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Mt. Massive  
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2012-06-30  Southwest Slopes  since it is obviously summer conditions on the peak, i thought i‘d add a few other bits and pieces. the route information on here made it sound as if the trail was a lot harder to find than it is - i‘m guessing because this route is becoming a lot more popular the trail is much easier to find as compared to other non-standard routes. we never ended up off the trail trying to figure out where we were. also, we made it up the road past the good dirt road up to the 110j junction in a hyundai elantra...just involved driving slowly and being careful. we parked here and then walked up the last 1/2 mile to the n. halfmoon creek trailhead. in reality, a vehicle with decent clearance (doesn‘t even need to be 4wd) can make it up all the way. lafutura   2012-07-01  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-21  Southwest Slopes  No snow anywhere on the trail. Summer conditions. esagas   2012-06-21  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-03  Southwest Slopes  Route is completely snow free except for a few very minor places. No traction or ice axe necessary. Didn‘t get in a single glissade on the way down. Nice hike. Good luck. jeremy27   2012-06-04  0  2    Edit Delete 
2012-05-28  East Slopes from Willow Creek  Trail mostly clear to the saddle. Then partial snow coverage to the summit. Traction not needed but wouldnt hurt. Looks like a good glissade can be made from the false summit. MountainDawg   2012-05-28  0     Edit Delete 
2012-05-26  Southwest Slopes  The 4wd road to North Half Moon trailhead is completely dry. 2wd vehicles should have no problem getting all the way to the end. There are lots of good campsites along the final mile of this road. Got started at 5:30. The trail was almost snow free to the summit ridge. Occasional patches to cross, but none more than 10 feet and only one or two patches with very minor post holing. Another week and I‘m guessing everything will have completely melted away. The wind was absolutely brutal, chilling us to the bone with 30-50mph sustained winds and up to 70mph gusts. We decided we had enough at the summit ridge, bagging South Massive then getting the hell out of there. Got in three fun glissades on our descent, shaving off probably 500‘-600‘. Overall a great climb despite the wind. We will return for the East slopes route, hopefully in time to enjoy the huge glissade waiting there; looks like at least a 1,500 slide. Vespalad   2012-05-27  0     Edit Delete 
2012-05-05  East Slopes  went up pretty early today.without an early start postholeing would be inevitable. the last mile or so of the colorado trail has a lot of patches of snow along the trail which should get pretty muddy in the coming week.the mt massive to treeline also has patchs of snow. you can avoid the vast majority of the snow patchs along the trail but not all.once you get to treeline you come across the biggest snowfield you‘ll have to cross(pic 1). i postholed a handful of times but it wasnt to bad because i put on my gaithers. late in the day may be another story. iheshvail   2012-05-05 3     Edit Delete 
2012-04-07  East Slopes  We had a late start around 8:50am, summited at 4pm, and got back to the trailhead at around 10pm. Snowshoes were absolutely necessary up to treeline. The trail is pretty well defined up to the point that the Mt. Massive trail splits off from the Colorado Trail. After that, we had trouble finding the trail and had to make our own way up a small gully heading due west, but the peak(s) became pretty apparent soon thereafter, so it was not too much of a problem. It was mostly dry and clear from treeline up to the summit. On the way back, we post-holed a decent amount even with snowshoes. Overall, it was a gorgeous day. Cajuneer   2012-04-11  0     Edit Delete 
2012-03-20  East Slopes  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. thatstite   2012-03-21 4  1  Edit Delete 
2012-03-04  East Slopes  I made an attempt on Mt. Massive from the Leadville Fish Hatchery this weekend. I left Saturday morning with a backpack and I also pulled a sled. The Highline Trail is well marked with lots of signs and blue diamonds as far as the junction with the Colorado Trail. The trailbreaking started at the junction of the Highline and Rock Creek Trail. I made a camp at ~11,250 on the Highline Trail, then things got even more difficult. I continued to break trail to ~11,400 to the left of an open meadow, but I was finding sections that were waist deep. There was a lot of collapsing and cracking even on low angle terrain. At 4:00 p.m. on Saturday I called it quits and returned to my sled to get camp set up. The wind had already covered up some of my trench on my way back. It was quite windy Saturday night and I was exhausted. I decided to pack out this morning and forget about a summit attempt. On my way out I saw 6 people on snowshoes. As of today the Highline Trail is packed down with a nice trench to ~11,250. Mickeys Grenade   2012-03-04  0     Edit Delete 
2012-02-25  East Ridge (from Fish Hatchery)  Our group of six (three campers and three day-hikers) reached the summit yesterday via this route. The routefinding from the Fish Hatchery should be straightforward as the Highline Trail is well signed, (though we did miss a sign and added ~2 miles of trailbreaking to our climb...as if it wasn‘t hard enough already). At present, a trench exists all the way to treeline on the Highline Trail. There is one wind-loaded bowl with obvious slide debris right at treeline, but it is easily avoided on either side (we ascended the right side and stashed our snowshoes shortly after). From here the large bowl below the "notch" is mostly dry, and the class 3 scrambling through the notch and over the rock towers is sometimes necessary to avoid walking across the tops of wind-loaded slopes on either side of the ridge. Once you pass the rock towers the route is mostly blown dry to the summit. Minimal avalanche hazard as long as you stay on route above treeline. We heard numerous whoompfs and collapses in the trees, just a reminder to stay on dry terrain. PM with any specific questions! RJansen77   2012-02-26  0       
