Peak(s):  Snowmass Mountain  -  14,092 feet
Date Posted:  08/04/2010
Date Climbed:   07/31/2010
Author:  arianna2


The hike to Snowmass Lake combined with the climb up Snowmass Mountain is so spectacular. We picked an awesome time of year for this hike in my opinion. The wildflowers were incredible. We were blessed with fantastic weather. We started the 8 mile hike to the lake around 830. It took us about 5 hours to get there. We took only a 10 minute break, so I am a little surprised. I guess you go a little slower with a 33 pd pack and a 45 pd pack. (Sounds heavy, I know...the only thing we brought that we didn't need were the crampons and ice axes) Image Image There were only a couple of camps in place, but several followed us a couple hours later. All in all, not too busy. We fished that afternoon and went to bed early. Image Image The wind picked up a little once we were in the tent, but at when I woke up in anticipation at 230, it had stopped. It wasn't hard to force ourselves to sleep a little longer, at least till 4 am. We started the hike towards the mountain at 5 am. We were first on the trail, but soon passed by one other. We definitely recommend light raingear for the 30 min walk around the lake as you would get drenched without it. We followed some advice that we had gotten and planned to do the summer route, straight up, instead of around. We headed for the grass on the other side of the boulder field and crossed over to it just above the waterfall. It was much easier over there. I think we started on that a little earlier than where the cairns lead you to, just because it was easier than walking up the rock. Image There are several trails all leading to about the same place. So once on top of the first pitch, there were a lot of ways that you could go. Lot's of cairns for various routes. We worked our way through, picking the way that looked easiest for us. Image Image We did see an abandoned backpack and dogpack in one of the small ravines. If anyone wants to claim them, we do have the GPS coordinates. There wasn't much snow, just enough to give us that visual to see where to go next (just a week or two before the trip reports were saying that they wished they had crampons, that is why we brought them). We worked our way up to the notch and climbed to the summit on the backside. Image There was a little bit of scrambling involved as the cairns were well marked initially, but weren't there or at least not easy to see closer to the summit. We were on the summit alone for at least a half hour, probably more. It was absolutely beautiful, no wind and minimal clouds in the sky. Apparently just the day before, it was socked in with fog and clouds, so we considered ourselves very lucky. We finished out lunch somewhere around 930 and headed back down. Image We took the same glissade path as the Griswalds and walked on the snow in areas to save ourselves from having to walk on all that rock. Image Finally made it back to camp at 1pm or so. Rested awhile, then went back out for some fishing. We didn't have the energy to explore much though. Once again, rain waited until we were in the tent, then stopped right before getting up for a leisurely morning. We left camp at 830. It stayed cloudy without rain, to keep us cool and it took 4 hours to get back to the trailhead. We are in pretty good shape and would consider ourselves pretty tough, but hats off to those who do all that in one overnight trip, or incredibly one day. How to you keep your feet from killing you?! That truly was one of the most beautiful places we have seen.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

You confirmed my suspicions...
08/04/2010 21:21
I looked at Snowmass from the summit of Teocalli last week (on the south side of the Elk Range) and was surprised to see a how little snow there is on the north side... your pictures confirm that it is mostly melted this year. I'm really surprised after the winter we had.

Congratulations on the climb and thanks for the trip report.


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