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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-06-04||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Climbed Mt. Massive this morning via the SW slopes route. Had a hard freeze down to about 11,500 - pleasantly surprised since the forecast was for warmer overnight temps. Started from the 4WD TH at 2:30, reached the summit shortly before 7, back to the TH by 9:15. Used crampons from about 11,700 to the summit and back down to 11,700. Was glad I had crampons and not just microspikes. Brought snowshoes, but never used them. Trail in the trees is wet, muddy, and has a number of snowdrifts. There were recent slides on the SW slopes, so check snow conditions before heading up/get down before things get mushy. It looked like you could avoid avy slopes by climbing the shoulder of the slope on climbers left and staying out of the gully. Added a few photos. It was dark when I ascended and I forgot to take a picture of the SW slopes until I got down to the meadow at 11,200.
|2015-05-22||Route: East Slopes
Info: Did not summit, but reached 14,240 ft and headed back due to weather. But, overall a great hike...or shall I say snow shoe. Used these whole way except for 1st 0.75 miles. Road clear to TH. Snow wet with post holing despite snow shoes in the forest. Snow much easier to handle above tree line. The ridge line that we did complete was w/o cornice formation...think there was some cornices on actual summit. We camped 2 miles in from TH the night before but got a later start than planned. Had we gotten 3 miles in the 1st night (as initially planned), probably would have reached the top.
|2015-03-08||Route: Fish Hatchery
Info: Really nice hiking trail to CT turn off. After that we had to establish skin track in deep snow. The sole snowshoer that was with us mentioned brutal postholing even with skin track. Ridge is mostly windblown and dry, although certain sections were windloaded, so we avoided them. Made for some interesting ridge scrambling with ski/snowboard gear. Skied variation of summer route. Snow conditions were sastrugi galore above the treeline, and some soft snow below. No wind to speak off. 12 hr RT.
|2015-02-18||Route: E Ridge from Fish Hatchery
Info: E Ridge in good shape, but a storm is coming. Trail is packed to 11,000 ft, then snowshoes or skins req to treeline. I stashed the slowshoes there- beyond, most of the ridgecrest is bare.
|2015-01-25||Route: East Ridge from the Fish Hatchery TH
Info: We put a trench in all the way to treeline. After that, the ridge is wind-scoured and pretty easy passage most of the way. We had to turn around short of the summit due to extreme winds. I draw the line at crawling to the summit on my hands and knees (which I had to do at one point). Hoping someone else can benefit from all our hard work. Enjoy!
|2014-11-08||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: My Jeep Patriot got about 1/4 mile from the upper trail head (N. Halfmoon) on Saturday. There were 3 other vehicles (high clearance trucks) that made it up all the way to the trailhead. The trail is still very visible up the southwest slopes and most of the snow is avoidable. We had to post-hole a couple of spots on the ridge when the southwest slopes trail joins the east slopes. Micro-spikes and gators might be nice to have but I didn‘t use them.
|2014-10-05||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: The trail was bone dry all the way to about 13,500 ft, then there were patches of snow, but nothing was too icy. Used my summer weight goretex lined hiking boots with no problems. Sunday was a great day all around with warmer temperatures at the trail head. It progressively became colder towards the peak as expected. Started with base layers and transitioned to gloves, hat and jacket by the time we were at 13,500 feet. Excellent hike with excellent views of the snow capped mountains surrounding Mt. Massive.
|2014-09-17||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Saw a Subaru at the 4WD trailhead, but many elected to walk that last 1/2 mile--there are two pretty rough spots that require good driving or high clearance in addition to 4WD. I was somewhat worried I would be able to follow the trail, find the intersection in the meadow, etc. with very little moonlight and a headlamp (I hit the trail at about 2:30a.m. for some summit photography). I found there was no problem at all following the trail with my headlamp. Even the intersection in the meadow was easy to find (there is a sign). The steep trail up is in very good shape and the CFI has done a great job building "stairs" through the boulder fields that I easily followed in the dark. I hit South Massive, Massive, Massive Green, North Massive, the Point 14,169, then came down the West Slopes route. The trail from Point 14,169/North Massive down into the valley is hit or miss. While still up high, in the tundra, the key initially is to aim for the prominent north-south ridge that is just east of North Half Moon Lakes, than drop into the valley on the east side--lots of scree until you get down into the valley.
|2014-07-13||Route: East Slopes
Info: This trail was completely clear of snow except for a few feet at the top just past the saddle, but you were able to cross easily without snow gear. There is a patch of snow that does not touch the trail, but you are able to slide down the side of the mountain about 200 or so feet so that you don‘t have to hike the last section of the trail (from the saddle) down.
|2014-07-12||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: I was worried this route would be too exposed for someone like me who has a little fear of heights. The trail was great and I didn‘t feel like their were any drop offs. Its steep but the wildflowers on the way up are incredible.
|2014-07-10||Route: East Slopes
Info: The trail is almost completely clear of snow. There were two small snow patches to cross at 14,000 ft one about 20 meters and the other about 5 meters. Although there were a little slushy and slippery, no ice gear was needed and they are not near high exposure, so we felt safe. The trail was great and we loved the hard dirt packed trail. It was very even and easy to hike on. You could wear trail shoes. The three river crossing were all manageable without getting wet.
