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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-09-26||Route: Up SW Slopes, down East Slopes
Info: Both routes were in excellent condition today. No clouds, very little wind. One patch of ice at 13,200' on the East Slope but it was easily avoidable. Outside of that, no snow or ice on either route today. Starting from the North Halfmoon Creek trailhead and finishing at the main Halfmoon Creek trailhead, we clocked 10.18 miles in 6.5 hours. Lots of pretty aspens near the bottom of the east slope. Saw about 10 other hikers.
|2016-09-16||Route: Up East Slopes down SouthEast Slope
Info: Full moon night hike with clear skies and clear solid trails. Only an old dusting of snow in small patches left on the summit. Trail is solid and clean the whole way around the mountain. Beautiful trek with aspen color creeping through the Halfmoon Creek valley!
|2016-09-06||Route: East Slopes
Info: Halfmoon road is easily accessible to 2WD/low clearance cars... the route posted here for the summit via east slopes is outdated... after willow creek crossing, you must not turn left, but rather turn right following the posted signs... the trail continues onto the CDT for a little while longer now before bifurcating
|2016-08-29||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: I climbed Massive this morning. The trail is in good shape up to 13,700. At the point snow,starts to accumulate making it a little slippery. Above 14k it snowed a couple of inches making it slippery but requiring no special gear. On the way down at 12,400 I witnessed an impressive rock fall. It started above 13,000 and ran passed 12,000. A helmet would not have helped.
|2016-08-27||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Camped near the TH and started our hike up the SW slopes just before 5 on Saturday, 8/27/16. The trail was pretty easy to follow through the trees, but we did step off after one of the creek crossings onto a well-traveled side-trail. We realized pretty soon into the wrong path and were able to rejoin the 'real' trail. The directions for the forks in the trail are great, and there's a sign where the N. Halfmoon trail splits from the Massive summit trail. The rock fields are steep on this one! We were able to see lots of marmots and a few ptarmigans in the rock fields going up. The ascent up the rock field, to what we thought was the ridge, was deceiving and took much longer than we had initially thought. But, by the time we intersected the main trail on the ridge-line, it was a quick hike to the summit and not much more elevation gain. The views of Elbert on the ascent were great and Elbert looked like it had more snow than Massive did (just a few patches near the top, easy to avoid). We summitted after ~ 4.5 hours, but we were moving slow since I was still a bit sick and we stopped for water breaks for our dog frequently. The summit is small, and we were lucky there were probably only 5 others when we summitted. Coming back down was tough on our knees because of how steep it was (glad we had our poles!) and took us nearly 3 hours to get back to the car. Luckily, the rock fields are large rocks and not small, loose rocks. Overall, great hike, but pretty steep!
|2016-08-27||Route: East Slopes
Info: Despite all the snow this week up high, there was just a little slushy stuff around the top. Running the route, it was 2.5 hours up and 1.5 hours down.
|2016-08-25||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Road wasn't too bad with a high-clearance vehicle... take your time, though I wouldn't take a sedan past the standard Mt. Massive TH lot. On the trail, when you get to what looks like a fork - either turning left on a trail or right up a small rock face - take the small rock up and to the trail (see picture). We did not do this and walked in a few circles in the dark (not recommended) - we ultimately found the right trail with a nice labeled sign and continued our ascent. Steep with a lot of elevation gain but great conditions all the way up. A few spots of short snow crossings that could be avoided near the false summits. Where the SW Slope trail meets the East trail is very well marked.
|2016-08-20||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Road is in okay condition...potholed but I made it to the trailhead no problem with a Tiguan. Trail is in perfect condition as well. Hard packed and no slippage on the downhill whatsoever. This was #24 for me and I would say this route was one of the more pleasant decents for me. Trail is definitely steep and relentless but I really didn't think it was all that difficult since the trail was so easy to walk up.
|2016-08-14||Route: East Slopes
Info: Road in from Hwy 24 was super clear albeit potholed. We had no problem with a sedan, a motorcycle, and a Subaru. Great long trail.
|2016-08-13||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Trail is in great shape and easy to follow, even through the boulder fields, just keep an eye out for the cairns. Once you get past the turnoff for Halfmoon Lakes, it is STEEP. Over 3000' vertical in just over two miles. Took 3.5 hours TH to summit and had the top to myself for about 20 minutes. An incredibly beautiful hike.
|2016-07-23||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: The 4wd road past the East Slopes trailhead is easy for vehicles with a little clearance, like Subarus and crossover SUVs. It's doable with typical cars too, with a little extra care. After the junction with Rd. 111J, any vehicle continuing on would need high clearance and low gearing. There are two sections between the Rd. 111J junction and the SW Slopes trailhead that would not be passable without high clearance and low gearing. Unless you have a good 4wd vehicle, park your vehicle at the Rd. 111J junction. Also, the distance between the East Slopes trailhead and the Southwest Slopes trailhead is about 2.7 miles, not 2 miles.
|2016-07-18||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: The road to the trailhead is passable with high clearance, but not all that pleasant to drive on. I drove an F250 and was worried about it getting scratches from encroaching trees. The trail is in great condition. Well marked and easy to follow, even in the dark. No snow. Started at 2:30AM and was on the summit at 5:30--just in time for sunrise! The descent took 2.5 hours. Saw some goats (one baby) and a white marmot!
