Snowmass Mountain

PREVIEW:

I am once again returning to previewing my hikes since my Labor Day weekend 9 peak excursion put me behind.

I polled the twittersphere (Here) for which peak I should take on next and possibly last for a while as the season closes for weather. The high country is predicted to get two feet of snow this weekend which would make hiking extremely difficult.

The results of the poll revealed that I would be climbing a peak often veiled in clouds. The peak was originally called “the Cold Woman” by the Ute Indians who believed the peak was the source of all weather in the area, then known as “White House Peak” by early pioneers as a complement to nearby Capitol Peak, and later “The Twins” by miners for its two (north and south) summits. Finally, Hayden Survey named the peak “Snowmass” for the prominent mass of snow that lies in the large amphitheater on the mountain’s East face.

I am very excited to do this peak as it is in the Elk Range which has given me some of the more beautiful and challenging climbing. I will be attempting the more difficult 9 mile trail up the west slopes of the mountain instead of the traditional 22 mile route and camping on the eastern slopes. This Class 3 route will start out at 9,000 feet which is a little lower than usual and climb to the peak at 14,029 feet very quickly. In the last mile alone, I will climb 2,500 feet which I will start just after Geneva Lake.

This climb will be beautiful and challenging, a perfect bow on a wonderful season of climbs and hikes this calendar year. I look forward to conquering whatever obstacles this climb has in store for me and enjoy the magnificent views that will reward the efforts.

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