I climbed Belford with Jason and Brittney. This hike is not an easy one. The 4500+ feet of elevation that must be gained comes in a few short sections that really wear a person out.
The hike starts off relatively simple, but soon enters the Missouri Gulch switchbacks that give you a warning of what lies ahead.
The trail then eases off again and you enjoy a nice gradual ascent into Missouri Gulch which opens up to some spectacular views. In Missouri gulch the trail splits and a left turn heads up Mt. Belford.
It is here that the Belford Switchbacks are visible and show what is in store. These switchbacks lead up a relentless 45 degree ridge, taking you from 12,000 to 14,000 with no breaks.
Just before reaching the summit though the trail nearly levels off and the last 200 yards are a breeze.
Also visit my 2009 trip up Mount Belford or my trip up Oxford via Mount Belford.
This is the only stream crossing on the hike, but on a cold morning the logs can be icy and dangerous so hiking poles are a good idea.
Morning light striking Missouri Ridge. Don't be decieved, the summit of Missouri is actually on the far left of the photo.
A closer look at the summit of Mount Missouri.
Brittney looking up the ridge of Mount Belford at the relentless switchbacks.
This picture was taken of Belford when I was hiking Mt. Missouri. The Ridge on the left just below the highest ridge, is where the trail ascends the mountain.
Brittney resting on the ridge.
A marmot resting on the ridge.
Near 13,900 feet Brittney began to have serious symptoms of altitude sickness. I stayed with her while Jason went to the summit. When he returned he and Brittney began their descent while I went to the summit. I didn't have a tripod, so I just set the camera on a rock and got a photo of myself.
Missiouri Mountain seen from Belford. The orange rock on the right is what makes up the very unique summit block of Belford..
It didn't take me long to catch back up to Jason and Brittney.
Brittney was pretty disappointed about not making the summit, but there's not much you can do about altitude sickness other than head down.
We got to do a little glissading which lifted her spirits a bit.
We took a little rest at treeline before tackling the rest of the hike out.
There always seems to be more switchbacks on the way down than on the way up.
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