Elevation gain: 4,600 feet
difficulty: class 2
|Mount Massive East Slopes|
The East Slopes route on Massive is mostly a cruise and is one of the more popular 14er climbs in the Sawatch Range and probably the state. Don't expect solitude during the summer on this route. Still, this route is one of the classic 14er hikes in the state. Mount Massive is one of Colorado most, well, massive mountains. It sheer size makes it interesting to climb and powerful to include on your ticklist.
This first three miles of this climb follow wooded and mellow trail (part of the Colorado Trail). This trail (whose trailhead is almost exactly across the street from the trailhead for the North Mount Elbert Trail) takes you from just over 10,000 feet on Massive's southeast flank around to Massive's east side. After three miles, the trail meets a junction and turns west (left) toward the basin on the mountains east slopes. This trail junction is at 11,200 feet.
|Late spring conditions on Massive|
Finally, after another 3 miles, you reach the saddle between Mount Massive's main summit and "South Massive," an unranked 14,000 sub-summit. From here it is just a short distance up a mildly scruffy class 2 slope to the top.
Redemption on Mount Massive- After turning around on Mt. Massive the year before due to lightning, we returned in 2011 to battle deep, rotten snow and a late-spring snowstorm to make the summit just in time to glissade down.
Mt. Massive on 14ers.com
Mt. Massive on summitpost.org
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