Peak(s):  Snowmass Mountain  -  14,092 feet
Date Posted:  08/18/2010
Modified:  08/23/2010
Date Climbed:   08/13/2010
Author:  PDavis

 Snowmass and Wilson Group, Part 1  

Aug. 13
Snowmass Mountian- West slope, class 4 gully
Drive to Navajo Lake Trailhead and hike in 4 1/2 miles to lake

Aug. 14
El Diente- North Buttress, ridge traverse to Mt. Wilson

Aug. 15
Wilson Peak

We've been planning on doing a long weekend of climbing and fitting in as many 14ers as we could for a while now. We finally had our chance this past weekend and it couldn't have been a better one. The weather was amazing and we managed to get 4 out of the 5 mountains climbed that we planned on. We were going to climb Sneffels on the way home, but just ran out of time, but we still had a solid weekend of climbing with these 4.

Thursday night after we both got off of work we headed down to Snowmass and set up camp just down from the trailhead. Our alarm went off at 4am and soon after we were heading up the trail.

The hike in is still awesome this time of year, with all the wildflowers and different colors everywhere.

We decided that we wanted to do some more of the challenging peaks for this weekend, so we thought the class 4 option on Snowmass would be a good choice. The approach for this is the same as the main route, except you just take the next gully over to the left from the main route.

Start of the class 4 gully

The hardest part of this route we felt was within the first hundred feet or so. The climbing is steep and there is some water running down with a little ice through the middle.

Climbing up the near the start shows the steepness

Soon after the move in the previous picture we came to a spot that the only move that you could make was onto water and ice, so we were forced to down climb about 5 feet or so and take a steeper but safer option on our left.

Start of the part to our left

Shot from above from roughly the same location

Once we made it above the ice step we came back to the center of the gully. From there the climbing eased up alot. Its a little slabby, but there are plenty of holds.

Around 13,500 or 13,600 we crossed over into the main gully.

Once we were in the main gully we reached the summit ridge in no time. There the climbing is nice and solid and fun.

Summit ridge

Ridge with Capital in the background

Geneva Lake from the summit

We hung out on the summit for a few and headed down. Instead of descending the class 4 gully we went down the main gully.

Heading down from the summit

This is what the climbing looks like near the bottom of the main gully

The west slope, the main gully is directly above the green patch in the center of the photo. The class 4 is the next one to the left

We enjoyed the hike out, but we couldn't take to much time because we knew that we still had a long drive ahead of us to get to the Wilson Group and to hike into the lake. As soon as we made it back to camp we threw the stuff in the car and were on the road.

Some pics on the way out

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Good Work
08/18/2010 23:08
I wondered what that class 4 gully was like. I did the easier one. One of the most memorable hikes ever. Thanks for bringing back the memories.


Hope to head that way this autumn...
08/19/2010 04:05
Snowmass Mtn - one of the few 14ers I hope to accomplish this autumn. I was planning to ascend S-Rdige, but that class 4 gully looks like some fun solid rock. I'll have to keep it in mind for a return trip. Thanks for the beta - sure I'll be referring to this again sometime in the future. Good report and pics!


08/19/2010 06:36
alsrun-Thanks for the heads up on the lake. I got it confused with the one in the report for the wilson group. And yeah that is one memorable hike.

kimo-I've seen some pics from the S-Ridge and that one does look like a good route too. Either one would be an awesome trip. Good luck


08/21/2010 00:16
Thanks for sharing. Am thinking of doing the S-Ridge soon but this looks pretty good too.

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