|Peak:||Mt. Massive (14er)|
|Date of Information:||03/20/2012|
We had the luxury of taking two days for this assault. We drove down to the Leadville Fish Hatchery, which is paved and plowed all the way to the parking lot. We ascended the Highline trail which was packed snow, it is very well marked with blue diamonds. We were easily able to fallow it all the way to the Colorado trail. The CT is less used, there were no tracks to fallow and the snow was much deeper, although we were able to stay on the frozen layer for most of the time, occasionally we fell thru. Snow Shoes are essential from here on up. We eventually lost the C.T. due to deep snow and scarcely marked trail. So we decided to just start to head up thru the trees and believe it or not found the Massive east ridge Trail. Here is the only time we had the luxury of post-holing 6 to 7 inches. We made camp neat tree line around 11,750 ft. From the parking lot to tree line took about 4.5 hours.
Some times your climbing a 14er in the winter and post holing totally kills your time, other times you can just cruze over the frozen layer of snow. The next day was like that. From tree line to the summit took about 3 hours. We were also able to find the trail for most of time we were above tree line. There was no danger of avalanches as there was not that much snow above tree line anyway. I did wear my snow shoes all the way to the summit.
Photos (click for slideshow):