14 Jul 2000 - by Bill Lhotta

We ended up split into two groups yesterday...Herb McCloskey (from Telluride) and I climbed Snowmass via the W. Face on ascent, and the "S" Ridge on descent, in a long day from the trailhead in Lead King Basin. Joe and Joanne Salette (Ridgeway) climbed Hagerman via the southern slopes from the same T.H., traveling much faster.

Afterwards we compared notes on the connecting ridge, confirming what Paul Wilson remembers from his climb. The difficulties are all on the section from Hagerman to the saddle...clearly 4th class and probably some 5th class spots. None of us four elected to do this gnarly looking traverse; we settled for waving at each other from our respective summits.

Incidentally, the Salettes are close to finishing their highest 100 list, and Snowmass was my 50th fourteener.

Bill Lhotta adds:

I ran the ridge from Snowmass (the fourteener) to Hagerman yesterday. [7/16/2000]. I brought a rope, some slings, and pro but never had to break it out. The traverse, from where the East Rib approach to Snowmass meets the ridge, to Hagerman took me about 40 minutes each way. Most, if not all, of the fifth class can be avoided by staying on the West side of the ridge when the going gets tough.

Not much snow left in the snow field below Snowmass and the glissade was disappointing.

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