Mt Oxford, Mt. Belford, Mt. Missouri
Participants: Lynn & Gary Clark
We did the Friday night Commute to Colorado, staying in our traditional
camping spot at Poncha Pass. Saturday morning we went to the Missouri
Gulch Trailhead (described in all the guides), and began our hike fairly
late (~8:30). We carried a camp to the basin below Mt. Missouri at about
12,500', then went straight up the flanks of Mt. Belford. This is at least
another mile up the Missouri Gulch trail from whence the Normal Belford
trail takes off. The mountain can be climbed from any direction, so this
was just as easy as using the trail. We summitted around noon, then did a
butt-busting traverse across the saddle to Mt. Oxford and back while
watching a rapidly-approaching thunder storm from the South. We descended
to Elkhead pass just to see something different, and arrived back at our
camp mid-afternoon. This is a tiring day.
Next day we did the comparatively easy ascent via the NW ridge of Mt.
Missouri, hiked down, and drove back to Los Alamos.
Trying to do all three in a day would be hideous (over 7500' gain, 10+
miles). So ours is a recommended strategy, as well as time of year. The
aspen were in full glory. We'll return to one of the snow couloirs on
Missouri's N. Face earlier in the season - they were too far gone in