Buckskin Benchmark  
Condition Updates  
Route: Buckskin Pass
Posted On: 2021-10-30, By: Grover
Info: Buckskin Benchmark should be called Bang For Your Buckskin Benchmark. What an outstanding view from this little perch in the heart of the Elk Range. I highly recommend this peak/route to anyone looking to get out on a peak and enjoy a safe vantage point of your past Elk Range summits. The new snow cover only enhances the views. The Hike: Bells seen in their early morning full glory from Maroon Marsh (nee Lake). Icy and slick spots in the trees by and past the Pyramid turnoff. Going up Trail 1975 towards Buckskin Pass has occasional snow patches. You will need gaiters, spikes and poles no later than the signed trail split for Buckskin Pass and Willow Lake. That is where the snow levels increase. I broke trail at this point but also connected bare grass and rock segments to make a B-line to the next zig or zag of the trail. The actual trail up and over Buckskin Pass is covered with snow and corniced, so I left the trail, angled towards the right on dirt, rock, grass and even mud. From there, you will be smacked in the face with a view of Snowmass. Alas, you still have 0.4 miles to go to the summit, and there is deeper snow in the "dip" before actually going up the true (gentle) west slopes of BB. Incredible views from the summit! You can see all (7) Elk Range 14'er summits for this perch. Over the course of the day, the trail consisted of every type of surface possible: Pavement, rock, dirt, grass, mud, ice, running water, packed powder, powder snow, sugar snow, styrofoam snow, sastrugi snow. FYI: The (pain in the ass) reservation system for Maroon Lake TH ends on Sunday, 10/31. 
Route: from Maroon Lake TH, up Buckskin Pass
Posted On: 2021-06-23, By: mijoflynn
Info: A couple of minor snowfields left -- one just below the pass, the other in the Pt 12,733 / Buckskin saddle. Both are easily crossable in plain boots. It may look from below like the pass is blocked by a cornice, but the trail swings way left at the last moment, and allows you to just step over the remaining snow at the crest. 
Route: From Buckskin Pass
Posted On: 2014-10-27, By: TakeMeToYourSummit
Info: No major snow on the trail until you top out on Buckskin Pass. The largest (unavoidable) section of snow was north of the 12,700 foot bump on the ridge. Only a few post-holes were encountered; most the snow was of a rather stable wind-blown variety. Higher up wind gusts became a major factor - we stayed 20 feet or more away from the ridge! We remained on the summit only long enough to snap a few pictures - waiting to eat & drink until we could drop lower out of the wind. I love that you can see all the Elk 14ers from this summit (& more than half of the Elk 13ers too). Overall a good day out! Also as a heads up: It is snowing at my apartment in Snowmass Village as I write this... 

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