|Peak:||Mt. Belford (14er)|
|Date of Information:||12/21/2011|
Climbed Belford and Oxford yesterday. Snowshoes are probably the only piece of winter gear not needed right now. I brought them but stashed them away at the log cabin. I wore microspikes that were incredibly helpful. In fact, crampons, while not needed, would have been beneficial going up the shoulder. The shoulder is nightmare right now. There was about 4-5 inches of soft sugar-like snow on top of a layer of ice. It took us 4.5 hours to climb the shoulder. Also the rock hasn't quite frozen yet so there's still loose rock to deal with. Coming down the shoulder proved difficult without enough snow to glissade safely or plunge-step. From the start to the log cabin is an excellent trench and the trail is still clearly defined. From the log cabin to the bottom of the shoulder just requires one to pay a little attention to stay on the trail. From Belford to Oxford there wasn't a lot of snow but it was extremely cold. Hope that helps anyone going out there in the next little bit. I'll be posting a TR soon.