Missouri Mountain December 6 2008December 6: Missouri Mountain (Colorado)
After I slept at the trailhead, Jeff Goodwin and I met at the Rockdale Trailhead at 5:15 AM for our attempt on Missouri Mountain (14,073 feet elevation). We waited around until 5:30 just in case anyone else showed up since there were some more people interested in climbing it. At 5:30 we drove through the treacherous stream crossing and drove part way up the road and we found that with very careful 4wd driving we could make it to the first parking area along the road.
We broke then broke trail to Clohesy Lake (part way on snowshoes), but found it to be much easier than expected so the going was faster than we thought it would be. After taking a break at the frozen lake we headed for the mountain. The weather was on and off with brief bouts of snow and some occasional views of the snowy peaks.
The climbing up to timberline was quite steep, but we found scraps of a climbers trail that shown through the snow. Since the entire gully was full of solid ice we stayed on the north side of the gully all the way to timberline. The climb was then just a slippery climb up snowy and grassy slopes to the crux boulderfield just before Point 13,690. The steep boulderfield was a challenge since the rocks were all covered with hoar frost, but we persevered and made the summit after about six hours. There was no visibility at all from the summit and it was just cold and misty, but still interesting because of all the ice covered rocks.
On the descent the sun began to peek through and the clouds and we got some fantastic views of some of the mountains with swirling clouds around their summits. The descent was pretty challenging as well, but we made it back to the vehicle before sunset. It was a great climb.
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