|2016-07-10||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: We started from the N Halfmoon Trailhead at 6:30am yesterday morning, made it to the summit at 10:05am and back to the base at 12:45. Tons of marmots and gorgeous wildflowers as we started. The trail conditions were good up until the wind came in intense bursts close to the ridgeline. The cairns made it easy to stay on the trail, even through the super rocky areas. Minor snow about 1/3 of the way up, easy to avoid through walking on the rocks to the side of it if desired, and one small patch near the top, very easy to walk through. Great time to climb it with amazing views of Elbert & Decalibron from up there. I was happy the trail wasn't overly crowded (ie less than 20 people all day that we saw).
|2016-07-09||Route: East Slopes
Info: Did Mt. Massive East Slopes route on 7/9/16. Trailhead on Halfmoon Creek Rd was completely full by 5:45 am, but there was adequate parking on the road. One item to note is that you start this hike on the Colorado Trail, and hike for a little over 3 miles before turning left at the Mt. Massive trail "junction" (11,300'). The turnoff is only marked by a small sign on the left side of the trail and could be easy to miss if you aren't paying attention. (Some friends did this route a couple weeks ago and missed the turnoff, and I almost did the same thing). The rest of the trail is well marked and easy to follow all the way to the summit. Route is bursting with beautiful wild flowers this time of year! Encountered what's left of two small snow fields on the trail near the summit, but there's not much snow remaining and these are not an issue at all. We were blessed with incredible weather on this day and had not a hint of bad weather -- if only every hike was that nice!
|2016-06-29||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Climbed from the N. Halfmoon Creek Trailhead. There is still a small snowfield at the turnoff for the summit trail that hides the first 50 feet of the trail, but there are a couple of cairns that show the way. Other than one other modest snowfield a bit higher up on easy terrain, the trail is clear to the summit. The second snowfield was easy to walk up and down, and can be avoided by rock-hopping along its side. Had a great late afternoon/evening climb, seeing only one other hiker a half mile into my ascent.
|2016-06-18||Route: North Ridge
Info: Descended Massive via North Ridge to Windsor Lake. Left Massive Summit about 8:00a and left North Massive about 10:00a. Ridge itself is mostly free of snow or avoidable if desired. The normal easiest route up to North Massive is covered in snow, but there are other Class 3 options to make it up. Getting down the ridge to Windsor Lake and the trailhead was very difficult for us. We had a rough GPS track and general idea of the route from previous trip reports, but it was very difficult to follow until about 400 feet above the TH. The slope coming off the ridge looks too steep to glissade to me, but there is a patch of dirt/rock that has melted out so you can descend to basin below the ridge on dry ground. Once off the ridge, it's nearly constant snow or marsh until finding the Windsor Lake trail about 11,100' or so. Some of the snow was still firm enough to walk on in the afternoon, but most of the time it was knee deep or worse. Snow shoes may have helped, but it was pretty slushy. If we had known conditions would be like this and with no experience on this route before, we would have turned around at North Massive and returned via SW Slopes. In all, it took a little under 12 hours for us to get from N Halfmoon TH to Windsor Lake TH, including breaks on summits and considerable route finding on the second half of the hike. Despite the annoying decent, it was a beautiful day and amazing views from the ridge in all directions.
|2016-06-18||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Went up southwest slopes. No snow until the turnoff from North halfmoon lakes trail. The sign is knocked over, and the cairn is covered with snow, so make sure you turn at the correct spot, which is at the big avalanche snow area. A few snow patches start around 12,500. You will have to cross some of them. I would recommend microspikes as some of the patches are on steep terrain. On the ridgeline where the SW slopes and E slopes trail meet, there is continual snow cover. In the morning it was hard and could be crossed easily, in the afternoon it was knee to waist deep posthole hell. The summit is snow free. We continued onto Massive green and north massive, had no problems until north massive, which is still holding a lot of snow, and the "easy" route up it is covered. Right now its class 3 and maybe 4 to summit north massive till some more snow melts. South massive is almost entirely melted out. East slopes trail had a nice glissade area from the summit ridgeline down.
|2016-06-14||Route: East Slopes
Info: Started the trailhead at about 2:00-2:30 am. Other than a few patches, the trail is totally free of snow till around treeline. The snow picks up there. For awhile it is still scattered and avoidable. Further up there was solid ice patches at times, and the trail have some very solid sections of ice worth avoiding. Micro-spikes were fine most of the time. At around 13,000 the snow was consistent and solid. From the ridgeline on its was steady dry snow. There is a section there that definitely seemed skiable for more than a few turns with a couple of inches of good snow. Coming back the conditions have quickly changed to very deep wet snow with random postholing past my waste at times. It was very warm. I caused a couple of snowballs to roll cutting across a wet deep section I should have stayed off of. After that it was drying up pretty fast. Half of the hike is summer conditions. it was about 70 when I got back to the head of the trail.
|2016-06-04||Route: East Slopes
Info: Not much seemed to have changed compared to the 5/21 trip report -- lots of snow and postholing. Needed gaitors/goretex pants, snowshoes, and microspikes. Brought avy gear. Started hitting walls of snow in the willows, but postholed through and was able to follow the trail until 3/4 of the way to treeline--then the trail was spotty to find and any footprints/tracks in the snow had melted. Exited the trees and put on snowshoes -- helped somewhat with postholing but not the entire way. Halfway between treeline and summit, removed snowshoes and postholed/walked on dry ground--was able to find the trail again. Near saddle, put on microspikes to summit. Small wet slides visible on our return nearby. Pretty much the same process on the way down. Microspikes to just boots, to snowshoes, to just boots. Took us around 8 hours. I'd give it a couple more weeks of melting before doing this one.
|2016-05-24||Route: East Ridge
Info: Current snow coverage on Massive's east side