Peak(s):  Missouri Mountain  -  14,067 feet
Mt. Belford  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  07/26/2021
Date Climbed:   07/23/2021
Author:  reparnham79
 Narrow escape from the debris flow   

I've typed up this report 3 times and it's not saving so this is the Cliff Notes version.

Long story short....On Friday, July 23rd we had to evacuate our campsite at 11,700 feet during torrential downpour that caused a debris slide off Belford which then caused a debris flow that was heading straight toward our campsite. We came back the next day to find our site was miraculously spared by 20 feet despite the 50 ft wide debris flow and a newly formed creek! We summited Missouri on July 22nd and Belford early on July 23rd---it was a beautiful day...until it wasn't!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
i saw it too
07/26/2021 17:42
I hiked Missouri on 7/25. I saw the mud flows exactly as you described. I assumed it was because of the 'flash flood' we got 2 days earlier on that Friday, because the mud was soft and fresh. The mud flows obliterated a section of the trail, and at this point, a new creek was now flowing down a 1/4 mile section of the trail. This is significant damage, which will require a lot of work to fix. To get up to Missouri, I had to bush-bash for 15 minutes to get around the flows. On the way up, I followed one mud flow until I could jump across the (new) creek, and scramble up the other side to meet up with the trail. On the way down, I tried to follow the trail, but it was totally inundated by the new creek, so more bush-bashing to get around it. The upper part of this creek is a deep gully that goes down to the left of the Belford trail. I was AMAZED to see the way the power of the flash flood, as it moved huge boulders down with the mud, and excavated the creek, leaving an avenue of talus boulders. I'm glad you got out safe.

glad we bailed
07/26/2021 17:50
Thanks for the comment, foopydog! As you are walking uphill, our campsite was on the right side of the mud flow just behind where the "new" creek and mud was emptying into the old creek...we were on a bit of an "island", I guess you could say....raging creek on one side and the mud and new creek on the other side. Thankfully we bailed before the mud trapped us there! And even more thankful it missed our tents and gear by 20 feet! This was my first time backpacking and my first 14ers so it was definitely an epic experience!

07/27/2021 06:10
Hey, I'm sorry you had problems trying to type the report. I'll try to fix the problem but can you tell me what happened when you clicked Save? Did it say it updated the report successfully even through it didn't save text OR did it give you an error like "The Trip Report record not be updated!" ? Any info you can provide will help me find the problem so it doesn't happen in the future. Thanks

trip report
07/27/2021 06:30
Hi Bill. Thanks for reaching out. I spent like 30 minutes typing up a detailed trip report and when I clicked "save" it took me to the main trip report screen for this particular event but the text was not there. There was no error message or was just like I had not done anything. In hindsight I should have copied the text prior to hitting the save button to be on the safe side but didn't think about it ahead of time.

07/27/2021 09:19
When you say Main Trip Report Screen, do you mean this one:

07/27/2021 09:52
No, when I hit "save and activate" it just took me back to my personal trip report screen with the various tabs. The pictures were all there but it didn't save the text part of it.

07/27/2021 10:45
Thanks! I'll keep looking

07/29/2021 15:14
The experience for a first backpacking adventure into the mountains.

Thanks for the head's up.
08/03/2021 16:29
We hiked Missouri August 6. The debris flow was pretty dry expect the creek now running through the trail. We crossed the creek and followed it just to its right. It was pretty straightforward and we were back on the trail after less than 1/4 mile I estimate.

Thanks for the update
08/03/2021 17:04
Hi beezus3! Glad you made it through ok! Good to hear the mud has dried up!

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