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Snowmass Mountain  
Report
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-07-26  West Slope  West slopes are good to go, avoidable small snow fields on lower slope. FYI the trail starts by stepping over a big log in the parking area. alan and beth   2014-07-27  0     Edit Delete 
2014-07-20  East Slope  So. Much. Horse Poo. It was ridiculous. All the way to Snowmass Lake it was a game of hopscotch. Log jam was much easier to cross than I anticipated. Stable logs and easy to navigate across. Dry trail all the way to Snowmass Lake. Snowmass starts well above the top of the headwall. We ascended via the ridge around the bump and descended the direct line. Direct line to ridge has snow all the way to the ridge. Firm snow in morning and heavy/wet by noon. We followed HikerGuy‘s crampons steps down with microspikes and an axe with no slipping and sliding yet. Once an open, rock free path was available we glissaded down. Descent from camp was wet due to rain and had even more horse poo. Ugh. aliciaf   2014-07-21  0     Edit Delete 
2014-07-12  East Slope  Beautiful dry trail all the way to the lake. The water has lowered a bit so the logjam is stable. The scree climb up the waterfall is also dry. The snow in the basin made for easy kick stepping at 7am. But by noon it was sugar snow and too loose to plunge step down. However it made for easy-to-control glissading. Bring an ice axe. You‘ll need it if you slip on the way up and it is helpful but not necessary on the way down. Crampons are not needed. The back side ridge route is clear of snow except for one really dangerous snowfield. At 10am it was kickable in some parts and had impenetrable ice just below the surface in others. It was too steep to stop a slip with an ice axe. Climb the rocks above it instead. mspalding   2014-07-13 1  5    Edit Delete 
2014-07-02  East Slope  Approach is dry until Snowmass Lake, the headwall from the Lake to the basin is dry too. After the basin approach the easiest way up is to gain the ridge line on the left (looking at Snowmass) and traverse. There are still a few cornices left so be wary. The scramble from the ridge on is mixed, but mostly rock. I prefer to stay close to ridge proper due to better rock quality and less chance of rockslides. An ice axe is necessary, did not use crampons but had on rigid boots. Four Pass Loop is still holding a lot of snow on the back passes. Trail Rider and Frigged Air both looked socked in and would require axes at the bare minimum. Seems like it may be another 2-3 weeks... Cool Hand Luke   2014-07-03 4  2    Edit Delete 
2014-06-21  East Slope  The log jam was doable by taking it easy and testing every log for stability. There‘s still plenty of soft snow as one gets close to the lake (put on your gaiters!). The route is in great shape and the snow was firm. We started at 2:30 am and reached the summit via the notch. There‘s a cornice that is easily bypassed on the right, as indicated in previous reports. From there, I followed snow to the climber‘s left, while my buddies decided to stay on the ridge. The snow around the lake, however, is getting very soft and will make you wonder how long the lake really is! esagas   2014-06-21  0     Edit Delete 
2014-06-10  East Slope  Since this page only allows for 8 photos, I added an "extended" conditions report as a trip report: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=14959 BillMiddlebrook   2014-06-11  0  2    Edit Delete 
2014-06-08  East Slope  Five of us went up from Snowmass Creek on Saturday, June 7. Starting at 10:00, we reached Snowmass Lake around 4:00. The beaver dam crossing is a little shaky, probably from all of the runoff these days, and two of us dunked our boots. Some postholing started about a mile from the lake. Started from camp the next morning at 2:30. After getting around the lake, the snow was solid to the summit. The west side of the ridgeline is still pretty covered so we stuck to the ridge all the way and it was solid. The snow was slushy crap on the way down but that‘s just how it‘s going to be this time of year, so start early. [climber]   2014-06-09 5  2    Edit Delete 
2014-06-08  East Slope  Lots of snow still on the trail past the log jam to Snowmass Lake. Deep snow around the Lake. Continuous snow from the lake to the summit. Climb the rocks along the ridgeline to the peak to avoid sketchy snow conditions. chevrechamoisee   2014-06-09  0     Edit Delete 
2014-06-06  West Slope  We drove up from Marble to Crystal City and the road is completely dry except for the occasional puddle or small amounts of runoff. We were able to drive on mostly dry conditions to within about 0.8 miles from the trailhead before deep snow stopped us. The snow was only in the forrest area and once we walked about 200 yards it was dry again. The route directions provided here suggest taking FR315 and that appeared to be dry except for the descent on the switchbacks to the trailhead which were covered in snow. The trail is snow free to just below Geneva Lake and 100% snow (2 to 4 feet deep) above the lake. The snow on the west slope was rock hard in the early morning until a little into the snow filled gully that I chose to use where it quickly degenerated into a rotten, sugary snow where I decided it was too dangerous to continue. I was front pointing one moment and wallowing in hip deep snow the next. RobertKay   2014-06-09 3     Edit Delete 
2014-06-01  East Slope  We skied the East Slopes of Snowmass this past weekend. Made it to within 500 ft. of the summit and turned around as the snow conditions were getting a bit sketchy. It rained pretty heavily the night before and had been warm the past 6 days. While we didn‘t see any active wet slides, there were remnants of several recent ones below the summit. We turned around at 9:00am and it was already very warm. Perfect corn skiing at the top and mushy/grabby at the bottom in the dust layer. blacomb   2014-06-02 1  6    Edit Delete 
2014-05-26  East Slope  Still quite a bit of snow above 10K... take the direct snow route to the summit... the ridge was a little sketchy... we ascended the ridge and descended the direct snow route 2aron   2014-05-26  0  9 1  Edit Delete 
