|Peak:||Mt. Oklahoma (13er)|
|Posted By:||Matt Lemke|
|Date of Information:||04/07/2012|
Mount Oklahoma didn't look like it had been climbed anytime in the recent past.
We were able to get within 1 mile of the N Halfmoon Creek TH in a Rav4.
We had to plow through a bunch of small snowpatches though. We got about 1.5 miles past the Massive TH before a larger snowfield stopped us.
The trail up Halfmoon Creek towards the lakes was largely covered in snow...but nice and firm early. The trail was easy to follow to the Mt. massive South slopes trail junction but after that the trail was often hard to find and we ended up just heading straight up the valley on the path of least resistance. Once we got close enough to Oklahoma, we just started climbing firm snow slopes. The standard route has you head up a slope that breaks the upper and lower cliff bands on the east and south faces of the mountain. We just decided to head straight up some slabs near some steep couloirs to gain the East Ridge sooner. We had lots of 3rd class with a couple 4th class slabs to climb.
Once on the gentle E ridge, the final 700 feet was a slog up firm snow to the summit.
We descended the standard route...got a few great glissades and slogged out. Below treeline much of the snow did soften and we postholed a little but it could have been much worse. Careful and light stepping was very helpful. I felt very tired from my BIG DAY in the Mosquito Range the day before and it took up 5 hours to ascend Oklahoma from where we parked...very slow for me.
First photo shows Mount Oklahoma from the trail at about 10,800 feet. Red was our ascent route...green our descent
Photos (click for slideshow):