Snowmass – West Slope – 4,500 Elev. Gain:
RT: 9.00 miles (Garmin Oregon)
Cell reception: AT&T was perfect on summit:
The Road to Lead King Basin as Bill describes, “Rough.” He isn't kidding!
I decided to Car camp in the parking area, which was nice and level.
Started at 5:30am. Made it to Geneva Lake in about an hour.
View South toward Geneva Lake:
The climbing above the grassy area, very wet with small streams, is tedious because
of all the loose rock.
West Slope on Snowmass Mtn.
So I would say between 12,700 and 13,800, as Bill’s trip report
mentions, there is a lot of loose and large tippy boulders.
Looking down at West slope gully:
One point I would make on route finding, between 13,800-13,900 move to climbers right
in order to gain the summit. I "thought" the best line was to stay in the gully and
keep slight left all the way to the summit ridge.
But, if you stay left to the the summit ridge you will find exposure on both left(East) and right sides at about 14,000; I had to down climb slightly back towards the gully and then cross under some of the summit ridge boulders to finally reach the summit. Look at the Garmin GPX file I uploaded, I actually think staying RIGHT on the down-climb was much easier and would be a good line to gain the summit.
The views were magnificent and weather couldn’t have been better.
Standing on True Summit Boulder:
The down climb was tiring because of the loose slope and rock. I found my-self doing some high-stepping a few times as large boulders moved behind me.
Other than that, the hike from below the grass at the base of the slope is uneventful.
The 4X4 road out of Lead King basin was again jaw jarring and many ATV’s and jeeps to contend with.