OverviewThis is an aesthetic snow climb on the northeast face of Hagerman Peak, offering 800 feet of steep snow, up to 55 degrees. The route is in condition* starting mid-late June (we found good conditions 07/06/14).
ApproachAs for Snowmass Mountain via Snowmass Lake. The length (Long Bar) of the X Couloir is visible from the lake. Access the upper basin as for Snowmass Mountain, then hike southwest towards a huge wedge-shaped buttress directly beneath the saddle on the east ridge of Hagerman Peak.
Route DescriptionBoth bars of the X** have snow, and there are therefore two options to climb the lower section of the route:
1. Short Bar - Enter the couloir looker's right of the buttress and climb straight up (south) 40-50 degree snow, then turn right (west) at the center of the X.
2. Long Bar - Enter the couloir looker's left of the buttress and climb right (west), then traverse west across the center of the X. This option appears shallower than the other and may be out of condition earlier (you can check the conditions in the Long Bar entrance from Snowmass Lake with binoculars or camera zoom).
Continue up the obvious westerly line towards Hagerman Peak on 40-45 degree snow. Climb this section to the top, then exit onto the convenient platform and traverse the easy but exposed ledge to the summit snowfield. Climb the steep snowfield on 55+ degree snow to the ridge and hike west to the summit.
Essential GearMountaineering axe, sturdy boots, crampons. A second tool is probably useful.
NotesThe easiest descent is probably to downclimb the route. If traversing to Snowmass Peak, the X Couloir can be more easily downclimbed from the Hagerman-Snowmass Peak saddle. If traversing to Snowmass Mountain, there are few options to bail until reaching the Hagerman-Snowmass Mountain saddle.
* hard packed snow when climbed around sunrise.
** if you know of any established name for this couloir (other than "the North Couloir," which is a misnomer for this line), please let me know!