Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Colorado 13er peak questions, condition requests and other info.
PaliKona
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Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Postby PaliKona » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:21 am

I'm going to be out in Aspen in July and am looking for a relatively easy/moderate and scenic summit hike...a 13er would be great, but not absolutely a must. Any recs for what to look at doing?
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Re: Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Postby peter303 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:24 am

Hike south for as long as you want from Independence Pass. Great Views.
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Floyd
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Re: Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Postby Floyd » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:29 am

Willougby from Snowmass Ski Resort. SarahT has a TR from a Spring a couple of years ago that we used. Incredible views of the Snowmass-Cap ridge and all things in between.

Another great one is Buckskin BM (Maroon Lake TH to Buckskin Pass). See SP Page.
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Re: Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Postby viejo » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:54 am

Electric Pass/Electric Pass Peak - good trail to the pass, great views.
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Re: Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Postby kaiman » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:59 am

Electric Pass Peak (13,500) above Cathedral Lake is very nice and looks directly at Castle/Conundrum. Class 2.

Buckskin Benchmark (13,300) near Buckskin Pass is equally as nice. Overlooks Willow Lake, Maroon Bells/Pyramid and Snowmass/Capitol area. Class 2.

For more serious mountaineering endeavors there is Cathedral Peak (13,900) out of Aspen and Grizzly Peak off of Independence Pass (Colorado's tallest 13er). Both are Class 3 climbs.

I also like peter303's suggestion of hiking along Independence Pass/Continental Divide. You could also do this Class 3-4 route above the Lost Man Trail near Independence Pass:

http://14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=12163

Wherever you go Happy Trails!

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Re: Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Postby TravelingMatt » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:04 am

Floyd wrote:Another great one is Buckskin BM (Maroon Lake TH to Buckskin Pass). See SP Page.


This is a great hike. It's "virtual class 1" as the off-trail part is still easy and you have nice views of all the other Elk 14ers.

To be clear, you do not go all the way to Buckskin *Pass* to get to Buckskin BM. From Maroon Lake, there's a trail to the north you take well before the pass, then head up towards the west from Willow Pass.
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Re: Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Postby kaiman » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:16 am

TravelingMatt wrote:To be clear, you do not go all the way to Buckskin *Pass* to get to Buckskin BM. From Maroon Lake, there's a trail to the north you take well before the pass, then head up towards the west from Willow Pass.


Not to quibble with you Matt but, if the upper basin below Willow Pass has steep snow below the ridge (which it often does through July) it makes things more interesting, which is why I recommended the Buckskin Pass approach. Plus Buckskin Pass is a great hike in its own right even if they don't continue to the summit of Benchmark.

Just my 2 cents.
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- Joe Stettner

"I haven't climbed Everest, skied to the poles, or sailed single-handed around the world. The goals I set out to accomplish aren't easily measured or quantified by world records or "firsts." The reasons I climb, and the climbs I do, are about more than distance or altitude, they are about breaking barriers within myself."

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Re: Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Postby Presto » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:38 am

by kaiman » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:16 am

Not to quibble with you Matt but, if the upper basin below Willow Pass has steep snow below the ridge (which it often does through July) it makes things more interesting, which is why I recommended the Buckskin Pass approach. Plus Buckskin Pass is a great hike in its own right even if they don't continue to the summit of Benchmark.

Just my 2 cents.


+1 ... you said it before I could post it, kaiman. Beautiful vistas to be had for that hike not only to Buckskin Pass, but then from Buckskin Pass to Buckskin BM.

Happy trails! :D
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Re: Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Postby TravelingMatt » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:41 am

Fair enough, but we're talking July of a low snow year [-X
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Re: Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Postby ajkagy » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:48 am

TravelingMatt wrote:Fair enough, but we're talking July of a low snow year [-X


It looks like August out there right now as far as snow goes :D
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Re: Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Postby PaliKona » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:36 am

Floyd wrote:Willougby from Snowmass Ski Resort. SarahT has a TR from a Spring a couple of years ago that we used. Incredible views of the Snowmass-Cap ridge and all things in between.

Another great one is Buckskin BM (Maroon Lake TH to Buckskin Pass). See SP Page.


Sounds intriguing...no trail right?
I looked at the TR and am not sure how she got up to Willougby...bushwack up from the Ditch Trail?
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Floyd
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Re: Aspen area 13er recommendations?

Postby Floyd » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:10 am

PaliKona wrote:Sounds intriguing...no trail right?
I looked at the TR and am not sure how she got up to Willougby...bushwack up from the Ditch Trail?


There is a little off-piste stuff between the Ditch trail and the Snowmass Creek trail, but you basically take the Ditch trail until it ends near Snowmass Creek. Cross the creek (easy) and head west until you hit the SC Trail. Not very long at all. You can avoid all that and take the Snowmass Creek trial all the way up but this way saves you some elevation gain. Take the SC trail until 11,100-11,200 when an obvious grassy gully opens up to the summit. If memory serves, there is an open space leading to the gully just before a small cluster of trees and there is even a trail up the gully fairly high on the south side. The Topo is pretty telling. We went from the summit south to Pt. 13,039 and descended easy grass slopes from there or you can continue on for more fun. PM me if you want and I may have some pictures showing the terrain.

This all probably sounds a lot harder than it really is. Astrobassman and I did this first thing in the morning after Cheeseburglar's wedding celebration so we definitely weren't on our "A" game, but it went easy enough and was a nice 1/2 day out. If you go, you will not be dissapointed in the views, I can promise you that.
"Athletes express themselves physically, this is their art. As an athlete, exhausting oneself on the field or or on the track or on the trail or on the mountain brings calm and satisfaction. Thrashing about… our expression." - Steve Gleason

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