|Snowmass Mountain from 13,500'|
Snowmass Trailhead (Snowmass Lake Approach)
From Highway 82 28 miles south of Glenwood Springs (or 13 miles north of the roundabout in Aspen) turn west at the town of Old Snowmass (not to be confused with Snowmass Village, the ski area) onto Snowmass Creek Road. Turn left at a T-junction after a mile and a half (right will take you to Capitol). You hit the dirt road seven miles after turning off Hwy 82 and cross the creek at mile 10.5. Take a right at another intersection a half mile later and the trailhead is only about a quarter-mile beyond that.
Crystal Trailhead (Geneva Lake approach)
There are several ways to climb Snowmass Mountain, and there are pros and cons to each option. No matter which way you go, you will be forced to deal with loose rock, exposure, class 3 scrambling, and lots of vertical gain. Snowmass is one of Colorado's more challenging 14ers to do in a single day.
East Slopes Route (class 3, 5,700' elevation gain)
|Snowmass Mountain's summit block|
West Face (class 3, 5,100' elevation gain)
The West Face of Snowmass is a shorter climb with less vertical, but it is looser and more dangerous than the East Slopes standard route. For those that are trying to climb Colorado's 14ers as expediently as possible, this is probably the best route for you. It can easily be done in a single day. However, I find this route to be not quite as beautiful or engaging as the East Slopes. If you can, I recomened a bivvy at Geneva Lake. Not really because it shortens your summit day, but because this small lake is a hidden gem with great fishing. It is a quiet and amazing corner of a generally over-crowded Elk Range and well worth spending the night at. From Geneva, this route take a nearly direct shot up a shallow gully/couloir left of center on the face. This route is very loose and there is more sustained class 3 section than on the East Slopes route. This route has been known to be deadly, usually due to its bad rock and tricky route-finding, so approach this route with caution.
S-Ridge (class 3+, 5,100' elevation gain)
|West Face of Snowmass from Geneva Lake|
Snowmass Mountain lies in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area and special regulations apply. For example, you are not allowed to camp within 100 feet of lakes or streams. Beware, they will ticket you at the compular camping area at Snowmass Lake so be diligent. You are also not allowed to have fires in most areas within the Wilderness Boundaries. It is also required that you carry a permit which includes all of the rules. Check out this page by wilderness.net that gives more information about the special regulations of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area.
|Snowmass Peak and Lake|
Snowmass Mounain, Geneva Lake, & the Four Pass Loop-a narrative of a 7 day backpack trip on the Four Pass Loop with an extension out and back to Geneva Lake and culminating in an ascent of the East Slopes Route to the summit.
Snowmass Mountain on Summitpost.org- a user-created site with lots of good information. This page includes information about a variety of routes on Snowmass Mountain.
Snowmass Mountain on 14ers.com- the most popular website dedicated solely to Colorado's 14ers. This page includes details information and photographs about Snowmass Mountain and its primary routes.
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