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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-03-12||Route: East Ridge
Info: Conditions were consistent with the previous report from 11 March. If you're ok with the occasional posthole, the trail is well-trenched and barefootable all the way to treeline. Microspikes will expedite the process. We never used our snowshoes and ditched them around 12k'. From there, 90% of the remaining climb to the summit of Massive can be done on terra firma. A few notes on the traverse to North Massive: it is mostly dry, with the exception of a brief section on the first subsummit NW of Massive Green. In my first picture, I've pointed it out with red arrow. For this one 50 ft section up to the ridge proper, the snow was faceted, loose, and sugary. This was the only dicey part of the day, as it wouldn't have been possible to self-arrest here. Picture 2 shows the quality of the remaining terrain. Picture 3 shows the terrain leading up to the N. Massive summit.
|2016-03-11||Route: East Ridge
Info: Well packed trail / trench to timberline being traveled by a few people every day. I used snowshoes to avoid the occasional posthole on the ascent after leaving the Highline trail and for the entire descent. It may be possible to do without them, but I would not have wanted to do so. The ridge is drier when viewed up-close (Photo 1) than from a distance (Photo 2). Massive's summit came easily enough that I decided to attempt North Massive. I ran out of time, but conditions don't look impossible (Photo 3).
|2016-03-05||Route: East Ridge
Info: Just a quick note from cell if anybody needs it for Sunday: early morning, you can even bareboot all the way to turn-off from Highline Trail (spikes or sshoes can be anybody's preference). Trench from that point, then past rocky point 11827 to ridge above timberline has been re-established (worth noting that it took one windy day to bury most of it in drifts). As for ridge, largely dry. Snow field on east side above the notch at 13000. Today, rocks were in sun and dry. Sunday could be a different story in the afternoon See if anybody else produces a condition report
|2016-02-28||Route: East Ridge
Info: The East Ridge is in primo shape right now. The highline trail is well-trenched all the way to the willow bog where you leave the trail. From there, snowshoes are a necessity until you gain the ridge proper. The ridge itself is quite dry, but there are some snow slopes to cross which were bulletproof hardpack in the morning (softened nicely for the descent). I definitely wished I had brought crampons going around some of the towers. Microspikes did suffice, however. Spring-like day up there today!
|2016-02-13||Route: East Ridge
Info: Using the trench that was put in recently, I climbed the east ridge route on Saturday and finally put the route out on the site... East Ridge Route
|2016-02-11||Route: East Ridge
Info: The East Ridge of Massive is almost entirely dry above treeline. Most snow encountered above treeline is wind swept and crusty or packed. Below treeline the trail is well packed from the Fish Hatchery to the junction for the Colorado Trail and Highline Trail. From the junction there are two options. There is a snowshoe trail on the left (south, down the CT) that I followed to its end a few hundred yards from the junction and decided to make a skin track all the way to treeline where the East Ridge becomes visible. The other option is to go straight from the junction (west) further down the highline trail. I am not sure that this older skin track goes to treeline for the East Ridge or not. The route that I took from the CT winds and zig zags a bit, but does come out of treeline with a good position to tackle the east ridge. The snow can be crusty due to sun baking and re solidifying at night. Other than that, the route is good to go!
|2016-02-07||Route: fish hatchery
Info: I put in a skin track to treeline on the highline trail. Above treeline it is icy and wind hammered. It was VERY windy and there wasn‘t much snow being transported, so I wouldn‘t expect conditions to change much. I did not follow the East Ridge route, but skinned up the bowl just south of it. On climbers left of the bowl there is a N-NE facing slope that is wind scoured and pretty safe. Above this I followed the standard route up to the saddle just south of the summit. The remaining route was icy and wind hammered. Did I mention it was windy? The ski down was really bad with complicated route finding, and I didn‘t dare ski from the summit (loaded). All in all it took a little over 9 hours car to car. Good luck.
|2015-12-27||Route: Fish Hatchery
Info: First mile from the Fish Hatchery is in excellent condition with packed snow shoe and ski tracks like usual. I started breaking trail with snow shoes at the beginning of the Highline Trail. The trench leaves the Highline Trail and wanders through the trees to the Southwest toward Point 11,827. It ends up just to the South of this point and then heads West to tree line. The trench is not in great shape as I was the only one on it so far. It ranged from ankle deep all the way up to mid thigh in the deepest spots. There was some collapsing "whumphing" of the snow pack in the area near Point 11,827. Fortunately I was on lower angle terrain when it happened. I spent the night around 11,300. Very cold. It was all I could do just to break the trail to tree line and deal with the cold temps. I hope to go back with better weather and trench conditions with a summit attempt of Massive and North Massive.
