Tour de Massive
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Base Camp

  • Statistics:
    • Date Hiked:  July 9, 2004
    • Miles Hiked:  8.7
    • Elevation Gain:  4,630'
    • Hiking Partner(s):  None
  • Description:
    • I left Denver at 3:45 am and was hiking from the North Halfmoon Creek Trailhead at 6:25 am.  The last two miles of the road were a little rough, but I never used 4WD.  Other than these two miles, passenger cars can make it to the lower trailhead very easily.  If I was going to hike another 14er, I thought I'd attempt Roach's Tour de Massive (9.4EC) and tag the four named summits above 14,000'.  I took a look at Point 14,169', but it was unappealing and I wasn't feeling good anyway.
    • The hike next to Halfmoon Creek was enjoyable, but the trail eventually petered out at 13,000'.  I caught a couple of cairns after this, but the route was obvious so I didn't pay much attention.  Once in the basin to the west of Massive, I made an ascending traverse to the south ridge below North Massive.  You can't go directly up the ridge because of some cliffs and a tower that would require technical climbing.  After making it to North Massive, you simply get on the roller coaster ridge to the southeast towards Mount Massive.  The class 3 climbing between North Massive and Saddle 14,060' was nominal and not difficult to negotiate.  In order to reach South Massive and return to the North Halfmoon Creek Trailhead via the Southwest Slopes Route (9.3), I did have to backtrack a short distance.  Other than this it was a loop hike.
    • On the way back down the South Slope Route, I ran into a crew that was rebuilding the trail.  When I came off the saddle, I felt like I was back in the Lost River Range of Idaho sliding down the scree, talus, and loose rock.  They said the trail should be complete by the end of the summer.  It will likely be redirected through the rock and cliff bands to the northwest of Saddle 13,900'.
    • Additional Statistics:  I can't remember the last time I felt so terrible on a hike.  Unlike Stella, I just couldn't get my groove back.  I have found that I often underestimate ridge hikes, but my problems started before the ridge.  Anyway, I simply used the statistics from Roach's book for this hike and the chart below reconciles to them.  The individual mileage distances are not likely exact.  I started at 6:25 am and was back at the trailhead by 1:00 pm for a total trail time of 6 hours and 35 minutes.
      • South Slopes Trail Junction (00:35)
      • Bench above North Halfmoon Lakes/12,500' (1:30)
      • North Massive (3:25)
      • Massive Green (4:10)
      • Mount Massive (4:35)
      • South Massive (5:20)
      • Back at Trailhead (6:35)
Leg Description Start End G (L) Grade Miles
1. N. Halfmoon Cr. Trailhead - N. Massive 10,500' 14,340' 3,840' 18.2% 4.0
2. N. Massive - N. Massive/Massive Green Saddle 14,340' 14,060' (280')   0.2
3. N. Massive/Massive Green Saddle - Massive Green 14,060' 14,300' 240' 22.7% 0.2
4. Massive Green - Massive Green/Mt. Massive Saddle 14,300' 14,100 (200')   0.2
5. Massive Green/Mt. Massive Saddle - Mt. Massive 14,100' 14,421' 321' 30.4% 0.2
6. Mt. Massive - Mt. Massive/S. Massive Saddle 14,421' 13,900' (521')   0.3
7. Mt. Massive/S. Massive Saddle - S. Massive 13,900' 14,132' 232' 22.0% 0.2
8. S. Massive - Mt. Massive/S. Massive Saddle 14,132' 13,900' (232')   0.2
9. Mt. Massive/S. Massive Saddle - Trailhead 13,900' 10,500' (3,400')   3.2
  Cumulative Elevation Gain/Grade/Miles   4,633' 20.2% 8.7
  • Maps:
    • Click here to view a 2D map of the area where this hike is located.
  • Photographs:
    • This is essentially where the trail disappears.  You can see the tower of rock and why you can't gain the ridge to North Massive immediately.  From this point, you head to the right to get into the basin to the west of Mount Massive.
    • The basin to the south of North Massive.  I gained the ridge on the left before the snow fields.
    • Mount Elbert in the background with the technical section of the ridge below me.
    • Looking from North Massive over Massive Green to Mount Massive.  South Massive is hidden behind Mount Massive.
    • A photo of the approach towards North Halfmoon Creek to the southwest.
    • The traditional summit photo.
    • From left to right, South Massive, Mount Massive, Massive Green, and North Massive.





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