Snowmass Mountain 14,092'
23 July 2016
I met my friend, Lynsey, in Denver. We spent yesterday together exploring the city, then got a few hours of sleep before driving the four hours out to the trailhead. The parking lot was totally packed this morning. We had to park down the road in a pull off. Loads of people camping up there this weekend. Including the approach, Snowmass is a 22-mile climb. We were hiking by 330a, another alpine start. I didn’t see anyone else who climbed it out and back from the trailhead. That’s my signature move. Guess I have some interesting ideas about what fun looks like.
We hiked all the way to Snowmass Lake, up the lower gully and into the gorgeous upper basin together. There, Lynsey decided she needed a nap. I was feeling good to press on, so I did. I made it up the crux, down the ridge to the summit and back in 3 hours. Not bad considering the route is exposed, loose, sketchy- especially gaining the saddle.
Weather rolled in as we made it back to the lake. The skies opened up and the hail started. It dumped for about 20 minutes, then the sun came out and everything melted almost immediately. Then the bugs came out, which made the hike back pretty gnarly. That was a shame, because the hike in this morning was lovely. Captured some really great reflection photos in the still water of Snowmass Lake on the way up, and some great photos of the building storm on the way down. Gorgeous climb, altogether.
Now all that remain are The Bells, Wilson – El Diente, and Chicago Basin. Eight. So psyched.