|2015-10-25||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Packed trail up to 12,500‘ where we turned around due to a weak link in our team (don‘t hike in snow in extremely breathable summer running shoes, duh!). Above 12,500‘, there appear to be more than one packed trail. It may be useful to use GPS to follow the intended trail. Up to 12,500‘, we didn‘t break trail once. Microspikes recommended. I didn‘t put mine on until we hit the steep part ~1.5mi in. The descent would have been much more dangerous without spikes. Not enough snow to glissade below 12,500‘. A short (~50‘) glissade path exists at 12,500‘.
|2015-10-24||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Like the rest of the Sawatch, Massive got about 8-10" of snow in the previous week. This was distributed unevenly. Early on Saturday morning, much of the upper route (above 12,300) had 12-16" of unconsolidated powder, with occasional bare patches and wide drifts up to 3 feet. I broke trail for much of the route, but frequently couldn‘t find the trail and ended up bushwhacking. Traffic was heavy behind us (10-20 climbers), and by mid afternoon there were several well-plowed trenches, one of which actually follows the trail. Climbing and routefinding should be easy until the next snow or big wind, but be aware that (a) the trench through the boulder fields isn‘t always on trail (sorry), and (b) there are several off-route trenches above 12,300.
|2015-10-16||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Still clear from the trailhead all the way to the tippy top. I camped out overnight, and the low barely hit freezing. Conditions today were excellent with clear skies all morning, and I didn‘t notice any ice in the shaded part of the ridgeline. Careful if you are heading up to catch the sunrise; there are several spots were it‘s easy to lose the trail in the dark if your attention lapses, especially without a full moon to help out. Where you have a choice between stepping over a downed tree to your left or climbing a rock to your right, the rock is the correct path.
|2015-10-09||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: We left TH around 6:10am or so, my car said 35 degrees, but it didn‘t feel all that bad. We both just put on base layers top and bottom with gloves and a ball cap. I hauled up a midlayer, soft shell, micro spikes, didn‘t use any of it. The section near the summit where you climb briefly on the other face was icy as it is in the shade, we climbed slowly keeping a hand or two gripped at all times, encountered a bit of early morning ice before the sun was up on the middle rock gully section, but nothing we needed spikes for, just a little caution. It was a bit chilly on the summit of course, but after we were protected from wind we ended up both taking off base layers and descending in tshirt/shorts, was 61 degrees at my car when we finished, super nice day.
|2015-09-13||Route: East Slopes
Info: We had excellent weather for this climb. Actually we were planning on getting to Massive a couple of days later after acclimatizing in Twin lakes since we came from Dallas, TX. Since it was a clear and beautiful day we decided to try it. We were at the TH around 9am and the first part of the climb was great. After we passed the treeline the climb got more difficult. Many climbers/families that day. We made the summit around 4pm. The winds were pretty intense at the top. Descending took some time and we arrived at our car around 8pm. Overall a great climb but more difficult that we were expecting for a first 14er. it took us around 11hrs RT.
|2015-09-12||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: This hike was a fantastic one, no adverse weather, light winds (surprisingly), and overall a beautiful day. We left our campsite located about 0.5 miles from the intersection of the main North Halfmoon trail and the SW approach to Mt. Massive at about 06:30, and made the summit by around 08:30. The SW slopes were certainly steep, and the trek up was challenging. Nevertheless, it was a gorgeous day and the trail in generally good condition. The only parts of the trail which could be considered ambiguous were the sections through talus/scree, but cairns were generally well marked. On the final push to the summit (after the false 14,xxx summit), another hiker went slightly off the trail but I alerted him to the cairn he missed and he was able to scramble up a small hill to reach the main, more obvious trail which I was on. The winds at the top were surprisingly light, and there were few clouds in the sky. This trail overall was in fantastic condition, and the fall colors changing made the views of the valleys below spectacular. There were a good deal of other hikers on the trail as well.
