Snowmass Mountain  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2011-10-25, By: kushrocks
Info: Conditions to the lake were good. The trail was easy to follow and there was a few small minor ice and snow areas to cross more so as you got to the lake but nothing deeper than an inch or two. Getting around the lake was a little interesting because it was mostly snow covered about 6+ inches in spots which wasnt a problem until you crossed over a few frozen streams in your way that emptied into the lake. As you got around the lake the boulder field was dry and somewhat easy to navigate. However once over the main ridge when you enter the snow field that is when conditions started to suck. I should have checked the GPS but I am guessing around 12,500 to the summit and back conditions were really bad. Snow was really weak and dusty. We tried to rock hop as much as we could because when we didnt we were post holing which drastically slowed us down. Round trip from the lake to the summit and back was 8 hours for only 6 miles. 
 
Route: West Slope
Posted On: 2011-09-26, By: BrentManDo
Info: Mostly clear with very small patches of snow at summit. No special equipment needed. 
 
Route: West Slope
Posted On: 2011-09-12, By: 14er Climber
Info: We climbed Snowmass from the Western face. The 4 wheel drive road in was clear and we had no issues. The route was clear and we didn‘t encounter any new snow on the route all the way up. The rocks are loose and we stayed far to the left side and the rock was fairly stable. The cairns are hard to spot but are placed on the route all the way to the summit. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2011-09-10, By: mrschaible
Info: With all the rain recently, the trail is extremely wet and muddy (extremely slippery as well). Horses have also torn up the trail and left quite a bit dung all over it. Once you get to Snowmass lake, plan on getting your feet wet as you cross from the shore of the lake to the scree field/beginning ascent as it is a swamp. We could not find a dry route to get across. Also, the route around the lake is overgrown and very difficult to find and maintain. We followed the GPX way points on this site towards the summit and they took us up a more difficult route with more boulder hopping and scree. I would recommend going further to the hikers right. Head up right next to the exposed waterfall and follow the really small cairns. It is all hard rock fields. You definitely want to head for the notch just to the left of the summit as described in the route guidance on this site. It is a very easy climb and very little exposure. The scree towards the top is wet and very slippery. I slipped more on this than all my other 14ers combined. We did this as a day hike in 10+45 but are in very good shape. The fall colors are just starting to come in. It is a really beautiful hike. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2011-07-25, By: Monster5
Info: Approach to Geneva is snow-free. Plenty of easy snow up higher in the basin. Mosquitos. Trail is slightly overgrown but easy to follow. I would recommend taking the Little Gem approach and cutting right down low-angle drainage from the lake to the stream crossing. No real bushwack required. The 2nd gully holds snow - the c3 ledges to the right are dry. The ridge itself is dry and relatively stable. If you‘re a route-finding sort, the entire thing could probably be kept at exposed c3. A glissade of the W. Slopes is not in. Careful straying from the ridge as frequent rock failures are occurring. 
1
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2011-07-18, By: Grover
Info: The East Slopes of Snowmass Mtn. are in great shape. Only issues on trail up to Lake Snowmass is some mud.......oh, and the piles of horse s++t. Log jam crossing is solid with plenty of logs to use. The willows around the lake are overgrown, but the route is easily seen when you are on it. No snow on the boulder/scree field up the gully. At 12,000‘ ft, the snowmass starts, and you can go all the way to the middle of the ridge on snow using crampons/ice axe. If you want to angle to the left of the hump (the "standard route"), you can, but you can also aim for a couple of spots to the right of the hump in the ridge, which will allow you to cross from snow to rock right on the ridge. West side of the ridge is total devoid of snow. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2011-07-05, By: lstarrsmith
Info: Logjam very passable. Few patches of snow on hike up to lake but camping area is very much clear. Snow along lake to base but very soft after sunrise. Soft snow up to top ridge, with many paths available to follow. Ridge to summit mostly dry with 2 snowy patches and a few area with loose rocks. Glissading awesome from top ridge to base. Snowshoes not needed. Same for crampons unless the tread on your boots is very worn. Ice axe or support pole of some sort comes in handy on final ridge push. Many great lines for skiing/boarding down to base still available. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2011-06-27, By: mattpayne11
Info: Logjam is passable, be cautious. We were fine with trekking poles. Take your time. Continual snow from lake to mountain. Snow on trail after logjam, but snowshoes not needed. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2011-06-29, By: douglas
Info: Logjam was fine going up but on the hike down (morning and after higher water level) was a bit tricky. Exposed logs were icy and VERY slippery - almost everyone in our group got wet at some point. The smart ones put on their crampons and walked right across. There are a few dry camping spots at the lake but mostly snow. Snow all the way up the peak and crampons absolutely necessary. No need to bring showshoes for the hike in. 
 
Route: West Slope
Posted On: 2011-06-19, By: rleclair
Info: Quite a bit of snow at Geneva Lake with very few if any "dry" campsites. We had to dig out of a flat snow bench to pitch tents on 6/17/2011. Solid snow conditions from Geneva Lake up to the base of Snowmass. Crampons, axe, helmet required in ascending 45 degree snow climbs via the numerous gullies. Our team was climber‘s left of the center gully and ascended solid snow to the rock bands near the top. From there, packed crampons and traverse climber‘s right to the Snowmass summit. Some "airy" class 3 moves to gain the summit. Enjoyed soft snow conditions on monster glissades from near the summit to the base of Snowmass. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2011-06-13, By: Crestoner
Info: -- There are many fallen trees (aspens) across the first 5 miles of the trail. Between Friday morning and Saturday afternoon, a large rock fell into the trail ~500 feet past the "Snowmass/North Snowmass overlook" (~mile 4.5?). -- The logjam is now in "Spring condition"....full length (all snow gone), many logs unstable. -- The serious snow (i.e., time for snowshoes...) now starts where the trail enters the woods above the switchbacks, ~0.5 mile past the logjam, and goes all the way to the summit; there is some snow on the trail below the logjam, but it's inconsequential. -- Snowmass Lake is still largely frozen. -- There is very deep snow in the camping area at the east end of the lake. There are 2 "dry" spots at the lake's edge. -- The temps at the camping area were very comfortable: mid 50s during the day, a little below freezing at night. -- The logs for crossing the stream at the lake have all washed away since last season. The snow overhangs the stream in the camping area, so some short logs (or a 4-foot hop) will get you across the stream. We and another group made a small log bridge, but the snow overhang it's braced on will likely be gone in a day or two. Unfortunately, with the snow cover, fallen logs are hard to come by in the camping area. I found a large log ~250 feet north from the stream, ~100 feet from lake edge. I broke off all of the branches. But, it was just too heavy for my wife and me to move very far. If a group could get this log to the stream, it would be great for a new crossing...it's ~12-feet long, maybe 18" in diameter. -- With the exception of that one "cliff," you can walk on hard snow right along the lake's south edge at the beginning of your climb. We cramponed up right after crossing the stream. -- The climbing route from the lake to the summit ridge is in exquisite condition! The climbing was awesome. We gained the summit ridge at the second notch, just to the left of the large rock mass of the summit area. -- On the west side of the summit ridge, the snow is hard and steep. We were back there ~0900. -- With 2-3 short walks to connect the best slopes, you can glissade almost all the way from the summit ridge to the large rock at the west end of Snowmass Lake. 

Return to the main Peak Conditions page



© 2021 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.