Peak(s):  Snowmass Mountain  -  14,092 feet
Date Posted:  09/02/2007
Date Climbed:   09/01/2007
Author:  summitridge
 Snowmass Mountain via Lead King Basin  

Old Ickabod and I left work Friday and headed straight for the Lead King Basin Trailhead. The drive was long and not too bad considering all of the “get-out-of-dodge” traffic on I-70 West. We arrived at the 4WD road outside of Marble at just about dark. The road is not bad at all—especially compared to the likes of Lake Como Road or South Colony.

We camped and arose early to start the approach by 3:45 am. We wanted to be home fairly early so we could enjoy the holiday weekend with our wives.

The hike up to and beyond Geneva Lake was fast and the trail is in great shape. I can see why this area is a favorite of backpackers. Then we arrived below the West Face of Snowmass.

There are two black bands and a grassy spot to the left of them. Aim for the grass.

Then, just as Bill explains in his route description, trend right and stay just on the left side of the left-most couloir. Up higher, this coulior splits and for some reason we went left (right, as you can see, heads toward the summit).

This is typical of the type of scrambling to be had between 12,600 and 12,900. After that point, it was more of the loose, talus walk until we gained the ridge.

We gained the ridge (Northwest ridge?) and scrambled along the summit ridge to the summit. We were off route, but the ridge scramble was airy and made the climb memorable. We spent an hour on the summit with only two other climbers. On the way down, we spotted two climbers coming up. We only saw these four people high on the mountain the whole day. We highly recommend this route for Snowmass.

Looking up the ridge toward the summit.

Looking back down the ridge. I could hear Capitol calling me.

One of the big balanced blocks on the ridge top just below the summit.

Old Ickabod scrambling along the ridge with the summit in the distance.

Another shot showing the exposure of the ridge.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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