Mt. Belford
snow Northwest Gully
print
Difficulty:
 Class 2 
Snow Steepness: Easy  
Ski/Board: Intermediate, D4 / R2 / II  
Risk Factors:Exposure: Moderate
Rockfall Potential: Considerable  
Route-Finding: Moderate  
Commitment: Moderate  
 
Trailhead:Missouri Gulch
Start:9,650 feet
Summit:14,197 feet
Total Gain:4,500 feet
RT Length:7.25 miles
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Updated:6/2019
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:224 reports
Cell Signal:15 reports
Sheriff:Chaffee: 719-539-2596
Forest:San Isabel
Wilderness:Collegiate Peaks
Quad. Maps:Log In to View
Camping:On Google Maps
Eats:On Google Maps
Downloads:Log In to Download
Photo
Show More

Trailhead

From Leadville: Drive 20 miles south on U.S. 24 and turn right on the Chaffee County 390 road.
From Buena Vista: Drive 14.5 miles north on U.S. 24 and turn left on the Chaffee County 390 road.
On the 390 road, drive 7.5 miles to a sign for the Missouri Gulch trailhead. Turn left and drive down into the large parking area. There are restrooms here.

Route

This route is recommended as a snow climb, so avoid it once the snow melts out of the gully. From the parking area, start down the Missouri Gulch Trail. Cross the bridge that spans Clear Creek and continue into the forest. Hike over 1/4 mile and climb a bunch of switchbacks up through the forest. Leave the switchbacks at 10,400' and continue south along Missouri Gulch. At 10,800', turn left and cross to the east side of Missouri Gulch on a make shift log bridge - 1. Hike south along the gulch for 1/3 mile until you reach the remnants of an old shack - 2. Continue a short distance to exit the forest, near 11,300'. Follow the excellent trail south into the gulch as you gradually approach Belford - 3. At 11,600', reach a trail junction. The Elkhead Pass (Missouri Gulch) Trail continues to the right and the Mt. Belford Trail goes left. Turn left and continue on Belford's standard, northwest ridge trail - 4.

Before the base of the northwest ridge, the trail crosses a stream which drains from the northwest gully (your route). Leave the standard trail and start left up the gully - 5. It starts out narrow but soon widens out, above 12,200' - 6 and 7. Above 12,300', the gully turns left - 8 and 9. The snow climbing is easy here but you'll notice steeper lines up to your right. Those lines go to the upper northwest ridge. Continue southwest up the center of the gully ( 10) to reach more convoluted terrain, near 12,900' - 11 and 12. Follow the gully through broken ledges to 13,400', where the terrain opens up - 13. Near 13,600', turn right and follow the shallowing gully south toward the summit - 14 and 15. Walk up to the summit block and climb to the top - 16.

Skiing?

This is usually the best way to ski Belford. Before your descent you can either climb the standard, northwest ridge route or this route.

Notes

IMPORTANT: This route enters the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness area. Wilderness areas have special regulations and restrictions for party size, dispersed camping, campfires, etc. Also, dog owners should read the wilderness information carefully because some wilderness areas prohibit dogs to be off-leash and/or limit how close dogs can be to lakes and streams. If you have questions about the wilderness area, please contact a U.S. Forest Service office for the National Forest(s) listed above.
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16
Topo
Big

The route Google Map can only be accessed by registered, 14ers.com users. If you don't have an account, you can register in the forum.

Log In

The route profile can only be accessed by registered, 14ers.com users. If you don't have an account, you can register in the forum.

Log In

The route photo stash can only be accessed by registered, 14ers.com users. If you don't have an account, you can register in the forum.

Log In

Caution: The information contained in this route description may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this route description provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the route description author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.



© 2020 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.