|2015-08-15||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: My husband, 14 year old son, our dog (border collie) and I drove up to the top trail head as listed in the trail head directions. I drove my 4 wheel drive suburban. There is one section in the last .5 miles of the trail that my husband got out of the car and pointed the direction I needed to turn my wheels to get over some big dips and bumps. There are two pretty rough spots but we made it through without scrapping the bottom. I did notice that the parking area had only high clearance SUVs and trucks. We camped across from the trail head. There are at least 5 or more nice little camping spots up at the parking area. There are many more spots down below the trail head on the way up. We got up early and started hiking at 5:15 am. The first mile of the 4 mile hike is very easy and only has an elevation gain of about 300 ft. This means that the last 3 miles of the hike has about 3600 ft in elevation. Once you hit the trail head junction of Halfmoon trail and Massive trail, turn right to take the Massive trail. This is when you start climbing and do not stop climbing until you reach the summit. There are 3 false summits. The view from the top is definitely worth it and is spectacular. It took us almost 4 hours to summit.
|2015-08-08||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: I am attempting to climb all the 14ers this summer. Massive makes it 22. You can read more about this hike and others by visiting my blog at sunshineof1985.com! Distance: 8 mi. Elevation Gain: 3,950 ft. Time started: 5:50am End time: 10:25am Time to Summit:3 hours and 20 minutes Time to Descent:1 hour 55 minutes Overall Pace: 1.9 miles per hour GEAR (to bring): GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat, lightweight gloves, day pack with water sack, food, sunscreen, lip balm. Road Condition: The road isn‘t bad leading to the Mount Massive main parking lot. Notice, that on the directions it tells you to continue another 2 miles to another trailhead for Mount Massive and that you should have 4WD. With my Saturn SL2 (a sedan) I made it just .3 miles shy of the trailhead. It‘s hilly and there are numerous potholes, but driving carefully you can make it that far in a car. Trail Condition: The trail is fairly straightforward except for when you get to the meadow. Somehow I got lost in the meadow for a good 10-15 minutes. There are multiple trails in the meadow. If the trail isn‘t dirt and rocks, you‘re on the wrong one. You cannot see the summit from here. Walking in the meadow, the mountain is to your RIGHT, and the trail leads up and across, not down. There is a sign that says either Half Moon Creek and continuing straight, or turning right and going up on Massive trailhead- this is the one you want to take. Once you‘re past this, the trail is straightforward.
|2015-07-15||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: One or two snow crossings at the summit ridge, nothing more than 20 feet. Trail was damp from the rain, not run-off. A day or so of sunlight will make the trail dry again. The wetness wasn‘t a huge concern on the rocks, just take it slow to avoid rolling an ankle. Pics and more info found at the link: https://everythingoutdoorscolorado.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/mt-massive/
|2015-07-11||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Trail is good. A few patches of snow that are of little to no concern. Standard route (east) looked to have a few more patches of snow. Didn‘t look like anyone was having issues with them. Lots of wildflowers are out. Large variety and quantities.
|2015-06-27||Route: 14,000-foot point loop - from N. Halfmoon Creek TH
Info: We hiked the "tour de massive"on Saturday, hitting north massive, massive green, mt massive, and my boyfriend also went to south massive. The trail is mostly clear of snow, although we did use traction to gain the ridge at the end of north half moon creek trail. Other snow patches that we hit between north massive the my massive were a bit deep, but slushy. Gaiters were a must to keep our feet dry! I had crampons with me, but only ever needed my yak-traks. The southwest slopes trail had well-packed snow on the ridge and only a few spots where the trail was covered on our way down. Others said it was a little difficult to find the trail going up because of the snow, but it was easy to spot on the way down. Only real difficulty we ran into was a creek crossing at the end of north half moon trailhead, which we added some stones to get across.
|2015-06-27||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: No snow until close to 13000. Big snow fields covered the route in this area. It was hard to figure out where to go so we just basically went straight up, had a little trouble with one snow field that was very icy and steep but for the most part you can avoid most the snow and just improvise. Coming back down we found there was a lot of open trail that was pretty far northwest. We followed it as far as we could then had awesome glissading for about 1000 ft of elevation. Had to stop and walk over to avoid rocks but then could glissade more. Overall great route. Not many people, lots on the other side. Snow got pretty soft by 1030. We did bring snowshoes and microspikes. Used the snowshoes to try to cross one of the snowfields but it was too slick. Like I said, you could either avoid the snow by going further to the right straight up or better would be to go to the left if you just traverse a little lower. I will try to get pictures out soon.