From U.S. 24 just south of Leadville, turn onto Colorado 300 and cross the railroad tracks. Drive a bit and turn left onto County Road 11 towards the Halfmoon Creek campground. After about 1 mile, turn right on the dirt road to Halfmoon Campground. Drive on the good dirt road (except for the washboard and a few potholes) for 5 miles to the Mt. Massive parking area on the right.
In America, we do things because we can. Freedom is one of the most rewarding aspects of life in this incredible country. Look around you everyday and you can observe your freedom and the freedom of others in action. Countless numbers of foreigners flock to America for freedom and America embraces them and gives them a chance for opportunity, a change for freedom. With freedom, everything life has to offer becomes accessible. On September 11, 2001, the freedom of my country. . .my country that I take great pride in. . .my country that I would fight for. . .my country that I choose to raise my children in, was violated in the saddest, most unthinkable way. Thousands of Americans and innocent foreigners were killed by the hands of ruthless terrorists. Children lost their parents; parents lost their children. America lost hope. . .or that is what the senseless culprits would like to believe. We all watched a part of this country literally fall to the ground and America fell to it's knees. What was happening behind the scenes is the true foundation that is the lifeblood of America. The foundation is the people and it is the people who will continue to keep this country growing with strength and thriving. When someone or something strikes our country we don't fall to our knees because our knees have buckled out of weakness. We fell to our knees to pray as a nation together. People of all walks of life all over the world even, came together, mourned and got pissed off, ready to seek out justice. Its the sum of the parts that equal the whole and it is the whole that pulls us through everything and puts America on top.
United we stand. . . Millions of people strive to help during this time of turmoil. Some help in monetary form. Others help by physical and mental effort through search, rescue, recovery and cleanup missions. Some help by putting on a uniform, leaving their families to fight a potential war. And others helped by paying the ultimate price by losing their lives. They died as a result of a ruthless act and because of their ultimate sacrifice, America is stronger. Because of their sacrifice, I am confident that my children will prosper in a lifetime where they wont have to fear getting on a plane or walking into a Federal Building or traveling to foreign lands. There are millions of faceless, nameless heroes walking around this country today. Some we'll never know but to all the heroes who stumble upon my site, this goes out to you all.
United we climbed. The climb to the 2d highest summit in the state was originally planned in the spirit of fun. After the fall of the towers and the attack on the Pentagon, the climb was still to take place but with a much different tone. A group of teachers from the Aurora Public School System, their families, friends and dogs set out on a more patriotic climb. Upon reaching the summit, a large flag was to be posted atop of Mt. Massive for everyone summiting to see and for those in the valley, thousands of feet below, who couldnt make it to the summit to also view. That American flag that flew proudly at 14,421 feet brought total strangers together. All who summited were cheering and shouting, hoping to get a picture by the flag. That flag brought total strangers together who had several very real things in common. We were all Americans, we were all touched by the tragedy and we all have great pride in our country and we were all very proud to show it. We were all brought together because of that strong symbol. Our country is strong. Our country is united and our country will fight for its freedom and WE WILL WIN THE BATTLE!!!!!
On to the climb . . .With every summit I conquer, I seem to find words spewing from my brain that inevitably say, "This climb was the best ever!" Well since Mt. Massive, I have climbed 3 other peaks. I combine that with my feelings and experiences on the other great peaks and I can realistically and honestly say that no other climb has even come close to being so great.
The climb begins through the trees at the Mt. Massive Trailhead on a good, easily recognizable trail. The trail at first climbs sharply for approximately 2 - 3 miles, maybe even more. Follow he Colorado Trail to the Mt. Massive, Colorado Trail Junction. Head West on the Mt. Massive Trail to the peaks broad eastern slopes. As you climb out of the trees, take a look behind you at the beautiful views that will await you upon your descent. The trail fades a bit above treeline but is still identifiable because it is well traveled. Continue to climb to the saddle between south Massive and Massive. You're already above 14,000. Leave the saddle and head West, then north on a climbers trail, sometimes scrambling across rocks on Massives South ridge all the way to the summit. Descend the way you arrived at the summit. To shave a little off of your time, do not follow the trail along the South ridge down. Instead, leave the summit by sliding down the rocky, gravel-like eastern slopes. Its fun, you're not harming any tundra because there is very little tundra, mostly rocks, and it is a lot quicker. Rejoin the trail approximately 1 miles above treeline. Massive has the most square footage above 14,000 out of all of Colorados fourteeners. This is a climb that I will never forget. In my mind I climbed not only because I love to climb, but because Im an American and I can do anything!!!!