missouri mountain - 14067' - Class 2+
Since I still had to climb Missouri Mountain, I decided to join when I got the invite from Bryan. I wasn't interested in hiking back up Missouri Gulch but I figured I better do it sooner than later. I believe this was on the last day of March and once again, there was very little snow to speak of. After driving out to the trailhead early that morning we began up the Missouri Gulch Trail which was packed down completely. By sunrise we were already halfway up the trail and we reached the upper basin before the sun even hit the valley floor. We decided to deviate from the standard route to minimize avalanche danger so we went for a east facing snow slope further north than the standard. We went straight up staying on a rock rib in the middlewhich was less snow on it. We crested the NW ridge of Missouri and realized we still had quite a ways to go. This traverse was actually fun since there was some class 3 steps to navigate. Views towards the Apostles were awe inspiring. We continued on the ridge for an hour or so until we reached the final 50 feet to the summit which was characterized by a narrow section of ridge and some towers to walk around. I went first and walked over a cornice and scrambled over a short knife edge section of ridge before dropping right around a large tower. Once I was around the tower the final chute to the summit was an easy but loose scramble. I was now able to see Iowa and Emerald Peaks. I contemplated running over to do Emerald Peak (since I skipped it on my trip to Iowa Peak in 2009) but I decided against it since I was in a group and they didn't have the interest. We snacked on the summit and we were soon on our way down. We managed a nice glissade down the east slopes off the ridge and once in the valley it was downright hot! The hike out on the trail felt like it was mid-summer. I couldn't believe how warm it was.