Mount Massive SW Slopes
I was hell-bent on hiking Massive via the Southwest slopes over the standard route. I wanted to avoid crowds on this popular peak and use it as recon for another route I had been studying. There was a significant avalanche a few years ago through this path, quite stunning to see as you walk through. They have since cut a trail through the debri field and re-routed the trail some.
The views in that area are stunning and I later returned to hike Mount Oklahoma from this same trail. The trail above the avi debri was lovely and the CFI did a great job creating a staircase up that route. We had very few people on the same side of the mountain that day.
Once you gain the ridge crest it is a pleasant ridge walk over to the summit. Here is where we saw all the crowds of people and we were pretty happy that we chose the trail less traveled.
After soaking in the views we started our way down and seeing the avalanche destruction from above was just as impressive. We continued making our way back to the upper 4WD trailhead. From there driving back down the road we ran into a party struggling to get up the crux of the road, near the trailhead before crossing the creek. Highly recommend good clearance and experience 4WD driving here.
Another great day up high!
Leadville is one of my most favorite mountain towns. A little gem with plenty of local options. Definitely spend some time here as you're passing through or even stay overnight to get better acclimated for your hike if you're coming from sea level.