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2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
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Re: 2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Postby KeithK » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:55 pm

I would absolutely, positively descend the S-Ridge. There is just no good reason to go down that face. Still, I agree, that route is not going to be great with a ton of people on it. Snowmass is loose all the way around. I stepped on some huge blocks on the ridge proper that shifted and teetered under me. Scary stuff.

There are plenty of other options in the area, and the "gathering" doesn't care if you climb a 14er, it's all about the camaraderie.
Snow is dumb.™

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Re: 2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Postby CCU_Jim » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:24 pm

Bump...

Anyone climbing (and descending!) S-Ridge on Saturday want to carpool from the Denver metro area? I'm heading out Friday afternoon sometime, but unfortunately do need to come back on Saturday after the hike. I can have access to a 4WD, with room for 3 others. Even without carpooling, I'd love to join up with a (smaller) group for the hike proper and I could meet you at the gathering site lower down or at the trailhead. PM me if interested. My climbing partners have been busy lately and this seems like the perfect chance to climb Snowmass before my grand finale on the Bells Traverse in a few weeks.

Edit: Climbed S-ridge on the 15th so not heading to the Gathering anymore
Last edited by CCU_Jim on Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Postby GregMiller » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:54 pm

Myself and two buddies are actually looking to camp at Geneva Lake on Friday night, and hit the Snowmass S. Ridge early Saturday morning, thus avoiding climbing the south ridge with "20 of my closest hungover friends).
The only problem with this plan is that I don't have the vehicle to take me to the trailhead on either of the roads. Anyone have 3 seats on Friday afternoon/early evening? Or does anyone have any suggestions for renting a jeep that don't cost an arm and a leg?
Thanks,
Greg
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
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Re: 2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Postby scottfarish » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:52 pm

Anyone have experience with either road going into Lead King Basin? It appears that you could either take the northerly approach (Lost Creek Rd.) or the southerly road (along the Crystal River that leads to Schofield Pass). Wells' guide book on 4wd roads tags the Lost Creek Rd. as "difficult", and Lou Dawson says the Crystal City approach "should be walked by all but expert 4WD enthusiasts". I'm in a stock Jeep, with mediocre 4W driving skills at best. The S-ridge will be bad enough... I'd rather not roll a vehicle just getting there :)

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Re: 2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Postby Marmot72 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:45 pm

I don't know if the road has declined in recent years, but I did it at night in my stock 02 rav 4 in September 09. I took the left road which was a narrow shelf road with some good sized "speed bumps"and then continued out from the Geneva lake th by way of the lower road, which was rockier, but wider and less steep.

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Re: 2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Postby kaiman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:06 pm

scottfarish wrote:Anyone have experience with either road going into Lead King Basin? It appears that you could either take the northerly approach (Lost Creek Rd.) or the southerly road (along the Crystal River that leads to Schofield Pass). Wells' guide book on 4wd roads tags the Lost Creek Rd. as "difficult", and Lou Dawson says the Crystal City approach "should be walked by all but expert 4WD enthusiasts". I'm in a stock Jeep, with mediocre 4W driving skills at best. The S-ridge will be bad enough... I'd rather not roll a vehicle just getting there :)


This is a question that comes up a lot on 14ers.com. To sum it up: Basically the Lead King Basin Road is steeper and windier in spots but is less rough, whereas the road above Crystal isn't as steep but is quite a bit rougher. Also, if you decide to go the Lead King Basin route DO NOT drive it after significant rain as it can turn into a steep 4WD mud hole and you run the risk of getting stuck with an expensive problem (both literally and metaphorically). A stock Jeep would do fine on either road with careful driving. There isn't really anywhere on that route that you would roll a vehicle unless you were driving recklessly or didn't make a switchback.

Most times I have driven it myself (3 to be exact) I have gone up the Lead King Road and then down the road to the Schofield/Crystal City cutoff. I drove a full size GMC 2500 pickup single cab up there a few years ago and the only real trouble I had was negotiating the steep switch backs dropping into Lead King Basin from the upper road. Although at the time I was wishing I had a shorter wheelbase, the route is nothing like the road over Schofield Pass proper...

Good luck,

kaiman
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Re: 2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Postby trailsntales » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:24 pm

I will be leaving friday from colo springs and have room for others. leave afternoon. hiking snowmass

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Re: 2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Postby bmcconahey » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:26 pm

geojed wrote:
Kevin Baker wrote:Climbing the S Ridge or West face with a big group is a bad idea, so I'm staying off Snowmass.


That is my worry too! :-k Might try it on Friday or Sunday.


Geojed,
I would be interested in a Friday climb of the S-ridge if you'd be open to having a climbing partner. Let me know.
Ben

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Re: 2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Postby iceman » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:51 pm

Love the Leak King Basin Loop. Here we are doing it in our VW last year. Including a little mishap of a ATV rider. Remember your e-brake :-D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI_vMRQXETo

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Re: 2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Postby GregMiller » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:41 am

So, as far as I have been able to tell, assuming that there's no rain, I should be able to make it on the upper road (FR 315) into Lead King Basin in my 98 outback (7.3" ground clearance, 1" more than an '02 Rav4). Also, the forecast for Tuesday through Sunday is Sunny : http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=39.0722106&lon=-107.1889377&site=all&smap=1&searchresult=Marble%2C%20CO%2081623%2C%20USA

I'm thinking I'll be all right. I don't mind scraping the plastic bits (that's what they're there for, right?), and know my undercarriage pretty well. Am I crazy? I've looked into rentals, and they all want an arm and a leg for anything with more clearance than my Subaru.

Also, is it okay to go back out on the high road? Or is it effectively one-way travel out, and you have to go back on the low road (FR 314) though Crystal? (Because I know I can't make that road with my subaru).
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

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Re: 2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Postby iceman » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:56 am

So, as far as I have been able to tell, assuming that there's no rain, I should be able to make it on the upper road (FR 315) into Lead King Basin in my 98 outback


I don't think I'd take a 98 Outback up either road. You could probably drive 90% of the road in it, but there a few spots that I don't think you will get past without tearing your Subi up. Assuming the road is as it was last year. Could be worse. Just my opinion.

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Re: 2012 Fall Gathering - Snowmass

Postby summitbound » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:41 am

iceman wrote:
So, as far as I have been able to tell, assuming that there's no rain, I should be able to make it on the upper road (FR 315) into Lead King Basin in my 98 outback


I don't think I'd take a 98 Outback up either road. You could probably drive 90% of the road in it, but there a few spots that I don't think you will get past without tearing your Subi up. Assuming the road is as it was last year. Could be worse. Just my opinion.


For what its worth I was up there over Labor Day weekend and I saw a Honda Accord at the trail head. :wft: I got in late, (10pm) so I didn't get a chance to talk to the guy, but I am certain he came in from the upper road. I am not saying I would take my Honda Accord in there, but it is "possible". Now as for getting it back out, I am not sure how he did it. There is one spot after you start dropping back into the basin, its a steep down hill on a tight switchback. I bet he just spun out trying to get up it.

The lower road is rough, narrow and long. I drive a full size vehicle and I have some new brush pin stripping from a few places. I can't count the number of times I had to back up to let vehicles go by. It was cool to see the mill, but if I had to do it again, I'd go back out the same way I came in..
"The mountains are calling and I must go." John Muir

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