Hiked in to Snowmass Lake on July 15th. Started the climb at 4 am the next morning. Little bit of bushwhacking around the lake and somewhat of a grind going up the scree/talus slope. We stuck closer to the right side by the creek, which made for more solid footing. We crossed over a bit lower down than the standard route recommendation, which worked great. We witnessed a couple other groups who climbed too high before crossing and they sent a lot of loose rock down on the route and struggled to cross the creek. Once on the snow field, the climb was pretty straight forward. We took the direct chute to the notch variation, which was quite steep (~70 degrees) near the top. Used crampons and ice axe and kicked steps. Quick and easy scramble to the summit from the notch.
Backpacked in 7/10 to Snowmass Lake. Clear trail the whole way. Started from Snowmass Lake at 3:30 am on 7/11. Snow and mud obscured the route around the lake which slowed us down. The scree gully was terrible in the dark as we missed the crossover to the tundra trail. Snow was firm until near the ridge on the standard route then it became wet and slushy. Crampons had a hard time but ice axe worked well to secure during the climb. Class 3 scramble was dry and fun to the top. Summitted at 8:30 am. Spent a half hour on the top admiring the views. Glissaded down the ridge direct route. 3 hours down the mountain to finish at noon. Packed out on 7/12 back down to TH.
TH conveniently on backside of Snowmass Village, the standard 22+mile trail in a day is not so bad especially when parsed into sections & a pedometer. Headlamp on logjam at dawn felt surreal, its definitely a wider thinner crossing upstream! Snowmass Lake is a slice of paradise to rest, chat with overnighters, & assess water. Top of talus chute most welcomed after too much sliding hillside! Notch in ridge was an 11am pre-celebration, hot but with a light breeze. Atop Snowmass Mountain fittingly closed out my Elk range challenge with 52/58 14ers! Poles helped most of the way in loose summer conditions. Travel across large heather slabs was rewarding in the moment. A fairly gradual 16hr workout. May not want to climb Pyramid Peak the day prior but worth it!
Wish we could have done this one as a snow climb but all the snow was gone leaving a massive amount of boulders.
#1 07-31-2020 W/ Lana. On a bluebird day until 5 p.m. we battled boulders, big and little to gain the scenic summit of this deceiving mountain. We had tried on June 28th but gale-force winds caused us to abort our summit bid. The encore went much better. Without snow the route-finding (cairns are there but some seem to be missing) is sometimes confusing. Route descriptions on 14er.com and in Jerry Roach's excellent book were helpful. The logjam was not a problem on either approach. We recommend that one not underestimate this 14er. Loved the camping at the east end of Snowmass Lake. This peak is #55 on the list of 58 14ers; only three more to go - that's hard to believe. All of our remaining unclimbed 14ers are in the Sangre de Cristo range.
August 25-26: Snowmass Mountain (Colorado)
After leaving quite late, we started up on the trail in the evening towards Snowmass Lake. Since we got such a late start, we hiked as quickly as possible and tried to reach the lake, but we didn't reach it before it got dark. We found a nice camp short of the lake and not far from the creek.
In the morning, we left for the summit of Snowmass Mountain. Instead of climbing the standard route we headed for a notch on the ridge near North Snowmass before climbing the ridge to the main summit. We enjoyed the views from the summit and had a nice lunch. We headed down the standard route and had a few nice glissades before heading down the relentless scree to Snowmass Lake. The climb took a lot longer than expected and took us nine hours round trip from Snowmass Lake.
We then hiked back to camp and packed up before heading down. We didn't reach the trailhead until well after dark. It was a long day!
Climbed the famous snowfield from overnight at stunning Snowmass Lake; 3rd try was the charm for this summit
My plans were to hike to Snowmass Lake and then after a days rest I would summit and then snowboard down the bowl above Snowmass Lake. I had checked the internet for two straight weeks before but found no reports or pictures giving an indication of the amount of snow remaining in the bowl below the summit. I did find pictures from the same time the year before with plenty of snow filling the cirque basin, so I decided to make the attempt. I lugged my snowboard about a quarter of the way up when someone finally was able to give me a detailed enough report that there was not enough snow for a decent run. I decided to ditch the board a little way off from the edge of the trail and covered it with some debris while making careful note of trail markers (with iPhone photos) of where I had left it. Went on to have a beautiful summit day and camp out at Snowmass Lake with no regrets about abandoning my board. There was only discontinuous patches of snow, but it was, however, a sad indication of the very low snow precipitation for the previous winter for the region.
Climbed with Matt via Snowmass Creek 6-21 to 6-23. 22 miles. Fun trip.
Started from Maroon Lake TH. This had the most difficult route to follow/locate if relying on 14ers.com. Ended up following my best judgement to Trail Rider Pass and traverse the ridge to the peak. Wasn't more than class 3. Took the wrong gully down the West side and ruined the schedule for the rest of the day. In hindsight there was no reason for me to NOT just retrace my steps back to Trail Rider Pass.
Summit attempt up Snowmass via the standard east route (no snow). Lower trail was very gradual through an aspen forest, along a bustling stream, and stepping out on hillside vistas. Looking at previous Snowmass trip times, it didn't seem like an overnight was needed and so I hiked car to car. This turned out to be right at the average time of 12hrs. The marshy trail around lake snowmass was terrible so I headed up to the south col at 12,500' instead. Got cliffed out on rotten red rock climbing the ridge line from Trailrider Pass to Snowmass Peak. Tight turn around time for this 22-mile day hike precluded a summit bid.
One day trail run & climb from the car. Missed the trail along Snowmass Lake on the way up since it was overgrown. Probably for the best because on the way down all along the lake it was flooded and very gooey. Made it about 1/2 way to Trailrider Pass before traversing the big boulder/talus field to the standard route. Tried two class 4 chimneys before getting over the ridge early on the 2nd try. Nice day with gorgeous views all over the Elk Range.
I climbed Snowmass from Snowmass Lake with my friend Mark. What a beautiful remote lake! We were not well acclimatized and took 6 hours from lake to summit. But going down was easier except that we traversed the boulder field and eventually came to the Trailrider Pass trail. I would not repeat those huge boulders.
I hit both Summits
Some time in the early 2000s.
Took the Lead King Basin approach. The beauty of the ascent was intense, but came at the cost of a long, tedious 2,000+ foot ascent up an extremely steep gully of loose small-to-medium sized boulders. Reaching the actual summit was difficult as it required exposed climbing over large, tower-like boulders. Despite the difficult climb, the summit was rewarding and the views made it all worth it.
I had a blast hiking Snowmass Mountain in a day. It was the last 14 in the Elks Range for me. Beautiful views and perfect weather made for a wonderful day.
Snowmass was my Colorado 14ers finisher! One of the best Colorado 14ers climb, great mountain!
3 days/2 nights, camped just before the log jam. Summit day took a long while due to route finding - took a deviation from the More-Direct Variation on the standard East Slope which made for lots of route finding time, but much less talus/scree. We had wonderful weather!
Great climb with my dad and uncle for 14er finale! Trip Report