2012-02-11  East Ridge  East Ridge from Fish Hatchery, 14 miles and 5000‘ vertical round trip. The Highline Trail was well packed, we just needed to "re-break" from the recent snows of Thursday/Friday. If you got off the trail it was much deeper. The trail splits a lot early, so be sure to follow the Highline Trail signs, the signage is good. There is also the Rock Creek trail that gets to the Colorado Trail, but it does so way farther north than you want to be, so be sure to stick to the Highline Trail signs, some of the signs have two sets of arrows, one for each trail that go in different directions. After a large meadow at roughly 3.5 miles we were wallowing for 2 miles to treeline. We got off route a little bit staying right and above a drainage that we later had to descend to and cross. Lots of hard trenching, but if you get it soon, you can just re-break our trench and be in good shape. Above treeline the route was mainly dry, just be sure to avoid snow loaded slopes, they could potentially slide. We had lots of cracking and whomping on low angle terrain in the trees and some of our cracks propagated more than 15-20‘ away from us, on steep slopes above treeline it would have triggered an avalanche. In order to avoid the avy prone snow, we went up a steep class 2+ rock tower with a notch in the middle, and went through the notch. From here we needed to do some class 3 scrambling over a few towers to avoid suspect snow on the face. It was a bit tedious in stiff boots and is the crux of the route right now. Above that (13,700 or so) the terrain was mostly dry and fairly gentle to the summit ridge, the summit is well marked with a cairn with a stick in it just below the true summit. There is a false summit to the north and another to the south that look almost equal, but the one with the sticked cairn is the true summit. Have fun and be safe... Photos below show the notched 2+ rocks, we went through the notch on the left, and the sketchy snow we avoided on the rocks above it. The third photo is a general photo of the slopes above 13,700. The 4th just a general view of the conditions of the ridge above treeline taken from about 12,500. Chicago Transplant   2012-02-14 4  3      
2012-01-11  Southwest Slopes  hiked the SW slopes. Camped at Elbert trailhead I might be the last person to drive back there till spring. Someone made a mess of the road and I think getting up that hill won‘t be feasible. I drove the snowmobile to the SW slopes trailhead and I think that or skinning will be the best option for access. The trail below timberline is easily identifiable, it‘s the transition to the alpine that is difficult. After you get above tree line the trail appears and disappears as it moves in and out of the lees. Once on the summit ridge it‘s fairly easy to follow. I looked down the eastern slopes and they are getting pretty wind loaded higher up with the light snow of this past storm. I think a strong wind event could disperse it but the forecast looks pretty calm. Still a goody though. 54coldones   2012-01-11  0     Edit Delete 
2011-12-24  East ridge  Easy traveling on packed trail from Leadville Fish Hatchery to treeline. From there some wind swept snow to summit. Possible to do it all without snowshoes! Jakomait   2011-12-26 2       
2011-10-21  Southwest Slopes  4WD road to TH was relatively snow-free and easily accessible with Jeep Liberty Renegade. Trail was frozen solid until trail junction (approx. 1.25 miles from TH). Trail was in great condition the entire way up. Snow was somewhat drifted on the trail approaching the summit ridge and on the summit ridge, but was generally hard enough to avoid postholing. By about 1pm, lower trail thawed. Note: East slopes looked like they had a bit more accumulation, perhaps down to about 12,500 ft. msmith7361   2011-10-22  0     Edit Delete 
2011-09-28  East Slopes  Road still rough with washboard & potholes; but no problem. Entire trail is snowfree with no problems. Aspen are in full bloom and the willows were golden in the early sunrise. Beautiful Colorado blue sky day. Enjoy the beauty ! geezer   2011-09-30 4     Edit Delete 
2011-08-29  East Slopes  Road to N. Half Moon trail head in great shape - still need a high clearance car in 2 or 3 spots. Trail itself in GREAT condition. Rainy the day we went but trail wasn‘t slick at all. DaveWruck   2011-08-31  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-27  Southwest Slopes  Day started off with fog and low lying clouds. Started 7 AM, summit by 10:30-ish, and back to the car by 1:30 PM. Trail and summit were snow free. Elevation gain was brutal, but I appreciated the shorter distance compared to the standard trail :-) drsnowboard03   2011-07-29  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-17  East Slopes  The East Slopes route of Mount Massive is snow-free. Go get it :-) pklotzbach   2011-07-17  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-17  Southwest Slopes  Did a Tour de Massive today. Up the Southwest Slopes and down the East Slopes. The Southwest Slopes route is virtually snow-free... only two very minor snow crossings about 20 feet across which are boot packed and very easy to cross. pklotzbach   2011-07-17  0     Edit Delete 
2011-07-03  East Slopes  Massive is snow-free from the East Slopes trailhead up to the tree line. Above the treeline, there is just one patch of snow at about 13,200 (pic 1) until the saddle. Along the ridge there is significant but avoidable snow. Hiking shoes or boots are all that is necessary - even gaiters are probably not needed. Conversely, however, the ridgeline snow does provide some awesome glissade routes down from the false summit to well below the saddle (pic 2). For the next couple days, the creeks are running pretty full too - we were unable to cross Willow Creek at the trail because the rocks were submerged. There is, however, a convenient tree spanning the creek just above the trail (pic 3). Dathivas   2011-07-03 3     Edit Delete 

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