- Date Hiked: May 26, 2006
- Miles Hiked: 9.0
- Elevation Gain: 4,450'
- Hiking Partner(s): None
- As a result of the recent heat wave Colorado's been having, I assumed
some couloirs were starting to set up. I went to Missouri Gulch to
see if Missouri Mountain's north face was climbable. Recent reports
had indicted that the approach was primarily snow free and some people
were skiing the C Couloir.
Because of reasonably good snow conditions, I ended up climbing the
easternmost couloir on Missouri's north face. Gerry Roach indicates
that this "narrow couloir cuts through the steeper northeast face and is a
more serious climb." After coming down the C Couloir, I would tend
to agree that it is likely more difficult than it's neighboring couloirs
to the west. The only drawback is that it is probably a couple
hundred feet shorter than the C. So although it is steeper and more
fun, it isn't quite as long.
- I was up at midnight, hiking by 3:15, and climbing by 6:15. The
approach in the dark went quickly as I made my way up Missouri Gulch on a
generally snow free trail.
As I entered the upper
basin around 12,000' more snow was present; however, it either held my
weight or was easily avoidable. I reached the base of the north face
just as the sun was starting to hit the peak. I cached my approach
shoes, trekking poles, iPod, and some water before starting up the
couloir. It starts out fairly steep on the apron and remains consistent until the
last hundred feet when it mellows out. I used my alpine axe and a
second tool during the climb primarily in the low dagger position with the
pick forward. The top of the couloir ends
at the same location as the couloir just to the west about 100' below
Missouri's east ridge.
- From the top of the couloir, there is a short scramble to the ridge
and summit. After my summit time, I dropped into the C
Couloir and glissaded almost entirely all the way to my cache. It
took me 1.5 hours to climb from my gear to the summit and it only took me
10 minutes to get from the summit back down. Although much warmer
than the approach, the hike out was uneventful. I didn't see anyone
else all day. My only recommendation for this hike would be to hit
Even after a short period of time with sunlight, the snow seemed to soften
- Click here
to view a
map of the area where this hike is located.