Monday, October 28, 2013

Mount Massive 7/11/13

I rose early and stirred quietly. I didn't know quite what to think of the fellow climber and wanted to get to the trailhead without bothering him. Aside from my busted ass exhaust I made it out of there without audible incident. The main trail up Massive has a beginning section that follows along the Colorado Trail. Compared to single track trails this is the highway of hiking. You could almost drive a car up sections of the trail. There was a Boy Scout troop camping out near the trailhead with an assortment of tents dotting around. I encountered another group of tents where the East Slopes route broke away from the Colorado Trail. I had never seen so much wilderness housing going on around a mountain! After that there was only sporadically spread tents throughout the woods. Walking along was very easy and uneventful. The area was noticeably drier than Mount of the Holy Cross despite having several pretty creek crossings. Maybe all the mosquitoes were busy tormenting everybody over at Elbert because I didn't see many on Massive. Word got out through the marshvine, I'm keen on parasite killing. I pressed onward to treeline with the established swagger of not fleeing from bugs. The trail continued to be a wide, well maintained affair until it tapered down to single track beyond the trees.

There isn't a more aptly names mountain than Mount Massive. This is hands down the largest protuberance of rock in Colorado with 5 summits over 14,000 feet! It's one thing to see Massive from a distance and an entirely different experience to ascend its slopes. The mountain only looms larger the higher up you get.


I saw some new flowers on the way up.

The front of the mountain was nice but it became bland after seeing similar terrain for the entire hike up. I was excited to near the ridgeline and get a change in topography.

Despite wearing a brace my knees had been bothering me a good part of the day. I decided on a rest break at the ridge and took advantage of the photo opportunity. I enjoyed my first glimpse of the Sawatch Range opening up before me.

Looking up to the final destination.

The final scramble went by quickly. There was no hurry so I hung out enjoying the views.

I found a little flag tucked away on the summit and made an impromptu elevation sign.

I only have one knee brace so I have to get a little creative with sharing it on both legs. On the way up the mountain I kept it on one knee and switched over to the other one for the way down. They both hurt but this helped me go the distance. The rest of the hike back down the trail was uneventful save for one instance near a creek. I was walking down the trail when a group of people on horseback caught up with me. I didn't realize there were groups that did that around the area. I remember seeing rubber shoes on the horses feet and thinking that they were practical but looked pretty goofy. I'm all for getting outside and having fun but these horses seemed to be walking shit factories. Just when you think there can't possibly be any more horse nuggets to dodge you encounter another landmine. Anywho, I eventually made it back to the trailhead with different shades of brown on the ol' boots. I didn't drag my feet getting back to Summit though as I had been in contact with a craigslist prospect. I met up with a couple that owned their own property management company. They had a property in Frisco and needed to have the trim on it painted. My body needed a break and I needed money to keep the car rolling. Everybody wins!

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