An alpine start to enjoy sunrise on a 14er required getting to the trailhead for Mt. Massive by 3:30 am. The nearly full moon helped illuminate the trail and the many avalanche paths that were still melting away from the record spring snowfall. As we reached 13,000 ft we realized that we would not reach the summit before sunrise so we found a great viewpoint looking south towards Mt. Elbert. The subtle colors in the alpine glow were quickly overwhelmed by the strengthening sun, but not before we captured the first light.
On my first summit of Mt. Massive several years ago I had not realized the extend of the mountain range. While all are not official 14er summits, there are five summits above 14,000 ft along the ridge. I made it across to North Massive before descending back to our camp. On our descent we followed proper trail etiquette and yielded to all uphill traffic, including a band of mountain goats! We stepped off of the trail and one was comfortable enough to directly continue up past us. Their winter coats had mostly shed and they seemed very accustomed to the human presence on the mountain.