Peak(s):  Snowmass Mountain  -  14,092 feet
Date Posted:  06/25/2007
Date Climbed:   06/24/2007
Author:  Wes Bradshaw
 Snowmass Mountain - Standard Route  

Around noon on Saturday EJ and I left Denver and headed up to Snowmass to take a crack at Snowmass Mountain. We hit the trail at around 4pm and made good time up to Snowmass Lake. We found a nice campsite near the lake and made plans to get an early start to take advantage of early morning snow conditions.

The next morning we started around the lake a bit after 5am. As far as we could tell we were the third party out of the gates that morning as we could see the other parties headlamps.

We gained the Snowmass Bowl via a nasty scree slope that had a well worn trail on the climbers left.

In the bowl we attempted to stick to rock ribs for as long as we could but eventually donned crampons and headed up to the base of the prominent north face of Snowmass.

EJ on the snowfield near the north face.

We couldn't find the class 2+ route to access the ridge so we were forced to make a couple of 5th class moves up a very narrow chimney to gain the ridge.

Once on the ridge we stuck to the cairned route, which is located on the climbers left side of the ridge. A couple snow gullies didn't allow us to stay on the cairned route but with a bit of route finding we were able to get around them and keep the climbing to class 3+.

After about 15 minutes on the summit we headed back down. We decided to shoot for the Hagerman/Snowmass Saddle to access the snowfield. About 3/4 of the way across we gave up as the rock was loose and didn't appear to get any better near the saddle.

After about 10 minutes of searching we found a cairned route that lead us to the snowfield. We caught a 2000' glissade and (after some postholing) gained the upper portion of the scree slope and then eventually our camp. After a short break at camp we packed everything up and headed back down the unending trail to the truck.

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