Peak:  Snowmass Mountain (14er)
 Route:  East Slope Variations
 Range:  Elk
 Posted By:  TakeMeToYourSummit
 Date of Info:  07/18/2015
 Date Posted:  07/20/2015

I'll try to keep this brief (I have a whole photo album linked to the FB page & I think I might make a TR out of that for this site soon). A few friends & I climbed Snowmass using several variations of the East Slopes route. I will speak mainly of my route as I only saw the other routes from 100's of feet away. The willows around the lake are out in full force (as the last post said - scope your line if you camp the night prior). I chose to cross the creek 1/2 way up the scree and took the grassy path which then links up with many slabby rocks. Patchy snow starts above the scree field. During my snowclimb the snow was everywhere from bulletproof to mid-thigh postholing. I aimed for the snowy notch between Snowmass & North Snowmass (a summit I cared to climb). It was 8ish at this point & the snow was getting the worst I'd yet experienced. I made a quick decision to bail to the left of the snowy notch & finish the climb to the ridge on rock.

DISCLAIMER: This section of my route is not for the timid. The route above me consisted of "kitty litter", loose scree, and hopefully solid multi-ton boulders - all on sloping rock. At one point I had my right hand on a bomber hold - as I tried to move up the left side of my body my left hand triggered some rock movement... then my left foot did the same! I quickly moved my whole body to the right as the rocks cascaded down. A few minutes later I managed to make the ridge - much more solid rock now!

The ridge run to North Snowmass has a few loose sections - but is very manageable compared to the section I had climbed to gain the ridge. A quick stop on North & I made my way to Snowmass proper. The crux section was easier than I thought it looked in photos (I would have hated to do it with water or ice on the ledges though!). After a bit of summit time - I worked my way to the top of the "direct notch" variation. I glissaded, traversed (due to a large rock patch), & glissaded some more! Most definitely the best two glissades of my life! Several shorter/mellower glissades led me back to my ascent route. Careful downward movement led us to the lake shore - beating a storm by less than an hour (noonish).

Comments or Questions
07/20/2015 14:34
HOLY COW! That has melted a huge amount in a week. We were up last weekend and had no problem traveling on snow, we were able to glissade the first notch all the way down pretty much. Thats melting very fast.

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