Peak(s):  Mt. Massive  -  14,421 feet
Date Posted:  08/07/2009
Date Climbed:   08/07/2009
Author:  kickintalus

 The back way on a beautiful day  

I did the Southwest Slopes route today and wanted to pass on a few things for those thinking of going this way.
1) It‘s 5000 fewer feet to climb, and 6 fewer miles round trip, but it‘s still a pretty grueling hike. This is because you don‘t gain much elevation before you turn off at the Y that would take you to Half Moon Lakes if you go straight. Once you make that turn, it‘s a lot of uphill until you get to the summit ridge. And even though it‘s not technical, a lot of it is rocky, so you end up going pretty slow. It took me 3 hours up, and 2 hours down, without stopping to rest very often or for very long.
2) The trail is pretty easy to lose among the extensive boulder field. The thing to keep in mind is "when in doubt, go up" and that should keep you from wandering off and having to cut back to the trail.
3) The 2.5 miles of road between the main Massive TH and the one for this route is pretty rugged. I have attached a photo of the worst obstacle. Image. The good news is, I made it in a vehicle that doesn‘t have very good ground clearance, though it is AWD. So, most of the common 4WD vehicles out there should make it. I do recommend having above average clearance.
4) I‘m so glad I did Massive on a clear, sunny day. The view from there is amazing. This photo of the Maroons doesn‘t do it justice. Image
5) Here‘s me at the summit. Image The fingers signify that this is my 22nd 14er (not counting Conundrum and Cameron).

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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