| The Empire of Snow
Rather than give you a long narrative, here are a link to some pictures and a few important points if you're considering climbing Snowmass Mountain via Snowmass Creek in the near future:
1. The famous logjam is impassable. Too much water flowing over it and through it. And the ford 150 yards downstream isn't passable either. And none of that's gonna change very soon, as Snowmass Creek continues to rise. Here's a link to the gauge, which is miles downstream from the logjam but seems to roughly correspond to conditions upstream:
2. There was a rock-solid snow bridge over Snowmass Creek a mile downstream from the logjam, in the narrowest part of the valley just below the lowest beaver pond. Crossing the snow bridge, which was 200 yards long and probably 20 feet deep, leaves you a bit of tedious bushwhacking on the west side of the creek until you rejoin the route. But with the creek rising and the snow melting, I couldn't tell you if the snow bridge is safe today, or will be so in two days or two weeks.
3. The valley is full of avalanche debris, but I don't think that means everything that could have let go has already let go.
4. Above 9,500 or so, the trail is buried under many feet of snow. In the trees, this snow is drifted, making routefinding a challenge. Allow extra time.
5. Once you get to the lake, you'll find that those annoying willows on the southern shore are buried under snow. And the headwall above the lake is easier when snow-covered.
6. A lot of the class 3 scramble on the west side of the ridge is covered with snow, leaving you to choose between staying on the ridge (some class 4) or kicking steps in the steep snow on the west side(which might still be class 3 but is quite airy).
7. The glissade from the ridge to the lake is heavenly.
OK, here's a link to the pictures:
If you go, please think safety first!