The day before I had summited and ridden Mount Belford with Mark and Ben. They had headed down and I spent the night of May 10th by myself camped in Missouri Gulch at treeline right next to the old cabin ruins. It was nice, I read a book and went to bed early.
The winds howled and shook my tent. I was planning on getting up early but when 4:00am rolled around the winds were blowing hard outside and I stayed in the comfort of my sleeping bag. I figured my route was north facing so i would have a little more time today before the snow turned slushy and dangerous.
Finally the winds died down and I departed camp at about 6:30 am. I hiked up into the head of Missouri Gulch. Just before the trail began to climb up to Elkhead pass I took a right off the trail and climbed up into a basin beneath the north face of Missouri Mountain. I strapped on my crampons and began to climb up a moderate snow slope to gain the northwest ridge of Missouri. The day was warming up and the sun was out in full force. We had gotten a good freeze the night before and the winds kept the snow cool too. At this point though the snowpack began to thaw quickly.
I hurried quickly along the ridge to the summit. I got onto what I thought was the summit only to look up and see the ridge continue and climb up a bit more. I was quite confused as I knew I was on the summit of the peak that Lou Dawson labels as Missouri mountain in his guide book to the 14ers. I found out later that he mislabeled this picture. I was actually on the summit of Point 13,930. The true summit of Missouri was still half a miles walk away along the ridge. I am not talking down to Lou's books though. They have been an invaluable resource for me on the 14ers. With all the great info he has in the books it is inevitable for something to be mislabed.
I wanted to investigate but the snow was getting slushy and would be avalanche prone soon so I strapped my board on the summit of Point 13,930 and dropped in on the steep north face of Missouri(Point 13,900 is basically a lower summit of a long ridge who's highest point is the Missouri Mountain summit.
I got some good corn turns but was a bit disapointed when I figured out that I rode off half a mile away from the summit. I will have to return in order to complete my goal of riding all the 14ers.
photo- Zach Taylor's pack and splitboard. This was taken right beneath the north face of Missouri Mountain. photo by Zach Taylor, 2009.