Hagerman Peak was first climbed by Percy Hagerman and Harold Clark in 1907 (1). The East Ridge route allows one to climb Snowmass Peak in addition to Hagerman Peak. The East Ridge is Hagerman’s most difficult, established route accessed from the south. It is only rated 3rd class, but is very loose and steep.
Hagerman Peak's East Ridge from Snowmass Peak. Click to enlarge.
Hagerman Peak’s East Ridge route is most easily accessed via Lead King Basin. Lead King Basin can be accessed two ways depending on the vehicle used and road conditions.
From CO 133, drive east 8.2 miles past Marble to a fork. Continue on the right fork. Park at flat area at mile 12.3 and 0.2 miles east of Crystal. Four wheel drive vehicles can continue 2 miles further to the Lead King Basin at 9,640 feet. When roads are dry, the easiest way to approach with a four wheel drive vehicle is to take the left fork at mile 8.2 and continue another 6.7 miles (2).
Follow the Geneva Lake Trail to a creek crossing at 11,480 feet. Leave the trail and hike 0.1 miles north up a faint trail on the west side of the creek. Enter the drainage and continue up it 0.4 miles further to 12,000 feet. This is where the South Face
and East Ridge routes diverge. Turn east (right) and head up this drainage 0.2 miles. From here, the couloir leading to the Hagerman Peak-Snowmass Peak saddle is in view. Ascend the couloir. The couloir should be snow free by mid to late July. From the Hagerman Peak-Snowmass Peak saddle, one can climb Snowmass Peak’s west ridge, if desired. Snowmass Peak’s west ridge is class 2. Stay to the ridge’s south side to avoid difficulties. To obtain Hagerman Peak’s summit climb its east ridge staying to the south side to avoid difficulties. Once one reaches 13,800 feet, the difficulty eases to class 2.
Hagerman Peak's East Ridge Route. Click to enlarge.
Ice axe and crampons if attempting prior to snowmelt.
1. Roof of the Rockies: A History of Colorado Mountaineering
2. Colorado's Thirteeners: 13,800 to 13,999 Feet, From Hikes to Climbs