Peak(s):  Mt. Belford  -  14,202 feet
Mt. Oxford  -  14,158 feet
Date Posted:  01/11/2015
Date Climbed:   01/10/2015
Author:  Yikes
Additional Members:   Summit Lounger
 Winter Belford/Oxford done easy   

..."done easy"? "How?" you say.

Okay, maybe it wasn't an easy day. In fact it was a bit strenuous. However, we had a few surprise gifts that helped make the hike doable:
a) The Sawatch received a fair amount of snow over the holidays and we weren't sure if we would be able to drive past the ranch. That would have added 7 miles to the hike. The road is holding a lot of snow, but fortunately someone had driven about 2.5 miles in. So with careful driving in the tracks, Greg was able to get us to a mile from the TH. The road further up was packed down by snowmobiles, so it was stable enough to hike with boots. So 2 extra miles instead of 7 is a nice gift.
b) Someone had trenched from the TH to the cabin. Having to trench up those nasty switchbacks and through the deep snow below the cabin would have used a lot of energy and time. With the trench, it was almost as easy as a summer ascent.
c) With the recent high winds, most of the snow in the basin has blown to Kansas. The small amount of snow remaining in the basin was very compacted and could be walked on without postholing (mostly).
d) Minimal amount of snow on the ridges and summits made it easy to ascend. A little more would have been nice for the descent, but I don't want to be greedy.
e) Decent weather. Temperatures were close to the freezing point, so no -10 suffering and no slushy snow in the afternoon. The windchill on the Bel-Ox ridge was a bit nippy (had to go from gloves to mittens).
f) The outhouse at the TH is open. And fully stocked with tp

On to the pics...

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Would have been tough section to trench

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Belford ridge. Looks like a quick jog up to the summit but it is 2000 ft

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Greg contemplating the ridge ascent

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Looking down valley

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Ridge to Oxford

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Greg earning his moniker

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Harvard

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Belford from Oxford

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Ridge back to Belford

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Heading back to the Belford summit

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Lets go home



Trip stats:
Started around 6, back to truck at 5 - ~11 hrs
Miles - ~13
Elevation gain - ~6000



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11


Comments or Questions
John_Duke
User
Great Work
01/12/2015 03:33
That easily couldve beena LONG day. I need to go back and bag Oxford myself, having been shutdown on Belford due to weather/time


Dad Mike
User
Yeah yeah
01/12/2015 16:51
Nicely done you two. Looks like a great day in the mountains.


Alpine
User
Nice job!
01/12/2015 17:16
Looks like you did use snowshoes for at least a little bit though?



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