Ascent of Mount Belford on 2017-07-10

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Others in Party:Marshall Stewart
Date:Monday, July 10, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Belford
    Elevation:14197 ft / 4327 m

Ascent Trip Report

Most climbers bag both Mount Belford and Oxford in the same day, but at nearly 70 years old, I knew this could be quite a challenge for me, so I decided to backpack to 11,500 - 11,600 feet and enjoy a summit day with much less elevation gain. It took me a little over 3 hours to haul myself and my pack 2000 feet higher to a basecamp that was quite nice with level ground, willows for shade and a pleasant fast rushing creek nearby. The distance from the trailhead to this camp was only 1.8 air miles away, but the actual hiking distance was over 3 miles. There are many switchbacks and at times I felt like I was gaining more distance in elevation than I was lateral distance toward my goal. The trail from my basecamp was only 200 yards south from a fork, which separated the route to Mount Belford on the left and the route to the right on the Elkhead Pass Trail to the Missouri Mountain trail. From here it is a tiring, steep climb up the NW slope of Mount Belford over an amazingly well built trail with too many switchbacks to count to the summit. It took me 3.25 hours to finally summit, but the view to Mount Oxford to the east and Missouri Mountain to the SW was worth the effort and I had less wind on the summit than I did during my ascent. I also found the summit benchmark before beginning a traverse to Mount Oxford.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Stream Ford

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