Snowmass Mountain

Snowmass Mountain Trip Report (#7165)

  • Signed By: Jack Cunningham
  • Date submitted: September 10, 2003
  • Date(s) climbed: 8/16/03

Hiked in to Snowmass Lake over Buckskin Pass from the Maroon Bells Parking Lot (8 hours). Camped at Snowmass Lake. Took the standard route up the boulder field from the lake, over the snowfield. Kind of got lost as we approached the ridge, but got help from two climbers who had just summitted on their way down. You have to cross over the ridge and then there is a short scramble with some moderate exposure to the summit. Roach says to aim for a rounded hump on the ridge in his book, but I never eally saw it and may not have got to the summit if wasn't for the help of the two gentlemen on the way down. Round trip from the lake was about 8 hours. Stayed another night at the lake and hiked out over Buckskin Pass (another 8 hours).

The views from the top of Buckskin Pass of Snowmass Mtn., Capitol, and Pyramid Peaks are spectacular. On your summit day get an early start!! I started a little later than I would have liked. About 7:15 a.m. Heard thunder even before I got to the summit. As you can see in the photo the clouds were building. The views were nice but probably would have been a lot better if we had started about an hour earlier. The way down was brutal with snow, hail, and torrential rain depending on elevation. Luckily the main thunderheads and lightning skirted us to the North and South. The bottom half is the steepest part and the torrential rain made the rocks very slick. Be sure to stick to the marked trail just to either side of the ravine. One of the two gentlemen who helped us on the way up was killed on the way down when he started a rockslide. They were a little closer to the center of the boulder field, further away from the ravine than the marked trail, but not that far. I suppose the moral is, it can happen to anyone, but take as many precautions as possible. Start as early as possible, stay as close to the marked trail as possible, and be very cautious and go slow over wet rocks.

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