2014-03-15  West Slope  Nate (thegreatcamillo) and I climbed snowmass Friday 3/14 thru Sunday 3/16. The road from marble was beginning to melt out, but several trucks had attempted to drive it and gotten stuck. Best to just park at marble in the short term. The road to Crystal City was well packed and easy snowshoeing. From Crystal City to the summer TH was fairly well packed, but required a traverse of one very long slope, which may be unstable now with the warming temps. From the summer TH to Geneva lake required much trail breaking, maxing out at perhaps 2‘ in snowshoes. this section also has a very long and unavoidable avvy prone slope. From Geneva lake to the base was some very cool scenery, and fairly enjoyable snowshoeing. We climbed a rib toward the south, opting to stay out of the snow filled gullies. Our concern wasn‘t that the gullies would slide as it was pretty stable snow at the time, it was just very difficult to climb in them as the snow was really deep. At times we had to traverse across chest deep snow. We made it back down to the base of snowmass in 45 minutes thanks to some awesome glissading. For perspective, that face took about 4 hours to ascend. dannyg23   2014-03-18 4  2 1  Edit Delete 
2013-07-06  East Slope  Climbed July 6th. You do not need crampons, but an Ice Ax will come in handy. Still a lot of snow in the basin, but its mostly firm and walkable with a post hole here and there. We were able to easily climb the east route which is snow free after the climbing starts. No snow on the south side of the peak or ridge. Largely un-cairned, but the route is obvious and easy to follow. We were able to drop off the ridge on the down-climb just east of the summit, kick in steps to down-climb the chute there, then glissade for about 800 feet of vertical drop. This is where the ice ax is mandatory if you want to try this. However, the snow is melting fast. There may not be enough in the chute to do this. Vort. vorticity   2013-07-07 1     Edit Delete 
2013-07-06  S Ridge  Went up the S ridge which was completely snow-free and came down the West Slopes which still held snow in the lower portion of the gulley. An ice axe was helpful when not on the loose rock. The snow could be avoided staying on the rib instead. dpage   2013-07-07 1       
2013-06-25  East Slope  Snowfield melting fast. Snow is hard but penetrable in the early a.m. before sun exposure. Softening quickly with some Sun...all to be expected. Axe and cramps obviously are buddies. Nice, cold, and relatively snow free on the opposite side. First image with some morning alpine-glow, taken at 5:45. joe21louis   2013-06-26 4     Edit Delete 
2013-06-23  West Slope  I went up the west slope route Sunday. There is still plenty of snow in the gully/couloir, which is bullet proof both on ascent and descent, crampons and an axe are a must. The S-route clear of snow, except on the entry point. I included a few pictures of the west face/slope and on the slope. Glissading the slope on descent is not currently possible and frankly it would seem pretty crazy! Pic one:about a third of the way up the slope looking up on descent Pic two: looking down from towards the top of the slope ~13,900 ft Pic three: looking at the west face from across the valley at ~11,800 ft in the AM Pic four: slope in the afternoon jmanner   2013-06-25 4  1    Edit Delete 
2013-06-22  East Slope  Compared to pictures from a week ago, a ton of snow has melted. We hit the snow about 6:15 AM, and it made for some good snow climbing conditions. Firm and enjoyable all the way up to the ridge. After crossing the ridge, there were a couple snow patches which could easily be avoided by staying high on the ridge. The rock high on the ridge was surprisingly solid (for Elks standards). On our return, we hit the snow again about 10 AM and it had already heated up and was slick as snot toward the top (even with crampons). My partner took a slip on the top 20 feet of snow (at it‘s steepest point) and began a FAST slide. Snow was the consistency of a slurpee. He was lucky enough to self arrest before hitting a rocky outcropping (with the melting snow, rocks are beginning to surface). Although I did see one girl with only microspikes, I would highly recommend and ice axe and crampons. If you‘re looking to get a snow climb in, hit it quick. Water could be heard running under the snow and runnels were beginning to form with lots of suncups. Here are a couple conditions pictures. mtgirl   2013-06-23 2     Edit Delete 
2013-06-02  East Slope  The Snowmass Creek trail is dry until about a mile from Snowmass Lake (after the switchbacks up the slope where it reenters the forest). Bring snowshoes or be prepared for a lot of postholing here. The trail beyond the lake is completely snow-covered. We started around 4:30am and had great firm snow the whole way up. It is possible to get very close to the summit on steep snow and avoid traversing most of the ridge. Emily   2013-06-03 4  4 3  Edit Delete 
2013-06-01  East Slope  Here‘s a pic of Snowmass from Thunder Pyramid. BobbyFinn   2013-06-03 1     Edit Delete 
2013-01-19  West Slope  Put in trench from Marble to the base of the west slope. Followed FR 315 to the Lead King Basin trailhead. The first third of the road had seen snowmobile traffic, while the remainder was fresh snow. (Photo 1) Followed the summer trail fairly closely to Geneva Lake. (Photo 2) Above Geneva Lake, kept to the right of the stream to climb to the base of the west slope. This proved to be more convenient than the summer route because it avoided both the steep traverse leading to Little Gem Lake and the descent from Little Gem Lake to the base of the west slope. (Photo 3) The west slope was relatively dry, but what snow there was consisted of slabs that were so hard as to required toe-pointing or step chopping, alternating with knee deep decaying powder that offered little support. Predominantly the latter, which resulted in my quickly running out of time once I reached the steep stuff. (Photo 4) RWSchaffer   2013-01-21 4  3 1  Edit Delete 

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