East Slopes; Direct Exit
In May of 2018 we were training for an upcoming Rainier objective having just completed a high altitude mountaineering course in preparation. We chose Snowmass as an overnight trainer with our team to dial in skills ahead of Mount Rainier. We made the long drive from Denver through Glenwood Springs, as Independence Pass wasn’t yet open for the year, and on to Carbondale and finally the trailhead. We car camped then set out Saturday morning to hike into Snowmass lake to set up camp for a summit bid on Sunday.
Highly recommend this route and camping at Snowmass Lake with snow. The views and solitude were stunning. A pesky fox ransacked our camp and made off with one of our Ursacks that night, unfortunately.
Starting well before sunrise from camp we made our way high above the lake climbing the snow below the ridgeline. We successfully climbed up to the direct exit and onto the ridge just below the Snowmass summit.
After a snack and some photos we made our way down the ridge to a fun mini rappel back onto the snowfield. Here we trekked back to camp to breakdown and pack up to hike back out to the trailhead. A long slog, many miles and 50 lb packs made this a grueling endeavor.
We were elated to finally reach the cars! Although late we made a quick food stop to fuel up before the long drive back to Denver. A memorable trip with some great people!
If you swing through Carbondale, be sure to make a stop at Pollo Rico for superb Mexican food. Otherwise, Glenwood Springs has plenty of food options.