Mt. Belford 14,197 & Mt Oxford 14,153, CO 06/30/05
Trailhead: Missouri Gulch
Elevation Gain: 5900 feet
Round trip length: 11.5 miles
There was a 2 for 1 special today. Get Belford and Oxford for the
price of 1! I was really disappointed that I did not summit any 14ers on the extra week I
took off to go hiking before we went to Europe. We just had so many different plans and
things to do, not to mention the weather was stormy all week. Oh well, that is the way it
goes sometimes. At least the extra time in town allowed me to get some stuff done so I could go up today. This would be my last 14er(s) in CO for quite some time since
we are leaving CO tomorrow for our big European trip.
I left for the trailhead around 7 pm the night before and slept in the jeep at the trailhead. I didn't wake up until 6:30 but the 6 hours of sleep I got was the most I can ever remember before hiking a 14er. I started on the trail at 7:30, reached the Belford summit at 11:00, then after 15 minutes I headed to Oxford and reached that summit at 12:15. It took another hour to get back over to Belford. I left the Belford summit at 1:30 and reached the trailhead at 4:30, taking time to shoot plenty of pics. All in all a very easy day considering the distance, elevation gain, and strong winds I was fighting all day. The full night of sleep and acclimation to altitude by sleeping at the trailhead really seems to help.
Although somewhat rare, it's always nice to have a toilet at the trailhead.
I hit the trail early and didn't stop for many pictures until I reached treeline, where you also see this old abandoned mine.
Above tree line you can see the rest of the hike. It winds through this valley and goes up the shoulder of Belford.
I think one of these mountains is Missouri which you can also hike with Belford/Oxford, but it’s an extra 1500 elevation gain and a couple more miles. I wouldn't have time to attempt it today.
A little higher on the mountain you can see down into the valley that you hike through to get to Belford.
Footprints in the snow on the way to the Belford summit.
A guy I met on the summit was nice enough to take this cool picture of me. It was reallllllly windy up here today. The gusts were probably around 40-50 mph.
The geological survey marker on Belford.
I never did find the register on Belford but did find one on Oxford. It was quite a trek to get over to this other summit. About another 600 feet elevation gain/loss each way and 1.5 miles each way. Not so difficult but with the high winds and clouds building up I was really worried about getting stuck on that ridge with no escape, except back over Belford. Turns out the clouds never did anything except clear up so I only had to fight the winds.
Double your summitting pleasure with Belford and Oxford in one day!
Coming down Oxford you can see Belford is still a long way from the saddle. The Belford summit is the tiny bump in the middle/top of the picture.
A closer look at the interesting summit of Belford.
Newsflash! Marmot summits Mt Belford!
A view of the hike over to Oxford. You have to go to the right and then down and up the saddle to Mt Oxford. I was confused while hiking up to Belford. I thought I saw Belford and Oxford, but you really can't see Oxford until you reach the Belford summit.
Another picture of the Belford summit as I was starting to go down. I believe the mountain to the right is Harvard.
A friendly marmot poses for a close-up picture.
This picture turned out pretty cool for being taken with the canon S70 instead of my DSLR which is in the shop getting cleaned.
It even takes great macros, although I did crop this picture a little.
Looking back into the valley as I'm about to enter tree line again.
Oops, I saw this sign after I already slept in my jeep at the trailhead the night before. I guess its no big deal. There were a few other cars parked here too, and at least 4 different parties camped out along the trail. Sometime in the future I'd like to try that camping out around tree line before making a summit.