Mount Massive (Tour de Massive)

elevation: 4,396 m.
height gain: 70 m. (from the Massive Green-Massive Col)
area: Leadville,Colorado,USA
map USGS 1:24,000 Mount Massive, CO


***Sorry, this folder only has a couple of pictures courtesy of Tim Best; I broke my camera on the summit of North Massive...***

summit ahead

The summit of Mount Massive just ahead with Mount Elbert in the background.
Ascent -North-west ridge class 2
Descent -East slopes class 2

Hike: RT 13.5 (includes North Massive and Massive Green). After squeezing in the summit of North Massive despite all odds, we decided to traverse Massive Green and carry on to Mount Massive. We didn't stay long on Massive Green, there was a sense of urgency as the storm clouds had built up again. We felt pretty exposed this high up on the ridge. We continued our hike in a haste, I remember feeling quite scared as I charged ahead. We already had seen lightning earlier today before the "sucker hole" of blue sky and it sure looked as if the worst was yet to come... Luckily, the traverse from Green to the true summit of Massive is short and easy, we reached the summit in good time. Someone had left a cardboard sign with the name and altitude of the mountain; it's customary for people to take their summit pictures with such signs. I asked Tim to snap a quick photo of me by the cairn with it since I had just broken my camera. Tim reluctantly let me grab the sign, he explained that it is viewed as garbage left behind; indeed, that made sense. After the picture, I tucked the sign in my pack and took it down; I actually brought it back home!! Again, our stay at the top was brief and it was understood that we would have to forgo South Massive, the 5th (unranked) 14er of the Tour de Massive. This was kind of a shame but considering the conditions, I was elated to have traversed the main summits of this massive mountain. Summiting 3 of the 5 peaks was much better than being turned around due to poor weather, sometimes you just have to count your blessings! We went down to the saddle between Massive and South Massive; at a huge outcrop, we took shelter from the wind and had a break before resuming our descent. We hadn't really stopped since our assault up North Massive, it felt nice to relax and soak in the feat. I couldn't believe people were coming up despite the eminent storm, some seemed unprepared and oblivious of the weather... Personally, I was glad to be on my way down, I think we already had our fair share of luck today! Once replenished, we started our descent on the normal route. The easy trail led us to the Colorado Trail that we followed for 5 kilometers back to the Mount Elbert trailhead where Tim had left his van. It started to rain on the last stretch but we managed to stay fairly dry. It was nice to see Tim's van. He drove me to my truck which seemed to be endless miles away. After helping a guy start his car with a boost, Tim and I caravanned back to Leadville. This circuit was very satisfying, we worked as a team through adversities and a great team we proved to be; excellent decision making!!

summit picture

Summit picture with the cardboard sign that someone left behind!

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