"K 49"
North Ridge
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Difficulty:
 Class 2 
Trailhead:N. Halfmoon Creek
Start:10,500 feet
Summit:13,535 feet
Total Gain:3,200 feet
RT Length:8.50 miles
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Updated:8/2016
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:4 reports
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? (WINTER) HOLD ON! If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. All 14er routes are more difficult and more dangerous in winter.

Trailhead

From U.S. 24 just south of Leadville, turn onto Colorado 300. Drive 0.7 mile, turn left onto County Road 11 and continue another 1.2 miles before turning right onto the Halfmoon Creek road. Reset your trip odometer and follow the Halfmoon Creek dirt road for 5.3 miles to reach the Mt. Massive parking area on the right. The road above this point becomes more difficult so low-clearance or 2WD vehicles should definitely park at the Mt. Massive trailhead. Continue to 7.3 miles and keep straight at a junction. Now the road gets more difficult, requiring 4WD with good clearance. Overcome the last 0.5 mile to reach the small, marked trailhead on the right. There's parking for about 8-10 vehicles at or near the trailhead.

Route

From the trailhead ( 1), follow the excellent trail for 1.25 miles to reach an open area, at 11,200' - 2. Continue to the other side of the clearing to reach a junction - 3. Turning right will take you up Mt. Massive; Continue straight on the North Halfmoon Lakes trail. Hike up through the trees and pass a long rock-slab to reach a clearing where you can see 13er Mt. Oklahoma - 4. Continue to 11,600' and reach a flat, rocky overlook where the trail continues north. You've hiked this high on the North Halfmoon Lakes trail to avoid the ugly terrain down near the creek but now you must bushwack west to reach K49. Leave the trail and walk west into the forest - 5.

After a short distance, without gaining or losing much elevation, you'll reach the first of two stream crossings - 6. Find a log or some other way across and continue to another stream. Once you've made your way across the two streams, continue sidehilling west/southwest through small clearings ( 7) and forest for over 1/4 mile before angling down to the creek. Again, the point of this bushwacking is to avoid the ugly terrain near the creek, down to your left. Exit the forest to reach the creek near 11,600' - 8.

Cross the creek and follow the south side for approx. 0.3 mile before beginning your hike southwest up the north slopes of K49 - 9 and 10. Walk up easy terrain ( 11) to reach a flat spot, near 12,100', where you can see the north ridge and summit - 12. Pick your line and zigzag southwest toward the ridge - 13 and 14. Once you gain the ridge crest ( 15) you'll see the remaining route to the summit - 16. Follow the ridge south to reach steeper terrain near 12,900' ( 17) and continue to the summit - 18, 19 and 20.

Notes

None
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20
Topo

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