Peak(s):  Snowmass Mountain  -  14,092 feet
Date Posted:  06/24/2008
Date Climbed:   06/21/2008
Author:  JB
 Snowmass - No mas!   

Route: East Slopes
Start Time: June 20, 11:40AM
Summit Time: June 21, 12:30PM
End Time: June 22, 1:30PM
Who: Chazman & I

We left the Boulder area around 7AM and hit Snowmass Creek TH before noon.

Canopies! I swear the trees were just reaching out and grabbing on to us. The only thing worse than carrying skis on your back is fighting through canopies with skis on your back.

We hit Oxbow Lake around 3:40PM and came across "the snowbridge". For those planning trips in the near future, take the snowbridge! It's an unpleasant bushwack from there to pass the lake, but there's a faint trail and it beats wading in ice water above the waste. Watch out for that fracture though...

Foolishly we decided to stick to the trail and head up to the logjam which was decidedly uncrossable. An hour and a half later we were on the other side after backtracking to the snowbridge and fighting through the bushwhack. Whoops.

By 8:30PM we had finally reached Snowmass Lake. Snowline was supposed to be at 9500‘, but we didn‘t really see consistent snow until more like 10,500‘. We ended up carrying our skis the whole way that day. Oh joy! Another crossing. No better way to end the day than to soak your boots & socks in ice water.

We were rewarded the next morning with the sunrise of a spectacular day. What a solstice!

The views of the Bells & Pyramid never got old.

We were up there late enough that it was mostly soft enough to kick your way up. The snowfield, nonetheless, grew tiresome.

Also it grew to about 45 degrees...

And to top it all off, we finished with some surprisingly difficult Class 3 climbing. Is it me or is it harder to scramble in ski boots?

Victory! Oh there's Capitol...

Let it snow!

3000' of skiing. Need I say more?

A fellow skier & I took the couloir on the left.

Chazman stuck to the right.

After a much earned night's rest we headed out again. The logjam was still too sketchy and our favorite snowbridge developed some new fractures. Choose your destiny...

About two miles from the TH the weather came in. The wind picked up and the clouds came overhead. I heard trees falling as I found my second wind trying to beat the rain. Get me outta here!

What a trip! This makes my 45th named 14er and my second ski descent. A big thanks to Chazman for suggesting it. Glad to climb with you man, let's do it again!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

06/24/2008 13:44
Nice report! Still a lot of snow up there, but it looks like it‘s melting fast.

top pin

Sweet Lines!
06/24/2008 14:52
Looks like you guys had a great trip. Nice trip report JB. Sorry I couldn‘t be there Chazman. Kevin.

Steve Knapp

Very nice!
06/24/2008 15:16
A long way to haul skis but that sure is a great run back down to the lake!It will be interesting to see when the death of the snow bridge occurs, won‘t be long now. I was up on Capitol on Sunday.


West Slope look
06/24/2008 16:42
Great report. Planning on heading up to Geneva lake this weekend and up the west slope. Is there plenty of snow there also (hoping not). Thanks.


Re: West Slope look
06/24/2008 17:02
Hey moff,
Image #12 is a picture taken looking over the other side of Snowmass from where we came up. Lead King Basin would be a little to the left. I remember we could see the 4WD road OK, but I can‘t recall how bad the west slope itself was. I would expect a good mix of rock & snow if I were you. As you can see the northwest was completely buried. I‘ll take a closer look at my pics tonight and see if I can give you some better info.



Re: West Slope look
06/24/2008 17:24
Thanks for your help.


Is that Siberia?
06/24/2008 19:28
In image #12? If I am correct that is the east face of Siberia? That looks like an awesome ski. The profile of Siberia from above Devils Rockpile is a beautiful pyramid shape. I would love to ski that, and the west face of Snowmass. If anyone‘s interested....


A tr from the day before...
06/24/2008 22:59

Not sure if you met them on your way in or not. There‘s a good photo of the W side as well, for those interested.


Re: Is that Siberia?
06/24/2008 23:56
Hey Britette, ya I think that is Siberia. I couldn‘t believe how much snow was up there.


Re: A tr from the day before
06/25/2008 00:01
gb, ya we did meet them! In fact, that‘s me facing their camera in the second to last photo! Neat.

Yup, the west slope definitely had plenty of snow on it.

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2017®, 14ers Inc.