Peak(s):  Four Pass Loop - 12,500 feet
Post Date:  07/07/2012
Date Climbed:   06/30/2012
Posted By:  Carl


 A day on the Four Pass Loop  

Four Pass Loop on Saturday June 30th
Mileage: Forest Service says 28 miles, consensus is closer to 26
Vertical gain: Around 8,000ft

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Attempted the loop in July of 1996 as a backpacking trip but it was too snowy so we turned around at the first pass. Long past due for another go at it. Rob and I decided to do the loop in a day rather than carry a heavy pack. Left Maroon Lake at 4:30 a.m. and headed around Crater Lake a little after 5.

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Made it to West Maroon Pass in 2:20. Not being a runner, we agreed to only jog the downhill sections and a very small bit of the flats.

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Me heading into West Maroon Pass.

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Waiting for the sun to come over the ridge.

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Up and over Frigid Air Pass at 3:21.

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Rob got a nice shot of the columbines.

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Our first time in Fravert Basin. Awesome place.

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Another shot of Fravert.

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Stopping to check out King Falls.

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Rob grabbed a shot of the lesser seen side of the Bells.

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Stopped at North Fork to filter water since we had our shoes off anyway to cross.

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Dropped down to around 10,200ft in Fravert and I started to slow down gaining the vertical up Trail Rider Pass. Rob cruised on ahead.

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Looking back from the top of Trail Rider.

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Rob and me on Trail Rider Pass, 6 hours 25 minutes into the day.

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Jogged down to Snowmass Lake.

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Rob nearing the lake. The only other time I had been here was on a wintery day in early May so seeing the area in summer conditions was a treat.

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Took maybe a half hour break, pumped some water, and went for a swim.

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Hiked back to the trail, reluctantly dropped a couple hundred vertical feet below the lake, then very slowly started walking up to Buckskin. Nice views of Capitol and Snowmass. Not much snow though; can't believe we were skiing these peaks last June.

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Me on Buckskin at 9 hours 20 minutes into the day. Having never hiked more than 15 miles in a day and on only two prior occasions ever jogged more than 3 miles in a day, my legs were hurting.

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Rob took off jogging down Buckskin while I walked about as fast as I could manage. Apparently Rob was feeling the pain too as I ended up catching him about 4 miles later as we neared Maroon Lake.

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Went for another swim at Maroon Lake, 10 hours 50 minutes after leaving the TH earlier that morning. It was a hot day and I was curious if it was the swim at Snowmass Lake that confused the elevation on my new Suunto Core watch (it appears so).

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I hadn’t been this excited about a hike that didn’t involve some mountain top as an objective in quite a while. Highly recommend the Four Pass Loop, whether you’re planning to do it as a 4 day backpack or a 4 ½ hour run (current record is an astonishing 4:14 RT from Crater). In planning this trip I noticed that most single day Loops were being made by runners posting impressive times of 6 to 9 hours. For what it's worth, if you go light, walk quick when you can, and only jog some of the downhill and a bit of the flats, like we did, this amazing hike can still be enjoyed in a day. If my blisters heal by next weekend and the weather clears I might do it again.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Jeremy Bauman


Wow.!
07/07/2012 07:23
Nicely done! this really shows just how well going ”fast and light” works. Keep up the good work!


Bean


Looks like fun..
07/07/2012 11:15
...even though it's mostly walking. I'd gladly join you for a go at the speed record ;)


HuskyRunner


Good job!
07/07/2012 15:10
My wife and I have been talking about jogging the 4 passes as well, might have to wait until after the monsoon now. It would suck to be stuck half way through waiting for a T-storm to pass before heading up one of the passes. Take a look at the Southern (~16 miles) and Northern (~26 miles) Indian Peaks loops, fun, scenic runs as well.


RJansen77


Nice work
07/07/2012 16:19
Looks like a fun day for sure, way to get it in before this monsoonal flow. Congrats!


jbchalk


Nice hike/jog, Carl
07/07/2012 16:33
Looks like a great day out w/ nice weather.


Johnson


Nice report
07/07/2012 17:29
Your photos really capture the beauty of the area and the fun you had while did the loop. Too bad it took a whole day!


dcbates80911


Beautiful...
07/07/2012 19:08
Thanks for posting. This is one I hope to do later this summer.


BAUMGARA


Awesome
07/07/2012 21:25
I remember you talking about this on the dead dog trip, nice to see you got it done. Good looking weather.


FireOnTheMountain


Cool
07/08/2012 16:36
Very impressive Carl. But I'm a little confused...I didn't see any big sticks atatched to your feet


tsizz


Much Needed!
07/09/2012 14:32
Thanks for posting! Looks absolutely beautiful! I've been needing some ”stop-working-so-much-and-get-outside-and-kick-your-own-ass” inspiration...you're report seems to have done the trick


benners


Looks
07/09/2012 19:24
like a lot of fun! Glad you guys were able to sneak in there before the rain. Wanna do it again sometime?


XC Snowboarder


Another round
07/16/2012 01:38
Just did this yesterday with a group of 4 and had a fantastic day. This is a must do. Nice pics!



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