Saturday, July 30, 2011

Geneva Lake, Snowmass Mountain, and the Four Pass Loop

starting the Four Pass Loop near Aspen at the foot of the Maroon Bells
The Maroon Bells at the beginning
August 8
Begin backpack at Maroon Lake. Backpack 5 miles up Maroon Creek and camp at the base of Maroon Peak. One of the most beautiful valleys in Colorado, rivaling if not usurping Holy Cross as the most beautiful place we have been this summer. And less than an hour from our homes! We are awoken in the middle of the night when a marmot tries to raid our camp.

August 9
Snowmass Mountain in the distance and the Fravert Basin in front. From Frigid Air Pass
Snowmass Mountain and the Fravert Basin
from Frigid Air Pass
Hike over Maroon Pass and Frigid Air Pass and camp in the Farvert Basin. A very beautiful and awe-inspiring hike. The flowers are still out in deep bloom and the weather was very beautiful. The trail is busy for mid-week but most of the people are pleasant. Ah! Wilderness.

August 10
Storm approaching Geneva Lake
An excellent day. King’s Falls is an impressive sight in the morning. It rains a little around noon but we are able to climb the "Cut-off" trail and have lunch before the worst of the afternoon storms. We depart from the Four Pass Loop and drop down to Geneva Lake where we get the most solitude we’ve had yet. Spend a perfect evening laying in the hammocks overlooking the lake but a storm moves in before bed.

August 11
A crazy night! One of the worst I have ever experienced! Wave after wave of intense thunderstorms. Hail, lightning, thunder, rain, wind. You name it. I always wondered how I would handle a night like this in the wilderness. I've had plenty of rain and even lightning but never a full-on, tornadic-if-it-had-been-in-Kansas, severe thunderstorm. Needless to say it was nerve-racking. We were pinned in the tent for 15 hours. I didn't sleep a minute.

The Maroon Bells and Fravert Basin from the "Cut-off" trail
The storms finally end around noon and we explore around the lake. We meet some other backpackers and they look as shell-shocked and wide-eyed as us after the night before. We hope that this is the end of the weather for this trip.

August 12
A perfect day! Not a cloud in the known universe. We hike over Trail Rider Pass and down to Snowmass Lake to set-up for our climb the next day. Three friends of ours from Grand Junction hike in from Snowmass Creek to meet us. I love backpacking but am looking forward to climbing a mountain again, it seems like forever (July 27) since we were on a summit.

August 13
At 13,900 on Snowmass Mountain
Snowmass Mountain. A great route. I enjoy the scrambling immensely. From the top we can look down on both Snowmass Lake and Geneva Lake and I feel proud that we were able to visit this great mountain from both sides. That night we eat some fresh fish for dinner.

August 14
We say goodbye to our friends and make the long hike out over Buckskin Pass back to our car. It is Sunday and Maroon lake is overwhelmed by two-legged humanoids when we get back. We are tired but sad. Not only is our backpack over, but our summer is too. It has been great to spend this much time in Colorado’s high country.

Snowmass Lake and Snowmass Mountain

The summit area of Snowmass Mountain

Visit THE ARCHIVE: A list of most of our articles sorted by department

find us on facebook

Follow us on Twitter!

Copyright notice: This website and all its contents are the intellectual property of and its authors. None of the content can be used or reproduced without the approval of

Climbing and mountaineering are dangerous!! Please see the DISCLAIMER page
For information about how to contact us, visit this link

No comments:

Post a Comment