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Snowmass Mountain
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14,092 feet

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My son, Steven, and I actually did Snowmass Mountain back in August of 1998, but I've only just recently (Feb 2005) mannaged to get a few photos scanned from that trip. Suzy still hasn't done this 14er though, so I'll be going up again with her at some time, and I should have some better shots then.

We originally attempted this in 1997, but hit the wrong peak. We were aware that it was a common mistake to climb Snowmass Peak (a 13er southeast of Snowmass Mountain) since it's closer when approaching from Snowmass Lake and therfore, appears to be higher. We over corrected though, and climbed the unnamed peak to the northeast of Snowmass Mountain instead. By the time we realized that we screwed up, it was too late in the day to do anything about it. We would just have to try again another time.

Anyway, the next year, on our successful attempt, we started off, again, from the Snowmass Falls Ranch Trailhead and hiked up to Snowmass lake. We camped there and climbed Snowmass Mountain the next day, hiking back out on day three. We had taken mountaineering axes with us, and had a great time descending the snowfield on the way back down. However, it didn't quit reach the peak like we had expected, so we had to 4th class down-climb to it. I've heard that the snowfield is shrinking more each year with global warming.

This shot of Snowmass Mountain was taken not quite 4 miles up from the trailhead, where Bear Creek flows into Snowmass Creek. It's a beautiful scene that almost takes your mind off the long sustained uphill hump with a heavy pack.

View of Snowmass Mountain’s northeast face from the Bear Creek / Snowmass Creek junction

From Snowmass Lake, it's a hard, short and steep scenic hump to the ridge saddle, seen below looking back down the ridge toward the saddle and Hagerman Peak up the other side. From the saddle to the top of Snowmass Mountain, it's all great, but spooky, 3rd class ridge climbing.

View from near the summit of Snowmass Mountain, looking back down the southeast ridge toward Hagerman Peak

At the top, Steve, who bitched all the way up, suddenly had a new outlook on life, and chattered with excitement all the way back down to the lake. Unfortunately, Steve was sick the next day for the hike back out, and I had to carry most of his gear with mine. The next day I had it bad too, so after that trip, I became a big fan of water filters.

My son, Steve, Smiling on the summit of Snowmass Mountain

Capitol Peak & Snowmass Mountain Area Topo Map

Area Guide Books

Colorado's Fourteeners: From Hikes to Climbs

Colorado's Fourteeners: Companion Map Package with Cdrom and Map

A Climbing Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners

The Colorado Mountain Club Pocket Guide to the Colorado 14ers

Dawson's Guide To Colorado's Fourteeners - Vol 1

Click for Snowmass Village, Colorado Forecast