Peak(s):  Missouri Mountain  -  14,067 feet
Date Posted:  04/29/2009
Date Climbed:   04/29/2007
Author:  Easy Rider

 North Face   

No TH anxiety at Vicksburg, since the Belford trip gave me the preview. I crossed the bridge at 3:30 am, walking up to snow line at 10,ooo. I was at tree line in Missouri Gulch by 5o. It was cold, but supposed to warm up, so I kept my pace. From a sign for Elkhead Pass, I previewed the ridge, noting at least one false summit. The photo in the Dawson Guide is incorrectly labeled.

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I skinned up to a low saddle to the right of the face, sticking to the rocks near the top. Sure enough, the true summit is closer to Elkhead Pass, leaving a full mile of ridge work. I would have to keep moving to stay on schedule. I skinned below a small patch of rocks to the col below the last large rock step. That was when one of skis popped off, and went for a cruise down the north face. I was not wearing leashes. I watched as half my board descended lower and lower until somehow parking on the verge of the next rollover, still skin to the snow, a third of the way down. I sat there feeling silly for a couple minutes, then strapped the other half to my pack and glissaded down to recover the stray.

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I returned to the ridge again, and finished the rest to the summit marker.

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The snow in the more east facing chute from the summit was getting a lot of heat by then, so I carved my way back over to the cooler northerly chute. There was some nice pow in there. I rode past my tracks from the ski recovery, and descended into the mellow runouts, and more of a patchwork of varying snow types.

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This line is looker's right of the more direct line in Bill's report from this year.

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The basin was a lot of nice easy riding. I skated the same section out of the gulch from the belford trip, and rode to tree line.

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In the trees things were changing fast, I used poles for balance, rode past the cabin, and through a meadow. The snow had now lost most of its solid properties, and I augered in deep. I was doing my best Billy Ray Cyrus impersonation, when my front binding plate yanked from the deck. Fortunately it would still function for skiing. I put skins on until the creek to stay in control in this nasty soup, and got out of there. Ox would have to wait again.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


 Comments or Questions
BillMiddlebrook


Dawsons Guide
11/30/2010 17:20
You're right about the incorrect info (route 1.4.9) in Dawson's guide. The summit and north face couloirs are not in his photo. What is wierd is that he also makes a point in the route descripton about how people often can't tell which part is the summit.

I'm working on the 14ers.com route description now and I think it will help people make sense of the north face.



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