|2014-07-05||Route: East Slopes
Info: Slightly muddy at spots from snow melt, but almost no snow on the route. There was one 25 (ish) ft spread of snow to hike across. I brought my microspikes and extra layers and regretted carrying the extra weight for 14 miles. Similarly, no snow on "North Massive" or "South Massive".
|2014-06-28||Route: East Slopes
Info: The road to the Mt. Massive trailhead was entirely clear and relatively smooth -- easy for even my low-clearance Prius to manage. We left the trailhead at 5:40 AM (despite ominous clouds above and a lightning storm a few hours earlier). The trail was entirely free of snow through the several miles of forest. When we reached treeline, the clouds had started to break up above us and a strong westerly wind drove them to the eastern side of the valley, which still looked ominous. We decided to climb a bit further and to evaluate the weather again later. The trail across the extensive tundra between treeline and the steeper portions of the ascent was free of snow. Only a few patches of the trail were wet with snow melt. By the time we had to decide whether to continue hiking, the weather had vastly improved. Although there were still clouds at the summit, they were not threatening and the amount of blue sky mixing with the clouds was growing. The steeper portion of the ascent required crossing a few small sections of snow; no ice ax was required, but I was glad to have trekking poles. For the final approach to the ridge, a large snow field offered a solid snow traverse, which we used both for the ascent and descent. Only a little snow covers the actual trail to the ridge, but the snow traverse was more direct and made for easy walking (given the added safety of trekking poles). The final push to the summit was largely on dirt trail, with a few stretches of shallow snow. The summit was cold with a sharp wind. We reached the summit at 10:00. For the descent, we retraced our ascent, but one group of climbers glissaded down the 1,000-foot snow field adjacent to the trail. If you like glissading, bring an ice ax and snow pants and you‘ll have a blast. The weather turned into a picture-perfect, warm day with no threat of rain or lightning. We reached the trailhead at 1:15. During the trip, we found four ptarmigans on the tundra above treeline, and a few marmots basking on rocks.
|2014-06-23||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Trail is in good condition, but still impressive snow along the route. Most can be avoided, but we carried and used micro-spike and ice axes. Avalanche debris at creek crossing near 11,000 has obscured the trail; most have gone around it to the left on the downhill side. (pic #1). Primary trail switchbacks were covered in many areas above 13,000 (pic #2) so we went to the climbers right to avoid snow which was still hard in the shade at 0800. Eventually we elected to use micro-spikes and ice axes to just go straight up about 13,600. Same slope, easier travel. (pic #3). Saw a woman below us slide 200‘ into rocks without arresting, we called to her, she said she was OK and saw her later on the summit. went straight up ridge to junction with East Slopes trail. East slope of summit ridge still has significant snow (pic #4) but did not hamper travel - no spikes or axe needed. Nice morning, we avoided bad weather by being off the summit by 1100.
|2014-06-17||Route: East Slopes
Info: Road is clear to Mt. Massive TH. Road was in good condition. Passenger car should make it. Mt Massive trail (from Mt. Massive TH) clear to ~12000, then some short sections of mud and snow drifts. Some hard packed snow remains on south ridge. No special equipment necessary. Encountered very high winds above treeline. Had a nice ~200 yard glissade from summit ridge to east slopes.
|2014-06-15||Route: East Slopes
Info: Still several large snowfields to cross above treeline. If you start early and get the snow in good condition, no traction or other gear is needed. I had no problems in trail runners (with trekking poles). There was evidence of major postholing throughout, though. Also, depending on your snow conditions, you may want to consider traction for the one or two snowfields between the saddle and the trail junction with the SW Slopes route. On descent, by the time I crossed the last snowfield before reentering the trees around 10:30, the snow was a sloppy mess. Start early. A 5:00 a.m. start was perfect today.
|2014-06-10||Route: Southwest Slopes
Info: Still snow on the route. Great snow climbing and killer glissade today. If snow is not your thing, you should wait. You can avoid most of the snow, but up high it is mostly unavoidable. The trail is nearly impossible to follow with fidelity and requires many snow field crossings.
|2014-06-07||Route: East Slopes
Info: A little bit of snow below treeline but it is all avoidable. Creek crossings are not a problem or there are spots to hop across without getting wet. There is a fair amount of snow above treeline but if you start early, it shouldn‘t be a problem. I started descending at 10am and the snow was beginning to soften. I used trail runners. No special gear required.
|2014-06-01||Route: East Slopes
Info: About 30% of the trail was covered in snow before the tree line and after the tree line snow coverage was about 60%. The snow was generally hard enough in the morning to walk on top of, however coming back you were potholing about 2 feet in. Summit saddle was still completely covered and still pretty deep ( ~ 3 feet). Overall, the snow was melting fast and I would imagine the route to be mostly clear in the next 2 weeks if the warm temps keep up.
|2014-04-18||Route: East Slopes
Info: Right now it‘s possible to ski from Massive‘s summit all the way back to the Fish Hatchery TH without taking off your skis if you pick your route wisely. South-facing stuff is skiing great, north and east aspects are chalky/breakable crust. There‘s a follow-able bootpack up the Highline Trail to the junction of the Colorado Trail, soon after that the dust layer has disguised most tracks so you‘re on your own to get to the east ridge (the blue diamonds help, but they‘re tricky to find on the way down). If you want to see any pics, send me a PM.