mount oklahoma - 13845' - East ridge Class 3
This climb I did the day after my long Mosquito Range Traverse I did with Jed and lets just say I was already exhausted. Add to that I only got a few hours of sleep that night and you have a recipe for me moving really slow! However my partner for the day didn't mind and it probably gave him the chance for a more relaxed climb. We drove to the trailhead early in his car (no way was I going to drive) and made it nearly the whole way to the end of the Halfmoon Creek Road. We quickly started up the trail and soon found ourselves admiring a gorgeous view of Mount Oklahoma at the head of the valley. The hike through the trees was pleasant and we soon reached the snow covered meadow just below Halfmoon Lakes. We walked across and began ascending steeper slopes of snow. The snow was still pretty hard which made for a nice ascent. Instead of taking the standard class 2 slope we cut off some distance and took a variation to the right up a steeper snow couloir and some class 3 and 4 rock. We topped out on the ridge where the angle eased and we finished the final 800 foot snow slog to the summit. From the top we could see the whole of Mount Massive, Deer Mountain, and Holy Cross but not much else. The views from Mount Oklahoma were well obstructed by nearby peaks but I saw a perspective of Mount Massive I've never seen before. It was actually quite cold so we didn't stay long and we started running down the mountain. We descended the standard route and got two very nice glissades in before arriving back to treeline. On our hike out we managed to miss the trail so we post-holed somewhat but quickly found it again and the final couple miles out felt horrible. I really needed a break!