we went way passed Clossey lake, I said we had gone too far. So we turned around. And of course didn't have the trip route with us, from either Bill, nor Roach. We got back to the Lake after a 30 min route detour and found a trail going up. Instead of blindly taking it, Holy Schist decided to run the half mile back to the car and get the book. So the rest of us just hung out with the dogs and waited. We didn't mind since it was such a beautiful morning.

When HS returned we found out that it was the correct trail and we must have missed it since the ground was covered in snow. The trail takes you up through the trees on a steep slope and then to a creek which was filled with icicles.
Holy Schist and Jasper9890 climbing up the gully

We climbed up the steep gully filled with rocks and a decent trail and popped out under Missouri's West ridge. And then as gator chick calls it, we climbed slowly the grassy knoll of death!
Gatorchick coming up onto grassy slope
There is really no trail and it is a steep section of grass and small rocks. It truly was a pain in the ass! After an hour of climbing the "grassy knoll of death" the ridge becomes more interesting. You can find a trail that goes up over a hump of rocks or you can find some fun scrambling in those rocks to get you on top of the ridge.
Finding some fun scrambling
Walter taking one of many naps
Gatorchick and Jasper coming up the rocks below the ridge
The ridge has a distinct trail all the way to the summit. We ran across one section just below the summit that was only about 10ft long where you climb down on the west side of some towers. The dirt and rock is loose and the section is steep, we used caution on this part and found ourselves on the summit just a few minutes later.
It was 3pm and not a cloud in the sky still. We were the only ones to sign the summit register the whole day and we decided to bask in the glory of the weather and solitude! We were on the summit for about 30min and then headed back down.
Gatorchick, Jasper, Holy Schist, with Maddie and Walter on the ridge
Me and Walter on the ridge

We took our time and enjoyed the day! We arrived back at the car around 6:45pm.

Just a few notes on this route- it seems longer than 5.5 miles from the parking area, it is steep and remote. Make sure you are ready for a long day on this route despite the mileage supposedly being 5.5. It is not technical, but it is a bit strenuous. Pay attention to finding the trail to the east after about a half mile from the parking area.

Thanks Gatorchick, Jasper, and Maddie for joining us, it definitely wouldn't have been the same without you guys!!!!!!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions
Holy Schist

Feels like I was there
02/05/2011 00:22
Great report, it feels like I was there (oh yeah I was). I had a great summer climbing seven 14ers with you.


It does feel like you were there
10/02/2007 02:19
Had a great time! Maddie is STILL not even tired, what gives?!?!


Great write up!
10/02/2007 07:47
Thanks to our ”sexy” friends for a wonderful day in the mountains ... we had a blast! ;)


11/30/2010 17:28
You're right, it's more like 6.5 miles RT from the 4WD trailhead. I haven't been there in 7 years and have been trying to get back there so I can update the photos and get better GPS data.


10/02/2007 22:11
I was up there with comin2getcha about a month ago and we agreed that the mileage felt longer too! Clohesy Lake is a nice alternative to Missouri and avoid those switchbacks! Nice report!


Missed turn
11/30/2010 17:28
Don't feel bad about missing the trail at the lake. My wife and I camped past Clohsey Lake a few years ago. We helped several hikers who missed the turn. We did not hike Missouri that time but went up to Iowa. Its a fun alternative to the grassy slope. I liked the pictures of the upper trail. Nice report.


Thanks everyone for reading!
11/30/2010 17:28
I appreciate the comments, hope to meet you Caroline and Bill on the 14er gathering! And Jet if you'll be there!


10/04/2007 19:57
report, pics and dogs. I love labs!


11/30/2010 17:28
”Grassy knolls of death”, that's good! How about grassy knolls of boredom!
That picture of the lab curled up sleeping is adorable!
Glad you had great weather! good report!

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