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Four Pass Loop - clockwise or counterclockwise?

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Four Pass Loop - clockwise or counterclockwise?

Postby Mountainscott » Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:11 pm

I've read multiple reports from people doing this loop near Aspen both ways, and can't decide. Are there any strong arguments for either direction?
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Postby Outside » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:08 am

Great question. I'm heading there in early Sept. and have been planning for a clockwise trip but now I'm not sure why. Does this indicate some deep seeded tendencies?
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Postby Mountainscott » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:33 am

I asked the same question over on 14ers.com and the consensus seems to be clockwise. I heard the haul up that side of Buckskin Pass can be a brutal way to start off a trip with a full pack.
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Re: Four Pass Loop - clockwise or counterclockwise?

Postby RunTimRun26 » Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:32 pm

I like that when going clockwise and making it a 4 day trip, the first day is an easy one with no passes. That's my plan for my first trip there, which will be the first of August.
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Re: Four Pass Loop - clockwise or counterclockwise?

Postby Chris » Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:08 am

I've run it both ways and backpacked it once (clockwise). No strong preference for either way, but I'd give a slight nod to clockwise. I like descending down to Snowmass Lake... such a great view. Running down thru Fravert Basin is awesome too.

Both ways are stellar.
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Re: Four Pass Loop - clockwise or counterclockwise?

Postby pappabroome » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:49 pm

We are going clockwise starting the morning of August 1st and actually taking a detour to Geneva Lake for a day. Fishing is going to insane this year!!!
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Re: Four Pass Loop - clockwise or counterclockwise?

Postby tmahon » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:35 am

Lots who do it in a day or as a run like CCW, to get the big hump up Buckskin out of the way while you're fresh.

For backpacking, if you are starting in the morning and have a full day, to go CW means you either call it short and camp before West Maroon, or make it all the way over Frigid Air and camp down in Fravert b/c there aren't many camping options in between. To go CCW, you can camp on your way up Buckskin, on the other side of it, or down by Snowmass Creek. There are more options depending on how far you want to go.
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Re: Four Pass Loop - clockwise or counterclockwise?

Postby pappabroome » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:37 am

We are trying to make Geneva by night 2. That we can have some tranquility for the entire day. Then off to snowmass for night 4.
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Re: Four Pass Loop - clockwise or counterclockwise?

Postby trekker » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:33 am

We did 4 pass loop clockwise last July. We left the trailhead late, 2 p.m. so we were ok with saving West Maroon and Frigid Air for the next day. Stayed at Geneva Lake on the 3rd day and loved it. Fish were jumping all evening, unfortunately none of us brought any tackle...Staying at Geneva also made the next day's push up Trailrider much easier!

I agree Buckskin would be tough on the first day with a full pack. Another thing interesting to note was that we saw very few people going CCW on our trip. Not sure why. Once we passed Snowmass Lake there were folks going the other direction, but their goal was most likely Snowmass Mountain itself.

Whichever way you guys go, it will be an awesome trip!
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