Mt. Belford and Mt. Oxford

Having just finished Step 2CK, I had an entire week to go climb mountains in Colorado while Allison and Micah flew out to Pittsburgh to visit family. I’d been planning this trip for awhile, and was planning to climb roughly 15 mountains over the course of 6 days.

I drove out on July 3 (Milwaukee to Chicago to drop Allison & Micah at the airport, then to the suburbs of Denver for a quick night’s sleep in a Walmart parking lot). I woke up at 2:30 am to make the final tw0 hour drive to the trailhead, and hit the trail at 4:45 am. I only ended up needing the headlamp for 15-20 minutes, and the early start was really helpful in staying ahead of the 4th of July crowds.

Early start

Early start

This would become a theme for the week. Wake up at 2-3 am, start hiking around 4 am, and try to be back below treeline before the daily afternoon storms rolled in. It turned out to be a very stormy week.

The trail was pretty steep, and I made the long slog up to Peck’s Peak (13,270′) a little after sunrise.

Peck's Peak

Peck’s Peak

From there is was a short uphill hike to Mt. Belford (14,197′), my first of what would eventually be ten 14,000′ peaks in the span of six days.

Mt. Belford

Mt. Belford

I was still sort of adjusting to the elevation, and have to admit that I was somewhat short of breath by this point. I made the traverse over to Mt. Oxford (14,153′) at a more leisurely pace.

Mt. Oxford

Mt. Oxford

At this point I briefly considered going for Missouri Mountain, Iowa Peak, and Emerald Peak…but decided instead to head back over Mt. Belford and descend back down the Missouri Gulch. There were some dark clouds starting to move in, and I didn’t want to completely shred my legs on the first day of the trip.

Another picture on top of Mt. Belford

Another picture on top of Mt. Belford

Made it back to my car mid-afternoon, checked the weather forecast, and decided to scrap my plans for Castle & Conundrum peaks the next day. Instead I drove down to the San Juans for an extra day of climbing.

Published in: on July 12, 2015 at 1:54 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Nice views!

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