Mount Belford (Belox Traverse)

elevation: 4,327 m.
height gain: 200 m. (from Mount Oxford)
area: Buena Vista, Colorado, USA
map USGS 1:24,000 Mount Harvard, CO 38106H3 & Winfield, CO 38106H4
2017-May-13


Ref: 14ers.com
climbing back up to belford


Climbing back up the connecting ridge to Mount Belford after an ascent of Mount Oxford.
Snowshoe trip: RT 12.0 (includes Mount Oxford); 1.25 up from Mount Oxford. From the Elkhead Pass, we made our way to Mount Belford's south-east ridge and climbed Mount Oxford before walking to Belford's summit. The extension to Oxford was well worth it even though it was very windy. The pleasant climb back up the south-east ridge didn't take long, we gained the summit of Mount Belford in decent time. Surprisingly, we found respite from the wind up there. We ate Tim's delicious chocolate cake and conversed. After a nice summit stay, we prepared to head down the north-west gully. Allen set off on his skis and we followed suit glissading. The gully grants a fine descent no doubt but the snow was a little on the soft side, glissading was great at first becoming nearly impossible lower down. Near the bottom, we postholed walking down so we tried different ways to make our glissade more efficient, it got a bit ridiculous but it was funny as heck! Skiing had a clear advantage, Allen was already down and out of sight. Eventually, we reached the drainage below and found a huge boulder to perch on for another break. We saw a marmot while basking in the sun and mosquitoes too, I guess spring was upon the Colorado mountains. I reluctantly gathered my stuff to continue the descent, I wish we could have stayed much longer. When we reached the trail beyond the snow and started walking to the trailhead, that's when it hit me, this was my last outing with Tim for a long time. This Colorado trip had been bountiful and I was very pleased yet I felt overwhelmed with mixed emotions. It's never easy coming down from a big high...
scrambly bit

The only scrambly bit on this trip.
Picture courtesy of Tim Best.

looking back

Looking back at Mount Oxford.

pleasant ascent

Pleasant ascent on snow.
Picture courtesy of Tim Best.

nearing the summit block


Nearing the summit block.


almost there


A skip and a hop away from the top.


at the top


Delicious homemade chocolate cake on Mount Belford.


western view


Western view with Missouri Mountain and Huron Peak behind it.


laplata peak


A close up of LaPlata Peak north-west of us.


view north


View north towards the small town of Leadville.


leaving the summit


Leaving the summit via the western side.


glissading


Glissading the north-west gully.


good times


Good times!


snow getting softer


The snow gets increasingly soft as we lose height.


very nice gully


Very nice gully, skis would have been good to have.


gear adjustments


Gear adjustments.


snow is too soft lower down


The snow is too soft to glissade the lower gully.


back in the drainage


Back down in the drainage.


last glimpse


Last glimpse at Mount Belford's north-west gully.


a bit of postholing


A bit of postholing in the forest to finish the day in style!


Check out Mount Oxford
Back to home page