Climbing Mt. Massive (14,421 ft.)

At 14,421 ft., Mt. Massive is Colorado’s second highest peak.  However, the challenge in climbing this mountain is not the height or technicality, but rather the distance.  It’s a nearly 14 mile roundtrip from the main trailhead.

Massive in the early morning light

This was my first of five 14er summits in a span of five days, so my legs were fresh.  Well, sort of.  I had just arrived in Leadville less than 36 hours earlier and my heart rate was still a little high with the elevation and I did do a 12 mile run the day before (couldn’t help myself).

I knew, I wanted to push the pace a bit and opted to wear my trailrunning shoes (Brooks Cascadia) rather than boots.  This helped me flying along the Colorado Trail, and I reached the cut-off in 51 minutes.

Mt. Massive cut-off

Then it was finally time to go up, but things never got all too steep.  In many ways this climb reminded me of Mt. Elbert (which I climbed from Twin Lakes).  It’s long, high, but not too steep.  The last 1.5 miles were really tough though.  A strong, strong headwind slowed me to a crawl.  I would take 10 steps and then turn around to get my face out of the wind.

Taking a quick break from the howling headwinds

In the end, it took me 3:07 to summit, which is still fairly quick, I believe.  The views from the top were awesome as usual, especially looking west.

Final class two approach

Mt. Massive summit seat

The descent was looooooong, especially the CT section.  I couldn’t wait to get back to Leadville to rest up for the next day: La Plata Peak.

Date climbed: 6/21/10

Time: 3:07 up/2:15 down from main trailhead via CT

Gear: Brooks Cascadia shoes, Camelbak Lobo, survival kit

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One Response to Climbing Mt. Massive (14,421 ft.)

  1. Pingback: Finding ‘Gold’ on the Silver Peak – Climbing La Plata (14,336 ft.) | Golden Trails Blog

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