Julie Struble, Luke Kroiss & I camped at the trailhead early Saturday morning. Julie and Luke were attempting Snowmass Mountain and got off to a later start than I. I left the Jeep around 7 am, hiked up to Geneva Lake, crossed the drainage leading into the lake by fording it because my feet and lower legs could not have gotten more wet than they already were from the precipitation on the vegetation adjacent to the trail. I continued up the trail passing a party of two with overnight gear. I left the Geneva Lake Trail at the creek crossing at 11,480 feet and continued up the drainage to the couloir leading to the Hagerman Peak-Snowmass Peak saddle.
The couloir leading to the Hagerman Peak-Snowmass Peak saddle
I climbed the loose couloir to the saddle, sticking to the climber's right side on the lower section and left side on the upper section to use more solid rock. At the saddle, I dropped my pack and climbed Snowmass Peak's west ridge. This was a fun class two climb. I got to the summit at 10:47 am. The boulders near the summit had some decent exposure.
Hagerman Peak and its east ridge from Snowmass Peak
I descended back to the saddle, grabbed a cracker or two and my pack. Then I headed up the steep, loose east ridge of Hagerman Peak. I stuck mostly true to the ridge, ignoring the directions in Gerry & Jennifer Roach's guide. The difficulty never exceeded class 4, but was quite loose; typical Elk Mountain scrambling where you end up using loose rock as hand and footholds only because there's nothing else available. The angle finally lessened and I hiked along the ridge. I got to the summit at 11:27 am. The summit register was wet and I gave no attempt to sign it. From the summit I could see many people on Snowmass Mountain. I descended Hagerman's southwest ridge. The ridge was enjoyable and provided some moderate exposure in sections. I rejoined the Geneva Lake Trail near 11,480 feet. The trail below Geneva Lake provided good views of Lead King Basin and the Maroon Bells. I got back to the Jeep at 4 pm. I tried to nap while waiting for Julie and Luke, but the insects were unbearable.
The Maroon Bells from Lead King Basin
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