Jimmy Brad and I had a perfect weather window where we fit in a hike to Snowmass Lake (and Snowmass Mountain for Brad) right at the summer solstice. This one had been on my list of iconic Colorado backpacks for over a decade, and it did not disappoint. This spring has been so rainy and one of the craziest weather seasons I can remember. A couple days before our hike in to this lake, it snowed a couple inches at this location. Though this was the first day of summer, it looks more like winter up there!
When we arrived at the lake, there was only one area that was snow free for campers to set up tents. We had to get close with a few other groups, but everybody was friendly with no problems. That night sleeping was miserable, being right next to the lake with the wind blasting over it all night was restless. Brad woke and left for the Snowmass summit at 1:30 AM. From about then until dawn, there were various parties getting up and getting ready to hike not too quietly so, again, sleep was not good. Jimmy and I got up to watch a fantastic sunrise over the lake. The clouds made cool shapes that contoured the edge of the peaks. Though we didn't know it, right at about that time Brad was standing on the summit. After having breakfast, we attempted to hike out and find the trail toward Buckskin Pass hoping to hike Buckskin Benchmark. Unfortunately, the snow was continuous and became a post-holing slog. After a few miles of this, combined with a trail we couldn't find, we decided to turn back to camp. We arrived back there at 9AM just after Brad returned. We all decided we had accomplished our goals for the trip, so we packed up and headed home instead of staying for a second night.
|Sunrise on Snowmass - Prints available
|If you look closely, you can see people climbing up the snowfield
And some of Brad's pictures from his 14er hike: