A tough three day backpack with lots of deep, uncooperative snow
Snow conditions in the Clohesy Lake area were horrible and progress ridiculously slow so we took the first safe line we could find up steep, windblown, west facing slopes to Missouri Mountain's west ridge. It was unpleasant but efficient.
Dominic and Kevin grind their way up the relentless slopes toward the ridge crest.
Dominic on Missouri's west ridge with Clohesy Lake far below.
UN 13,517 as seen from Missouri's west ridge. It is the only 13er in the area that I have yet to climb.
Iowa Peak's northwest face as seen from
Missouri Mountain's west ridge.
View down Missouri's west ridge toward Huron Peak.
Dominic hiking along the standard route on Missouri's northwest ridge. From here its still nearly half a mile to the summit.
Ice Mountain (left & behind) and North Apostle (right) as seen from Missouri's northwest ridge.
Dominic contemplating Missouri's northwest ridge where it begins to take on more character. We scrambled over these small pinnacles.
Ahead is the crux and final obstacle of the climb. The summer trail is buried under steep snow on the right side of the ridge.
Dominic postholes to his waist along Missouri's northwest ridge.
Kevin carefully scoots down the slick, narrow ridge.
Dominic scopes out the crux of Missouri's northwest ridge just a short distance from the summit. The summer route avoids this scrambly part by traversing below it on the right but since the trail is now covered with steep snow we decide to see if we can remain on the ridge proper. It turns out we can; a few spicy moves and we're through the worst of it.
Kevin traversing the narrow ridge above Missouri's big north face (to his right).
The final tenth of a mile was surprisingly slow with a mix of scrambling and deep snow.
Looking down Missouri's northwest ridge from the summit. Kevin is near the center of the photo.
Across the Pine Creek drainage to the southeast lies Mount Harvard. I've heard the northwest ridge (on the left) is a nifty winter route. The south ridge (which we climbed earlier this month) is on the right.
From Missouri Mountain's summit, Mount Belford looks sort of whale-like.
Dominic descending Missouri Mountain's south ridge with a rather aesthetic view of "Silver King Peak" (left), Emerald Peak (middle) and Iowa Peak (right).
Iowa Peak, next on our agenda, is surprisingly beautiful from Missour's south ridge in winter.
Kevin & Dominic heading for Emerald Peak.
Unoffically named "Silver King Peak" as seen from the summit of Emerald Peak.
Kevin and Dominic on the summit of Emerald Peak at about 3:45pm on a warm and sunny winter day. Dominic forgot his sunglasses in the tent and had to wear Kevin's goggles all day!
Dominic and Kevin beginning the descent from the Emerald/Iowa saddle. We're not looking forward to what the valley below has in store for us.
Kevin descending from the Emerald/Iowa saddle. After dropping below treeline it took three hours to go about one mile!!! It ended up being a nearly 13 hour day.