Peak(s):  Oklahoma, Mt - 13,845 feet
Date Posted:  06/06/2022
Date Climbed:   06/04/2022
Author:  BirdMan
 Shutdown on Oklahoma and Thats Ok   

Sometimes you just have to get out...

Or that's what I was telling myself when thinking about going for a peak in early June. The peaks in early June are typically snow filled and we had gotten a Memorial Day dumping of snow in town but prior to that it had been awfully hot and dry so I was thinking there was a chance for things to go either way. Sometimes any excuse to get away is a good excuse.

Headed out after work on Friday to reach the Halfmoon Creek TH. One nice thing about going for something potentially too early in the season? There's not many other people you have to share the accommodations with.

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Setting up camp for the next 2 nights.
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I'm not complaining but where is everybody?!?

After a decent night's sleep I got started on a blue-bird morning. Passing the Mt Massive memorial and tributes.

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Rest in Peace guys.

Not long after you come to a Mt Massive Wilderness sign.

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At around 1.25 miles in and at 11,200' you come to the trail junction. Turning right takes you to Mt Massive. If Oklahoma is your goal, continue straight on the North Halfmoon Lakes trail.

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I won't go into the off-trail route finding needed to get to Oklahoma's summit. Bill's route description for the off-trail portion in the forest is spot-on and certainly better than I could do. However, once you're out of the forest you'll enter a small basin at around 12,400'. This was where things started to get interesting for me.

The basin was pretty well loaded up with snow. Sometimes it would support my weight and sometimes I would posthole easily up to my knees.

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The route up to the high basin around 12,400'. It was around this point I put on spikes.

Around 12,700' you're at the bottom of a 400' semi-steep scree-rock-grass slope to gain the ridge. The spikes were nice to have and it was here that I pulled out the ice ax to help me up and also to help me if anything (including me) started to go south. Here's a look up the 400' climb.

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Below is a look back down from whence I came.

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The spikes were doing ok in the snow. It was tiring but I got to the ridge. I was hoping against hope that the remainder of the route would be a little less snow packed but that didn't turn out to be the case. Getting to the top of the ridge just showed me more of same - a snow climb with moderate angle in micro-spikes with an ice ax. Did I mention at this point I would sometimes posthole up to my thigh? Hmmm... with the sky clouding up a bit and the equipment I had I started to question if I should just power on or leave the peak for another time.

I realized I was more relieved at the idea of descending than I was interested in making the summit so with that I had a quick bite to eat, took in the landscape and started down. Still, the ridgeline did afford me a nice shot of the ax.

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Product placement anyone?

The descent was relatively uneventful. I even found my way back to the exact spot at one of the stream crossings and maybe 50' away from the other stream crossing! But as I was finishing up I couldn't resist one look back.

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With little to do back at camp you start to get creative with the ol' iPhone.

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I liked the reflection of the sunset in the top right corner.
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So, Oklahoma we've come to a draw. I don't mind though as it was so nice to get into the back country for the first time this season. One last parting shot from the drive home.

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Good ol' Colorado.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
jwill1970
Mt Oklahoma is OK; the state not so much
06/06/2022 13:43
Great report, loved the pics. Those late storms really dumped some snow above 12,000 feet.


kushrocks
User
Nice try
06/07/2022 10:14
We're you able to drive all the way to the trailhead? I couldn't get ast the rocky section on the road so I bailed and just did Elbert


BirdMan
User
Thanks
06/07/2022 10:57
for reading...

Yes - tons of snow above 12,000'. I didn't mention in the report but I probably got ~13,400 and turned around. Still fun though.

I didn't drive all the way to the TH. I stopped and camped maybe 1/2 mile from the 110J turn-off. So it added a little time / distance to the hike but agreed, it gets rough past the 110J turn-off and I didn't want to push it.



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