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Seven on Massive
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Seven on Massive

Seven on Massive

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Object Title: Seven on Massive

Date Climbed/Hiked: Dec 5, 2009

Activities: Hiking

Season: Fall, Winter


Page By: metal4lyf

Created/Edited: Dec 6, 2009 / Dec 6, 2009

Object ID: 580250

Hits: 3951 

Page Score: 74.92%  - 5 Votes 

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Jeff and I decided late in the week to join a gathering of 14ers.com members to hike Mount Massive via the Southwest Slopes route. Driving from Denver, we missed the rendezvous in Leadville but met instead at the trailhead. There were seven of us: Jeff, Mike, Britt, Eric, Wes, Steve, and myself. And Cooper the Mountaineering Dog.

Good weather

Temperature at the trailhead was around 10F, 15 degrees warmer than expected. We started at dawn. Below timberline, the trail meanders through the forest. Here there was a thin layer of sugary powder; while some folks left their snowshoes in their vehicles, I brought mine but hardly needed them. As we emerged from treeline, the morning sun offered incredible views of the surrounding peaks.

unknown rock at moonset
Alpine Morning
another view
looking towards the southwest slopes route
On the Trail
emerging from timberline

Beautiful day

At this point the trail steepens considerably (although we opted to climb more steeply where there was snow cover)--our route gained 3,200' in 1.5 miles. Most of our ascent we bathed in sunshine and gorged on the stunning alpine vistas. Wind was minimal. The snow higher up was reasonably well-consolidated and this we navigated easily.

Alpine Morning No. 2
incredible views
Alpine Morning No. 3
Mountainside No. 2
The Gang
taking a rest
Mountainside No. 3
nice day for a hike!
Mount Elbert
Mount Elbert
Alpine Panorama
alpine panorama
tackling some loose rock
Alpine Morning No. 4
more views
Winter Peaks
South Massive
South Massive

The summit

I had not researched this route beforehand, so around 11:30 I was pleasantly surprised to reach a nice class-2/3 ridge leading to the summit. An hour later the whole group, including Cooper the Mountaineering Dog, stood jubilantly on the peak. Here the winds picked up and the skies began to gray. We took some photos and started back down.

Summit Ridge No. 1
the summit ridge
Summit Ridge No. 2
the summit is the far left hump in this photo
a view east from the ridge
Looking Back on the Summit Ridge
looking back on the ridge
Almost-there Celebration
Jeff celebrating.. or threatening?
Final Push
the party nears the summit
Summit Party
(L-R) Britt, Mike, Jeff, Wes, Eric (standing), Steve

Rapid descent

There were many steep, well-packed snowfields which offered excellent glissading opportunities, and this was the primary means of descent for most of the group. A few hours later all of us had arrived back at the trailhead.

Glissading: Detail
a closer look
Glissading Track
my route
Elbert Afternoon
view of Elbert on the descent
Alpine Descent
neat ice formations near treeline


Round-trip for the group was about 8 hours at 5 up and 3 down.


Had a great time. Thanks guys!

GPS Track
Elevation Profile


Mountainside No. 2Alpine Morning No. 4Alpine PanoramaWinter PeaksAlpine DescentAlpine Morning No. 2Mountainside No. 3
MoonsetElbert AfternoonAlpine Morning No. 3Mount ElbertSouth MassiveOn the TrailSummit Ridge No. 1
[ View Gallery - 17 More Images ]


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