Mount Massive Climb


	East Slopes II from Mount Massive Trailhead
        Elevation - 14,421ft
        Mountain Range - Sawatch
        Colorado Ranking - 2 

It had been a year and a half since we last attempted Mount Massive. We had tried back in February of 2000 without much success. We ran into deep snow drifts! Every third step, I punched through even with snow shoes on... It was miserable! This time would be different! This time it was October 2001 and a last minute trip. Jason and I had been talking about heading back to Massive for a while and finally decided to do it. Alot had changed since our last trip, I am happy to announce that there is now a Mrs. Hiker Hayes and a new young daughter Hikerette Hayes!!

It was back to Leadville, Colorado!

We packed up and hit the road early Saturday morning 10/6/01 and made it to the trail head shortly after dark. We climbed in the back of my Pathfinder (making its maiden voyage to Colorado), pulled out the sleeping bags, and crashed. Early the next morning, after very little sleep, we hit the trail. We followed the Colorado trail (topo map) around the west and then north side of Massive for about 3.2 mile before reaching the Mount Massive trail. The Colorado trail had been fairly easy on us, however the Mount Massive trail would make up for that. After a steep climb we emerged above tree line and set up camp at about 11,800 feet. It was beginning to sleet on us so we quickly set up the tent. The sleet didn't last for long so we ate, rested, explored a little, and got ready to hit the sack.

At 6:00, Jason woke me up and asked if I wanted to get an early start... "No" I said and we slept for another hour. At about 7:00 we got up and prepared to make a summit assalt. The sunrise over the city was beautiful!! It was looking like it would be a nice but cold day! The trail was a steady uphill climb, but soon the saddle between South Massive and Massive was visable. After many rest stops, we were on the saddle. The view from there at 13,900 feet was beautiful! Leadville to the east and breathtaking peaks to the west! Here is where the trail became hard to find and follow, so Jason and I did alot of scrambling over rock until we got to what we thought was the peak. It wasn't.. However, just a little more scrambling, and we were standing atop the second highest mountain in Colorado (third highest in the continental U.S.). Clouds had rolled in and sleet was falling, so the stay at the top was short. We quickly took a couple of pictures and headed down. As usual the trip down was very hard on the knees, and I was so happy to make it back to camp. We rested a little, packed up camp, and with the thought of hot Mexican food providing a motivator, we headed back to the trail head.


On the Colorado Trail



Hitting the Mount Massive Trail!



Camp at 11,800 feet.



Sunrise over Leadville, Colorado



Heading towards the saddle between Massive and South Massive.



Atop Mount Massive - 14,421 feet!!